Ravages of the Spirit by Invisigoth Too
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** "Each friend represents a new world in us, a world possibly not bornuntil they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -Anais Nin

Thanks also to Vickie Moseley and Roz Scanes for being encouraging in aworld of discouragement! To all the others who helped, thanks for the words of wisdom. And for the person who tore it apart and tried to ruin my self-esteem, it didn't work!

Deep in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Fox Mulder sat withhis arms crossed behind his head and his legs propped up on the desk. As he surveyed the room, his mind was filled with remembrances of all the "paranormal phenomena" he had investigated through the years. It was only now that he realized just how gullible he had been. The government that he worked so diligently for was to thank for making five years of his life a joke.

He regretted his own idiocy, but mostly to the extent that it had hurt Scully. She had lost three months of her life to his search. And she had almost lost her life. Her cancer was the most terrifying feat he had ever faced. He would never forget the fear in her eyes as he rescued her from sociopaths likeDonnie Pfaster and Gerald Schnauz, but the most pained expression he'd ever seen in her eyes was at the moment when she was told that Melissa was dead. He was at fault for that death. The pain that he had caused her had been enough at one time for him to take a gun to his own head, but he hadn't had the balls to pull the trigger. Besides Scully never allowed him to take the blame for theas she called them "hazards of her job." His ever-faithful Scully wasalways there for him when he came out of themost recent tangle with death.

She alwayswalked through the basement door to theiroffice at ninesharp. Now it was exactly 9:20 and there was nosign of her. He was instantly worried, but the filthy part of his mindpestered him with thoughts of Scully having atorrid one night stand. It was pretty pathetic that even that scared himbecause all it brought was thoughts of Ed Jerseand that damned tattoo. He could never quite reconcile that incidentwith himself. Scully had said that it wasn'tabout him, but he had a nagging thought that it was. Even as thesethoughts pounded away from synapse to synapse,his real fear lay in the prospect of a recurrence of cancer. He wasn'tsure he could go through that again withoutpulling the trigger.

Fortunately for him and Scully, the rational side of his cerebrum wonout and told him to stop fretting and pick upthe damn phone. He quickly dialed the number for Skinner's office. Fiveminutes later after Kim had assured himthat Scully was not there, Mulder slumped back into his chair. He wascontemplating whether to call her at home ornot when the office phone's shrill, perky ring filled the emptybasement.

"Mulder."

"Mulder, it's me." Scully sounded like shit. He could almost picture hervocal cords rubbing together like sandpaper.He reached to the phone and turned the volume to high just so he couldhear her.

"Scully, you sound like Darth Vader."

"Thanks for the never-ending compliments, Mulder. They mean a lot tome," she said as she was overtaken by acoughing fit, "I sound like Darth Vader because I have a cold AND I justwoke up. I'll be there in a hour, but I didn'twant you to send out an APB for a five foot redhead with an implant inthe back of her neck."

He knew that she was just kidding, but he still winced at the sarcasmdripping in her voice. "I don't worry aboutyou, he said in a small voice that oozed with hurt and guilt.

"Mulder," she said softening up into her best"I-love-you-just-the-way-you-are" voice, "you worry more than mymother. You probably already called Skinner's office." She laughed afterher last comment, but it only sent her intoanother bout of hacking.

"Scully, I wouldn't be teasing anyone about worrying. Who's the onealways hounding me about not sleeping andeating enough?"

"Well, if you took care of yourself I wouldn't have to worry. Anyway,I'll see you in a hour." she said breathlessly.

"Scully, just stay home. There's only paperwork to do and I think I canhandle it. Besides, why not torture Skinner alittle and make him read my report instead of yours?"

Scully chuckled, but it sounded more like a burp. "Alright, but Mulder,I'm going to call later and you better bebehaving yourself."

"Yes, mom. I'll even call Skinner for you just to prove how responsibleI am." He hung up the phone and dialedSkinner's number for the second time that morning.

"Assistant Director Skinner's office."

"This is Agent Mulder. Can I speak to him?"

"Umm. . . yes, let me transfer you."

"Skinner."

"Sir, its Mulder. I just wanted to let you know that Agent Scully is athome sick today."

"Mulder, you couldn't tell that to my secretary." Skinner's lips were

set in their usual grim line as he whipped hisglasses off.

"Well, sir because Scully's out, I don't think I'll be able to finishthe report plus these jackhammers upstairs are reallyinterrupting my concentration."

Skinner could almost see the impish grin plastered all over Mulder'sface. As much as he'd prefer to read Scully'sreport instead of Mulder's, he couldn't let on. Skinner's face startedto soften with a similar grin, but he maintainedthe grim tone. "Are you weaseling your way out of it or trying to spareme the pain of reading your theories on thecase? As for the jackhammers, when the Bureau decides to doconstruction, we all suffer."

Mulder let out a little "uumph" in agreement.

"Well, Mulder, you're in luck. You don't have to do the paperworkbecause I already lent you over to the Baltimorefield office. Agent Colton is having trouble developing a profile onthese recent murders."

Mulder thought, but kept it to himself.

"Sir, do you know anything about these murders?"

"Only that there's nothing exceptionally strange or paranormal aboutthem."

Mulder raised his eyebrows at the light jest in Skinner's words, butdecided to suppress the smartass comment thatcame to the tip of his tongue. "I'll head over to Baltimore then, sir."

He lightly dropped the phone back into its cradle and pushed himself outof his chair. He was not looking forward toworking with Tom Colton. Mulder was used to people not believing histheories, but there was just something aboutColton that really burnt him up. Maybe it was the way he had tried toturn Scully against Mulder. He kicked thetrashcan grumpily and pulled his coat off the coat rack.

He turned at the door to make sure his computer was off. Once the lockon the door was set, Mulder threw the dooropen still thinking about what an ass Colton was.

He was yanked from his complaining by a hard shove back into the office.He tripped over the coat rack and fellroughly into the desk. His head hit the corner with a dull thud as hisbody sprawled to the floor. The stars thatdangled in front of his eyes cleared some with a shake of his head, butthat only served to make him groan loudly.The first thing that he saw was a pair of black cap-toe dress shoesalmost identical to his.

His eyes scrolled up the charcoal gray FBI regulation suit that wasrather cheaply made. It looked like somethingstraight out of a Sears catalog. That was all well and good, but it wasthe ominous, black ski mask and leather glovesthat scared the shit out of him. The intruder just stood back andobserved Mulder's reactions. Mulder's head wascocked to the side in an attempt to not only see the assailant, but tohalt the incessant pounding in his head.

"What the fuck do you want with me?" he managed to groan out.

"I don't think you need to know, Spooky," the black masked man said withtaunting, vile sneer. A swift kick to hislower back shot bullets of pain throughout his body. He curled himselfinto a little, fetal ball and rocked in agony onthe floor muttering every form of fuck he'd ever heard.

Mulder kicked out a foot in a desperate attempt to stop whateveronslaught was coming next, but with his usual luck,only managed to miss and hit the trashcan.

He knew that the nonsensical thoughts were probably due to a concussion,but before he had the chance to assess hishead injury, he was hauled to his feet awkwardly by his left arm. Mulderwriggled out of the loose grip and made amad dash for the door. It was the click of a gun's safety that made himhalt before turning the knob."Shit!" He muttered under his breath as he turned around slowly and puthis hands on his head. The silencer of anaesthetically beautiful pistol that could do gruesome deeds was pointeddirectly at his head.

"Well, Agent Mulder," the attacker spat venomously, "I was going to dothis nicely, but as usual, you've managed tofuck up the situation." He grabbed Mulder's tie and yanked him over tothe desk. Mulder began to gag and cough atthe sudden pressure in his throat. The tie was very efficiently closingoff his air supply and black spots had begundancing in the back of his eyes. The black masked man swept every paperand file folder from the desk onto thefloor in one vigorous gesture. Mulder was just thankful that his grip onthe tie had loosened enough for him tobreathe.

A savage uppercut in the gut doubledMulder and left him gasping violently for breath. His torso was brutallyforced onto the now empty desk, so that hisgroin was pressed uncomfortably against the edge. He was struggling tocontrol the nausea that teased at the back ofhis throat when a kick was deposited directly in his right kidney.Mulder's back and groin exploded in torpedoes ofpain. He could feel the hot tears of pain and anger dripping out thecorners of his eyes, but at this point, he reallydidn't care. He had no doubt that his attacker had been trained in themartial art of using one's body as a weapon.He was focusing all his attention on simply breathing when the assholeasked the impossible.

"Stand up." he said in a far too pleasant voice. This bastard was trulyenjoying making Mulder suffer.

"It'd be a hell of a lot easier if you hadn't just broken some ribs."Mulder wheezed through clenched teeth.

"I'm about to break a hell of a lot more than that." Mulder's face wasslammed down onto the desk with a sickeningcrack. Blood began to gush out everywhere and the tiny whimper thatescaped his lips just seemed to amplify every

rivulet of pain. He came to quickly when he felt his arm pinned behindhis back and the cold steel of a handcuffenclosing his right wrist. He frantically tried to swing his other handaround with lightening speed, but the shitheadhad expected it and jerked his arm back so hard and unnaturally thatMulder felt the muscle separate. The searingpain now covered just about every part of his body, but especially hiskidneys, shoulder and nose. When thehandcuffs were securely in place, the attacker took duct tape and boundMulder's ankles tightly to the desk. At thefirst sound of the tape, Mulder struggled, but was only rewarded for hisattempts with a violent pinch on the ass. Itthen dawned on him what was truly about to happen. He was Absolutelyrepulsed by the prospect and almost lost thecontrol on the nausea he had fought to subdue.

Mulder's body was now flat against the desk with his head settled into agrowing pool of blood. The bright red goointermingled with whatever else had been in his nose was now plasteredto the side of his face and hair. He couldn'tresist one last attempt at talking his way out of this whole littlealtercation, but his anger got the best of him.

"What the fuck do you want with m--"Even before he got out the lastword, he received a crushing blow across hisback that was definitely capable of making a grown man cry. He knew fromprior experience that the second blowacross the kidneys was definitely one that would have him pissing thecolor of red wine for a few days.

If he survived.

Suddenly, his head was yanked off the desk by his hair. "Spooky doesn'tlook so pretty now. I know Dana wouldn'twant to miss this. It's a good thing I remembered my camcorder." Mulderopened his eyes long enough to see avideocamera on a tripod set up and pointing right at him. "Smile,Spooky, you're on candid camera."

The intruder released the handful of hair, and Mulder's head hit thedesk hard. He was quickly losing blood alongwith strength, but what the hell did Scully have to do with this? Whywas this asshole even mentioning her name?Mulder was more worried for her than for himself.

"Fox, don't even think about screaming. I don't want to gag you, but ifyou scream you'll be dead faster than anyonecan get here." He made the statement as though he were testing Mulder ordaring him to do it. Mulder could onlyhope that he would black out for whatever was coming next. He turned hishead to see a switchblade in the crazymotherfucker's hand. No sooner had he seen it then it was sinking intothe muscular flesh of his upper arm. Mulder'swhole body froze with intense pain.

"We've got to get you out of these clothes, Spooky. Dana would want tosee the whole show."

How the hell did this bastard know what Scully would want? And what thefuck did he want with her? The knifewas slicing into his skin again deeper with every new cut. As theattacker continued to do away with Mulder's shirt,he pressed just hard enough to leave a brimming red slit behind. Therewas a thin line down each arm, across hisback and then vertically from his neck to his ass. Each cell seemed tothrob torturing his battered body all the more.Blood was seeping heavily through the white shirt and Mulder felt thehair on the back of his neck stand up whenthe knife was inches away from his genitals. The assailant stopped for acouple of seconds to admire his artwork andthen he hastily ripped off the shirt. The fabric had been helping toclot the lacerations, but now it only managed torip open the fresh scabs again. He moved down to Mulder's feet andbrutally yanked off both shoes and socks. Hebegan to cut up the back of Mulder's legs through the calf muscle andhamstring. Mulder was biting his lip so hardto keep from screaming that it was bleeding.

The intruder had gone up one side and was working his way up the otherlingering dangerously close to Mulder'stesticles. Now, the hand was caressing his navel ever so gently andworking down towards his penis. He felt histesticle rolled in between a thumb and finger and couldn't prevent theblood from pooling in his cock. Mulder wastrying to stay one step ahead of this man who obviously knew him, butthat gesture had utterly reviled him. Thisman had a reason to hate him. Mulder sensed that he should recognize thevoice, but through the haze of pain, hejust couldn't identify it.

He was mentally cataloging allthe details when his boxers and pants were ripped violently from hisbody. This man had full access to his bodynow. Mulder knew that he was losing blood rapidly from his nose, but theother cuts seemed to be clotting. Thesudden loss of clothes had left him shivering, making him painfullyaware of his broken ribs.

The man was standing back and scrutinizing his victim. To him, Mulderreally wasn't much to look at, but it wastime for him to pay. Mulder was clamping down on every muscle in hisbody and squeezing his eyes shut in anattempt to avoid the inevitable. He grabbed Mulder's scrotum and dug hisnails in as he pinched the tender sacroughly. Mulder let out a muffled yelp of pain and the nausea finallywon out. He immediately began to vomit allover the desk.

"Jesus, Spooky, that didn't look very pretty on film." The mysteriousman grabbed Mulder's pants and swept a largepool of blood and vomit onto the floor.

Mulder thought. He was justcatching his breath when he felt the malevolent hand teasing between hisbuttocks. Mulder began to recite the phrase"no, this is not happening" over and over again like mantra that he wastrying to make himself believe. Two glovedfingers plunged harshly into his anus with no lubrication except for hisown blood while the other hand squeezed hiscock so hard that Mulder almost passed out.

All he could feel was the throbbingbetween his legs and the fingers in his ass.Once his rectum managed to accommodate two fingers a third was roughlyadded. He felt as if his whole ass was onfire. In fact, he would have rather had his ass on fire than someone'sfingers splitting him apart. Without warning,the assailant pinched his prostate so hard that blood actually squirtedout of his penis. Mulder let out a sob and tearsstreamed down his face.

He could feel all four fingers in his rectum now and he thought he wasabout to be ripped apart. The fingerswithdrew quickly and he felt as if he had lost control over his entirebody. He heard a zipper being lowered andclenched his anal sphincters to ward off the oncoming blow, but waspunished with a savage bite to his lower backand a fingernail in the base of his cock. He heard the man unroll acondom and put it on, but all to soon felt themonster's cock poking at his ass and tried not to imagine the damagethat was about to be done. He let out a smallwhimper that sounded oddly like a "please, no," but he knew that therewas most likely no stopping this attack shortof murder. He attempted to relax and prepare his body for the onslaught,but when he felt the first hint of the pokinghead, the rest of the penis was buried in his rectum.

Mulder began to sob as the attacker began to thrust in and out of him.He could feel his body being torn into twohalves from his ass to his pounding head. He was trying to hold back thesobs, but the pain was too much. He beganto drift into blackness, but was brought back by a nail digging into hisnipple.

"Ah, ah, ah, Fox, you can't get out of this that easily. I wouldn't havepegged you for a backdoor virgin, but you areso nice and tight," he smiled wickedly and leaned forward to whisperinto Mulder's ear, pushing his cock deeper inMulder's ass, "well, at least you were."

He grabbed Mulder's penis and began to gently stroke it and tease at hisballs until Mulder was fully erect. "Wewouldn't want Fox to not enjoy this."

"No!" Mulder yelled hoarsely with all the strength he had left. He triedto remember everything he had learned atOxford about males not being able to control getting an erection duringrape, but he just couldn't. He was blaminghimself for not having better control over his body. The rapist began tomatch his own hard thrusts with his strokingof Mulder's cock. He pushed Mulder's sore ribs harder and harder intothe desk and aggravated the cuts by lying ontop of him, but Mulder could still feel the approaching orgasm. Theattacker gave one hard squeeze at Mulder'stesticles that brought him to a painful climax sending blood and semenspurting onto the desk. He slumpedbonelessly back onto the desk while his rapist took his final thrust andcame deep in Mulder's bowels.

Even though Mulder was tied down to the desk, the trauma still had himreeling. The assailant laid down on top ofhim in exhaustion pushing his injured ribs and nose into the hard pineof the desk. He began to gag at the heat of theintruder's breath on the back of his neck. He could feel each inhale andexhale, not to mention the aftershocksrunning through the fucker's cock that was still firmly embedded in hisrectum. He felt the rapist pull out roughlyand unlocked the handcuffs. Mulder still lay slumped against the desktoo weak to move. He faintly felt theswitchblade cut off the duct tape, but then the man yanked him up offthe desk. He dropped him near the edge of thedesk. Mulder caught his head again on the corner and dropped to thefloor with a thud, finally enveloped in blesseddarkness.

Scully sat at home worrying about whether she should be worrying or not.She had checked everywhere she couldpossibly think of for Mulder to leave her a message, but there wasnothing. She sat letting the phone ring until Mulder'svoice mail picked up for about the fifteenth time, and hung up. She knewhe had been loaned out to Baltimore for theday, but there was no answer on his cell phone. He was usually reallygood about keeping it turned on .

She didn't think it was all that unusual that she couldn't get a hold ofMulder, it was just that a little voice in the back ofher head was telling her that everything was not alright. Number one, hehad to work with Colton who hated Muldermore than anything else in the world. And secondly, he was writingprofiles. Ever since seeing what that had done toBill Patterson, Scully didn't want Mulder in the same position withouther as backup.

Finally, she decided to just go over to the office and see if he wasback in town. She was feeling better and wouldprobably feel more so if she knew Mulder was safe. She took theshortest route to the Bureau even though she reallywas in no hurry, and made her way down towards the basement. As she cameoff the elevator, a putrid smell assaultedher.

she thought to herself trying to suppress a gag.Even for a forensic pathologist, this was gross.She kept on walking towards the office and noticed that the smell wasgrowing stronger. She took out her keys to openthe door, but then saw that it wasn't even fully shut. She was greetedby a puddle of blood and vomit on the floor alongwith clothing that looked suspiciously like Mulder's. There was bloodalong the collar and they looked as if they hadbeen cut off. Blood lined each new cut in the clothing which she now hadno doubt was Mulder's. Quickly, she pulledout her cell phone and dialed Skinner. She wasn't really sure what wasgoing on, but she knew that she wasn't ready tohandle it alone.

"Skinner."

She let out a horrified gasp as she shuffled around to the other side ofthe desk. Mulder was lying in a puddle of hisown blood and body fluids, completely naked. "Sir, call 911."

"Agent Scully?"

It seemed as if it was hard to even breathe. She couldn't see the fullextent of damage, but she didn't have to see toknow that Mulder needed an ambulance. "Sir, it's--its Mulder. Pleasecome down to the basement."

She hung up hastily and knelt down by Mulder. He had curled himself intoa fetal position, but his skin was cold andclammy. She reached to take his pulse and got a good look at his nose.It was lying to the side unnaturally and there wasno question about a fracture.

"Oh my God, Mulder, what happened to you?" she said leaning in to get acloser look at his face. He was moaningsoftly, but very obviously wasn't lucid. She saw the blood dripping fromhis forehead and guessed that his state of semi-consciousness was probably due to a concussion. She found his pulse tobe weak, but at least it was steady. He had losta lot of blood from various cuts that she was only beginning to see.There were bruises covering his entire ribcage,groin, and back as she pulled him gently out from under the desk. He wasfacing her, so she touched his left leg toexamine the cuts and was appalled to find his genitals swollen to twicetheir size. There were cuts all over his penis andscrotum that were already infected. It dawned on her what could'vehappened and she looked at his backside. There wasblood and what looked like semen leaking from his rectum and coating theback and inside of his thighs. She grabbedthe trashcan quickly and heaved her entire diet for the last three daysinto it. Skinner walked in to see Scully bent over atrashcan retching and a naked foot extending from under the desk.

"Agent Scully, are you ill?" He walked around to where she was standingand let out a heavy breath. "Holy shit!Scully, the paramedics are on their way."

Scully was wiping her mouth off with the back of her sleeve as Skinnerknelt down by Mulder. "Sir. . .sir, I don't. . . Idon't understand."

"Scully, the paramedics are on their way. Kim is going to show them downhere. Mulder will be okay." He placed acomforting hand on her shoulder. She looked up at him with tearsthreatening to overflow.

"Frankly, sir, right now, his physical condition is not all I'm worriedabout."

"What do you mean?"

"He was raped."

"WHAT?!"

"Sir, someone came in here, broke Mulder's nose, dislocated hisshoulder, cut off his clothes and raped him leavingsome rather nasty cuts in places I don't want to think about." Scullywas regaining control of herself and taking chargeof the situation. She knew that she had to help Mulder now and not thinkabout his psychological state.

Skinner had turned back to Mulder and was looking at the bruises on hisgroin in utter revulsion. Skinner looked as ifhe would murder the bastard who did this without a second thought.Scully covered Mulder with her coat and began tocheck his pupils. She was attempting to put his shoulder back into thesocket when the paramedics came in followed bya slew of other agents. They had all heard the sirens and come to seewhat was going on. Most of them were amongMulder's minority of friends in the Bureau. Some immediately went off tomake calls to the units that could pick overthe place with a fine toothed comb for evidence against this attack.The paramedics had pushed Scully to the side andshe was giving them Mulder's medical history. She couldn't hear what theguys working on him were saying, but sheheard a gasp and a "let's get him to GW quick!"

"I want to go in the ambulance." she said firmly.

"Scully, I don't think that's a good idea. Let the paramedics do theirjob." Skinner said trying to persuade her fromseeing her best friend in anymore of this horrid situation.

"Sir, if he wakes up in the ambulance, he's going to be terrified. IfI'm there, it'll help some." She looked Skinner in theeye with her best "don't fuck with me" look and jumped up to follow theparamedics. They loaded him onto a stretcherand started an IV. The nasal bleeding wasn't too bad and neither werethe cuts, but there was severe anal hemorrhagingand infection was already setting in. His temperature had raised to 102despite the fact that he was very obviously inshock. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do for most of theinjuries without an operating room.

It seemed like forever before they made it to the hospital. Muldermoaned and cried the entire way, but seemedoblivious to the comforting words Scully was whispering in his ear. Noone could make out what he was saying exceptfor the word "no" over and over again. They immediately took him into atrauma room and started him on transfusions.The doctor forced her to go out into the hall as they turned Mulder onhis side to examine the damage to his rectum.She could see that a rape kit had been set up and that they wereremoving the blood from his body onto various slidesand specimen jars. A nurse was examining his genitals carefully andcollecting swabs of the mess that had collected,but most of the force was focused on the anal area.

Scully watched as the nurse struggled to insert a catheter when hispenis was so swollen. She knew it would be nearlyimpossible for him to urinate on his own, but she hated to see him witha catheter as much as he hated them. Anothernurse had cleaned the cuts on his scrotum and was bandaging them. Shecouldn't stand to watch the clinical proceedingson her partner anymore. She turned and started to walk down the hallwhen she heard a hoarse scream. She bolted backto the room to find Mulder sobbing rather lucidly on the table. The

doctor was attempting to administer a sedative, buthe couldn't get Mulder to stay still. Scully pushed her way up to thehead of the gurney and stroked Mulder's hair.

"Mulder, I'm here. It's okay. I'm here. They're trying to help you."

Mulder moaned softly, and opened his eyes for the first time. They werebrimming with tears and hollow with pain. "Scully...hurts...just wannago to sleep."

Scully continued to stroke his hair back off his forehead as he closedhis eyes again. She then turned to the doctor."Have you given him anything for the pain?" She could see that Mulderwas clenching his teeth against the waves ofagony that were crashing over his body.

"We're almost done here. He's going to the OR, stat." He looked up ata nurse and moved towards Mulder's head.

"What are you doing?" Scully asked.

"We need to swab his mouth for oral penetration and then, we can take

him upstairs."

Scully turned back to Mulder and leaned towards his ear. "Mulder, theyneed to take some samples from your mouthreally fast and then you can have something for the pain. Come on, openup."

Mulder's eyes opened and he looked at her with a fear she had never seenin his eyes before, well, at least not forhimself. She often got that look when she had been fighting her cancer.But Mulder, rarely, was afraid for himself. Heopened his mouth slightly and let the nurse poke the insides of hismouth with a cotton swab. When she finished thedoctor began to yank the rails up on the gurney, Scully was roughlypushed out of the way.

"Scully!" Mulder groaned with the little energy he had left.

She pushed right back up to the front. "I'm still here, Mulder. Iwon't leave you."

The doctor interrupted her to say that they needed to head to surgery,but she pushed him back.

"Please...go with me, Scully." Mulder whimpered.

She turned and looked at the doctor triumphantly. He quickly nodded andstarted to lead the stretcher out of the room."Alright then, let's go. We don't have time to argue."

********************************************
Scully sat protectively by Mulder's bedside holding his hand tightly.She had regained her composure when she wasable to once again engross herself in medicine. She had toyed with theidea of being a surgeon during medical school,but after a short rotation, had delved into forensics. Patients likeMulder had convinced her that she would rather havesomeone who couldn't talk on the table. However, at this moment, shewould have given her right arm to hear one ofMulder's flippant comments. His whole body was swathed in bandages. Theareas that usually remained undamagedwere hurt equally or worse than other parts. When he had gone tosurgery, the staff had taken x-rays of almost everypart of his body. They lucked out if you could call it that on thepelvis and arm not being broken, but there were 4broken ribs and very definitely, a broken nose.

Once they had him on the table and relatively cleaned up, Scully wasshocked by the fact that only about three inchesof his evenly tanned skin wasn't covered in purple, black, blue or evenred. There had been excessive tearing in the analarea when the doctor was finally able to see clearly. His analogy toScully was that the area basically looked like a warzone. Scully remembered from med school that anal fissures wereextremely painful and took awhile to heal fullywithout complications. The surgeon had even considered doing acolostomy. Scully had voted against the colostomybecause it wasn't absolutely necessary, and she knew that Mulder wouldbe mortified by his inability to perform normalfunctions.

Ultimately, they had stitched up all the fissures and prayed to God thatperitonitis wouldn't set in. The orthopedicdoctor had come in after that and claimed the shoulder to be "merely"dislocated. He had quickly popped it back intosocket and bandaged it tightly in a sling as the other doctor began tostitch the gashes on Mulder's penis and testiclesback together. Both of the male doctors had winced with every poke andpull, sympathizing with Mulder and the painthey knew he was going through. Scully could only hope that therewouldn't be any permanent damage to hisreproductive system, but that couldn't be determined until later when hehad recovered some.

A plastic surgeon had been called in to reset Mulder's nose. Thecartilage was damaged so extensively that she hadasked Scully for Mulder's ID in order to reconstruct Mulder's old nose.She knew he probably would have liked for herto recommend a rhinoplasty, but she would never do it. She'd caughtMulder examining his nose in the mirror a couple

times, but always told him that it was a stupid idea. His nose just fithim. Any other nose would be too mundane forMulder. There was no way she was going to change anything about him...well, maybe his tendency to ditch her.

Scully was jolted from her reverie by a nurse coming to take Mulder'svitals. The nurse turned to her and laid a comfortinghand on her shoulder.

"Agent Scully, there are some visitors waiting outside for you. I'llkeep an eye on him, but he's going to be out for quiteawhile." Reluctantly, Scully got out of the chair and let go ofMulder's hand. She kissed his forehead lightly andwhispered softly in his ear. The nurse wasn't quite able to make outwhat she said, but she thought she heard an "I-love-you." Scully turned confidently to face the questions of the police andFBI.

******************

"Dana!" Maggie Scully came rushing towards her and wrapped her in anembrace. AD Skinner followed closely on herheels with a concerned look on his face. Scully was fighting the tearsthat threatened to engulf her in the comfort of hermother's arms. She pulled away quickly when she saw Tina Mulder runningdown the hall. shethought sarcastically.

"How is he?" They all seemed to ask at the same time with a hint ofdesperation.

Scully let out a long sigh. "Well, physically, he has a broken nose thatwas reconstructed in surgery, a severeconcussion, four broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and quite a fewlacerations. That's the relatively simple stuff. Therewas severe tearing to his rectum and anus as a result of the rape."Scully could hear herself talking from afar andwondered how she could sound so calm. "They've all been stitched upalong with the lacerations on his penis andtesticles."

All three of them let out shocked gasps at Scully's revelations. EvenSkinner turned an interesting shade of greenthinking about what those injuries would feel like to his own privateparts.

"We have to watch him closely for infection for awhile. The cuts on hisgenitals are already infected and peritonitiscould very well set in. As far as permanent damage goes, I have no idearight now. The head injuries are no worse thanthe ones Mulder usually sustains according to the CAT scan, but hismental status is questionable." Scully let outanother sigh and looked down at the floor. Her medical detachment wasthe only way that she had made it through thatlast sentence. Honestly, she knew Mulder could rebound from the physicalinjuries, but psychologically he could be abasket case.

"I've arranged for two agents to come and guard the door. I pulledColton and someone else from the Baltimore officeoff the case and posted them outside the door." Skinner said.

"Sir, with all due respect, why the hell would you pick Colton to guardMulder? He hates him." Scully's face was a verybright shade of red with ire.

"Agent Colton can't seem to develop a profile adequately so he's beingpunished. He may not like Mulder, but he won'tdisobey a direct order. He's trying too hard to climb the ladder."

"I'm sorry, sir. It's just that I'm worried about Mulder's well-being."

Skinner suddenly embraced Scully. He could sense the fear inside herfrom seeing so much of it during Vietnam andwanted to offer her some consolation. "Dana, we all are."

At the mention of her first name on the tongue of her boss, Scullystarted to cry softly. It just reminded her too much ofMulder's tendency to call her Dana when something was wrong. They movedinto the waiting room as Mrs. Mulderjoined Scully in her crying jag.

Scully managed to regain control of herself just as the surgeon, Dr.Tyler, walked through the door. He had "the look"on his face. It was a look that people who spent too much time inhospital waiting rooms knew instantly. And the fourof them had spent plenty of time in waiting rooms. The look just saidflat out that the doctors basically thought that allhell could break loose. His first sentence confirmed it. "He's awake."

"Where is he?" Scully demanded.

"They're in the process of taking him up to ICU. I'm planning onsedating him until the worst of the injuries heal a little.He's already struggling--" By the end of the doctor's second sentence,Scully was pressing the up button for theelevator. She wanted Mulder to know she hadn't deserted him if he wasawake. There was no doubt in her mind that hewas going to end up in the psych ward if he didn't see someone he knew.Skinner and the others quickly thanked thedoctor and followed Scully onto the elevator.

It was perfectly silent all the way up to the ICU after Mrs. Muldermuttered one sentence, "I hope he's okay."

Scully fought the urge to turn on her by focusing on Mulder. Why thehell was it that this "mother" who never showedup in any other crisis felt that she had any right to come to his sidenow? Did she want wallow in self-pity or helpMulder? Scully was thankful that the doors opened before she could makea snide comment.

She quickly picked out Mulder's room by the commotion around the door.She pushed her way to the front of thegrowing crowd and to Mulder's side. The nurse was trying to get theblankets down and give him the sedative, but hewas thrashing about screaming. Scully quickly caught his face betweenher hands and forced him to look at her.

"Scully?" His face was flushed with both fever and tears.

"Mulder, you've got to calm down. She's trying to help you."

"No, Scully, she just wants to drug me. I don't want them." He wastalking in a small voice like a child who had justhad a terrible nightmare and needed his mother to bring him back toreality.

"Mulder," she said stroking his cheek, but staying clear of his nose,"she wants to give you a sedative. It'll help yousleep. Remember, you wanted to sleep."

He let out a small, anguished sob and reached for Scully's hand. "I'mafraid to go to sleep," his voice went down to awhisper, "he might come back."

Tears gushed into Scully's eyes. This was the Mulder who hardly everadmitted that he was scared, especially if it wasover something like this."Mulder, I'll be right here. I won't let him come back." She smiled downat him and took his hand. "I carry a gun,remember?"

The exhaustion started to overtake Mulder and he laid back on the bed.He cringed and tears flowed down his face asthe nurse pulled up the gown to plunge the injection into his backside.He didn't even attempt to fight it, he justsurrendered to the darkness once again. That worried Scully. Mulderalways fought sleep. It was no secret that he was achronic insomniac and he had just submitted to sleep far too easily.Even when he was ill, Mulder still fought.

She stepped away from the bed to allow the nurses to replace and retapethe catheter and IVs. They positioned his limpbody so that he was facing the window on his side. Another nurse wasplacing restraints gently around his wrists whenScully pushed her away.

"Don't even think about putting those on him! He was just tied to a deskand raped! Are you trying to cause him morepain?!" Scully was almost screaming at the poor nurse who was simplyfollowing procedure. Mrs. Scully came aroundnext to Dana and tried to calm her down. "Mom, they're not putting thoseon him. I won't let them."

There was no mistaking the threat in her voice. Dr. Tyler had walked injust in time to hear the last bit of theconversation. He quickly turned to the nurse and other medical staff anddismissed them from the room.

"Dr. Scully, is there a problem?" he said calmly.

She looked up at him with tears brimming. Her beautiful mask ofcomposure had cracked and her voice wavered withfear. "Please don't put those on him."

"I see no need for them to tell you the truth. We just need to watch himclosely and make sure he stays on his side." Hesmiled and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Dr. Scully, I do believe thatyou are exhausted. He's going to be out forquite awhile. Why don't you curl up in the other bed and take a nap? Ibet I can find some clean scrubs for you to puton."

He turned to the one nurse still in the room and she quickly left andcame back with a pile of clothes. Scully went in thebathroom and began to change. As she was pulling the shirt over herhead, she caught a glimpse of herself in themirror. There were specks of blood spattered on herpale skin and her hair looked as though shehad been electrocuted. She began to wash the blood off her face andarms. As she washed it down the drain, she

realized that it was Mulder's blood swirling down. She sat down hard onthe floor and began to cry.

Outside the room, Skinner was the first to hear Scully's gut-wrenchingsobs. He walked to the door and knocked lightly.Maggie and Mrs. Mulder were each holding one of Fox's hands and talkingquietly to him, so he decided to open thedoor and deal with Dana himself. He pushed the door open and saw Scullycurled up against the sink sobbing. Hewalked over and wrapped his arms around her. Scully seemed to notice forthe first time that someone else had joinedher in the room. When she saw who it was, she tried to stop the flow oftears, but found herself crying harder. Skinnerwas alarmed when she began to laugh and sob alternately.

"Dana, what's so funny?" he pried gently.

She let out a small giggle. "I was just thinking how funny it would beto Mulder to see me crying in your arms on abathroom floor," a little sob escaped her then, "but right now, I doubthe finds anything humorous."

"Scully," he said pulling her chin up and forcing her red-rimmed eyes tomeet his, "you are exhausted." She noddedand feebly attempted to rise from the floor. Her legs almost gave wayunder her, so Skinner wrapped an arm around hershoulders and helped her out into the other room. He helped her lay downin the other bed and covered her up with thethin blankets. Finally, she might find some peace of mind in thedarkness with Mulder.

Scully was jolted from a deep sleep by a low moan. She awoke to seeMulder being turned on his side by various medical personnel. He wasmoaning in what sounded like great pain. Scully vaulted off the bed andwas by his side in no time flat.

"What are you trying to do?" she said accenting the trying. It looked asif they were only succeeding in hurting him. Dr. Tyler turned to look atScully.

"He's not supposed to lie on his back. His temp's elevated and right nowwe're just praying that its not peritonitis." He began to unwrap thebandages from Mulder's back. They were all aghast to see pus oozing outof everylaceration.

"Alright," Dr. Tyler said taking charge, "let's disinfect these, thenthe ones on the front. We'll check out the penile and testicular damagelast. I want to examine him when we finish all this."

Scully watched alone as the cuts on Mulder's back were disinfected andrebandaged. The staff methodically moved around the bed doing the sameto his front as they had to his back. As the peroxide solution wasseeping into the lastcut on his belly, Mulder began to rouse. He wasn't thrashing about, butit looked like he was trying to curl himselfinto a little ball. The nurses quickly held him down so that hewouldn't do any more damage to his already batteredbody.

"We need to get him on his back quickly, but gently so that we caninspect the genital damage." As the doctor spoke,the staff gingerly lowered him onto his back and went to work.

Mulder was floating in a twilight zone between reality and what hethought to be death. He knew that he was beingtouched, but had neither the strength nor desire to stop any of it. Whatthe hell did he care? At this point, he justwanted to pass out again. Being awake gave him too much time to think.

Scully noticed the fluttering of Mulder's eyelids and moved so that shecould speak softly into his ear. "Mulder,wake up. It's me, Scully. Come on, Mulder, I know you can hear me. Justwake up and say hello."

"Lemme...alone...Scul...ly." Scully heard the small whimper that escapedhis lips and wondered if he had said whatshe thought she had heard. Was this the same man who had begged her notto leave his side earlier? Why was hepushing her away now? She knew it was normal for rape victims to pushaway their loved ones, but Mulder neverdid anything by the book.

Scully turned back to the medical proceedings between his legs. Histesticles were marred by stitches that ran up anddown them. The swelling had gone down some, but she doubted thatbaseball size testicles were normal for Mulder.He might be well-hung, but that was overboard. Luckily, they had caughtthe infection early there and the antibioticswere working well. The doctor quickly rolled each testicle in betweenhis fingers checking for internal damage. Hechecked the catheter to make sure it was still firmly embedded inMulder's bladder. There was definitely blood in hisurine, but the sonogram had assured them that there was no rupturing inthe kidneys, just contusions.

Mulder was out cold again. Whatever they had given him had been goodshit. The doctor finished his genital examand began to palpate Mulder's tender abdomen. His whole torso wascovered in deep purple bruises. Dr. Tyler wassure to be gentle, but he knew that if Mulder had been awake he wouldhave been in pain. He listened to Mulder'sheart and lungs and then asked for him to be turned on his side again.As far as he could tell, they were avoidingperitonitis at the moment. Unfortunately, he had to finish his exam withthe area that had been most damaged. Thenurses had positioned Mulder so that he was almost completely on hisstomach, but they had cushioned his penisand testicles up close to his body so that he wouldn't cause himself anymore damage. The doctor was pulling thebandages off Mulder's backside very slowly as if he didn't really wantto see what he was about to see.

Scully knew that she should probably exit the room, but she washypnotized by the horror that she was seeing.However when the gauze started to be tinged with blood, Scully left theroom in a hurry. After seeking retreat in thehallway, she found Skinner, her mom, and Mrs. Mulder. They were allseated in the waiting room with steamingcoffee cups in their hands.

"Dana, you're awake." Her mother came towards her with a worried look inher eyes. "Are you feeling better?"

"I'm fine, Mom. I'm not the one we need to worry about."

"Are they still examining Fox?" Mrs. Mulder asked with what seemed likegenuine concern, but Scully wasn'tbuying it.

"They're finishing up right now." she said through clenched teeth. Itwas so hard not to tell this woman to go to hell.

"Oh, I hope Fox is okay. Do you think he'll pull through...psychologically?" Mrs. Mulder asked hesitantly.

"Like you've ever fuckin' cared before!" Scully had lost her patiencenow. This bitch had no right! "His little sisteris taken from him and you're too worried about your own precious guilttrips to realize that you have a catatonic sonwhose scared to death. You blame him everyday for what was your ownchoice because you wish it had been him who was taken.You stoned yourself out on Valium and let his father beat the shit outof him with whatever he could get his handson. And now, you're pretending that you actually give a damn about hismental well-being. Maybe you should havethought of that twenty some years ago when he wasn't scarred for life byhis parents."

Walter Skinner and Maggie Scully sat dumbfounded at what Scully had justrevealed in her fury. They had knownthat the Mulder family relationship wasn't like the Waltons, but theyhadn't realized that it was physically abusive.That went a long way to explain why Mulder was such a gentle, caringindividual. It also went a long way to explainwhy he could identify with cases of abused children so well. He hadexperienced all of it firsthand. Skinner thoughtthat maybe he should say something in Tina Mulder's behalf, but if whatScully had just said was true (and he waspretty damn sure it was) this woman didn't deserve any sympathy.

Mrs. Mulder just stood like a cheap statue in the middle of the room.Her face had gone from frantic worry to stoneduring the course of Scully's outburst. She didn't say a word as shepicked her purse and walked out of the room witha fabricated air of dignity. As she left the room, both Maggie andSkinner moved towards Dana to calm her. Maggiewas the first to try and placate her daughter. "Dana, her daughter wastaken from her. Try to understand that her lifehasn't been like ours."

"Mom, it doesn't matter. Her daughter was taken, so she alienated herson and let him get beat to pulp." Scully saidthrough her clenched jaw.

"Scully, did--" Skinner started to comment, but Dana Scully turned onher boss like flies on horseshit at that moment. "Don't call me Scully!Myname's fuckin' Dana. Mulder's the only one who calls me Scully!"

Maggie and Walter just stood stock-still. Fox Mulder was obviously notthe only one fighting mental stress. Danawas cracking now. It took no more than five seconds for Scully torealize who she had just screamed at. She lookedup to meet her mother's eyes and crumbled into a sobbing pile on thefloor. Walter and Maggie joined her andattempted to give her the comfort she so desperately needed.


*******************************************

Tina Mulder timidly opened door 105 to her son's room. He was on hisside facing the window, so she couldn't tell ifhe was asleep or awake. She walked towards the bed and moved to replacethe blankets over her only child's hips.As her hands touched his skin, he gave a violent shudder. The voice thatcame out was a droll and lifeless as herown. "I'm awake, Mom."

She put her hand on the side of his face and was surprised to see himflinch away. "Please don't touch me. Why doeseveryone have to touch me?"

She quickly yanked her hand back and crossed her hands nervously. In hiseyes, she saw all the fear and loathingthat she had seen on November 27, 1973 and every time he looked at hersince. She attempted to placate the situation with pity. "Fox, why doyou always let thesethings happen to you?"

The hate spread through his body before she even had the words out ofher mouth. He raised himself into a sittingposition on the bed despite the pain in his rear and his head. Theadrenaline was taking care of that. When he spoke,his voice was bitter and steel-edged.

"You think I fuckin' wanted this to happen, Mom! I 'let' these thingshappen to me. I think you're confused. You'rethe one who 'let' them fuckin' take Samantha. You're the one who 'let'Dad beat the shit out of me. I was nevergiven the goddamned choice! Do you think I chose to be taped to my ownfreakin' desk and fucked like a dog?!" Hisface was bright red and all sorts of monitors were starting to beep atthe increase in heart rate and blood pressure."You know, Mom, if I was gonna 'let' it happen. I would have at leastprovided the guy with some lube instead ofmy own fuckin' blood!"

Scully heard the commotion from her spot on the floor of the waitingroom and bolted to Mulder's room. Severalnurses were coming down the hall as she entered. She walked in to seeMulder sitting upright in bed angrier than shehad ever seen him. Tina Mulder was standing across from him with tearsrolling down her face.

"What the fuck reason do you have to be crying now, Mom? I'm the onewhose lost everything. I can't even shit onmy own now. But I 'let' it happen, didn't I? You aren't finally feelingthe guilt for 24 years of denial and abuse, areyou? I didn't think so. You've always been to selfish to notice whenanyone besides yourself was hurting."

The nurses were approaching the bed and trying to flatten Mulder.Skinner had moved forward to restrain him, butwas having difficulty considering the high Mulder was on. He managed tolower Mulder enough so that a nursecould quickly plunge the syringe of Ativan into the first availablespot.*********************************

Outside the room, Agent Colton sat grinning from ear to ear.Fortunately, the other agent who had been on guard with him had gone to

get some coffee when AD Skinner went in the room. Colton had finallytaken the first step in his own personal plight to put Spooky Mulderaway in the back of an asylum. It was his turn to climb the ladder now.Dana Scully would have to return to the world of forensic pathology whenthe X-Files were closed. She'd be far enough away to have no impact onhis career. He just had to continue his antagonism of Mulder and then,he could step out in front as the Bureau's premier profiler.**************************************

Everyone in the room was standing stock-still as Mulder drifted into achemically induced dreamland. The first to move was Mrs. Mulder. Herface was a blend of impassivity and shock. She hadn't looked anywhere,but directly at her son lying in the bed. When Dana took a step towardsthe bed, she turned slowly and bolted out of the room.

Scully felt as if she was in a time warp. Mulder had finally stood up tohis mother, but why did it have to be when he was injured? Now they wereall going to think this was a consequence of the rape and make him seesome goddamned counselor that he would just manage to run circlesaround. She walked towards the bed and once again engrossed herself inmedicine.

Mulder was curled fetally on his side facing the window. He always triedto curl himself into the tiniest human ball when he was hurt or upset.It was like he wanted to return to the womb of the woman he had justscreamed at. When he had turned on his side, the whole back of hishospital gown had gaped open; there was blood leaking through the freshbandages for all to see. Maggie was the first to break the silence.

"I'm gonna go check on her. Just to make sure that she's okay." She wastrying to be nonchalant about it, but her daughter still gave her a lookof pure amazement.

Dana turned back to Mulder and muttered under her breath. "Who the hellcares if that bitch is alright?"

Normally, Maggie would have scolded her child for such language, butDana needed support right now, not discipline. Dr. Tyler walked inthrough the crowd that had gathered and began to pull the once whitebandages from Mulder's back for what seemed like the umpteenth time thatday. He quickly examined the cuts and saw that there was no additionaldamage then quietly told the nurse to rebandage them and that he wouldbe back to check out the other areas in a minute. He motioned forSkinner and Scully to follow him and with lead feet, they both draggedthemselves into the waiting room down the hall.

"Mr. Skinner, Dr. Scully?" Dr. Tyler was addressing them with a hint ofhesitation. They both seemed to suddenly snap out of their prospectivedazes and gain their professional composure. The nurses had told himthat it looked like Mulder had only popped a few stitches instead ofactually inflicting any more damage on himself. "I want you both toknow, first of all, that you can expect these little outbursts from himfor awhile. They're common in male rape victims. I've contacted the malerape counselor that we have on staff and he's going to come outtomorrow. Obviously, I don't want to drug Fox anymore, but I can't riskanymore physical trauma. The police are frothing at the mouth for astatement from him as I'm sure your agents are. The problem is that Ican't deal with a critical care patient who at the moment is emotionallydisturbed. It's too dangerous for his blood pressure to skyrocket likeit just did and there's too much damage that he can inflict if he'supset and thrashing about. I hate to threaten to do this, but if ithappens again I will have to put restraints on him and use heavy dosesof sedatives until he's recovered physically."

Scully looked up at him with a mixture of fear and hatred, but as shetried to speak her composure faltered. "Please--I under--but he'sso--oh, why the hell does shit like this always happen to him? Hasn't hebeen through enough?"

Skinner wrapped his arm around Scully's shoulder, but she didn't cry.She bit down on her lower lip as he had seen Mulder do so often and

looked back up at the doctor.

"I'm sorry, Dr. Scully, I don't want to do it. I'm hoping that a sessionwith someone who knows what he's going through will help and that we canavoid it." Dr. Tyler was looking at her with compassion. Scully lookedup at Skinner and to her dismay, his eyes echoed the same haunting dreadthat she felt. They both knew that Mulder would never willingly submitto counseling. He always played head games with any psychologist who gotwithin ten feet. No matter how much he was hurting, he had learned tohold it inside and take the guilt.

"I'm not real sure that we should allow his mother in to see himanymore. I've read his early medical file and it's pretty apparent thathe was abused as a child though it was usually accounted for poorly.I've heard from my nursing staff that she was the cause of this episode.Do you have any suggestions on the matter?"

Scully jumped at the chance to get rid of Tina Mulder. She knew she wasprobably being childish, but this woman was not healthy for Mulder,mother or no mother. "Mulder and his mother don't have a very lovingrelationship. She's ignored him his whole life and he still loves herfor some reason. She blames him for the disappearance of his sistertwenty-five years ago. He always feels guilty around her. God only knowswhat comment that woman said to make him go off like that."

"I have to agree with you, Agent Scully. His mother seems to only causeunnecessary stress. And right now, that's the last thing he needs." Dr.Tyler nodded slowly. "Well, can I trust you to take care of that, Mr.Skinner? If she refuses to believe you, I will be glad to talk to herfrom a medical standpoint. Let's just hope we can help him get throughthis as quickly as possible."

As he finished the sentence, a nurse came up behind him and led him backinto Mulder's room to give his final okay.

Maggie Scully had chased Tina Mulder into the most obvious place. Theladies room. As she pushed thedoor open, she saw Tina in front of the mirror completely composed. Shehad to admit that she had expectedher to be a mess, but here she was acting as if nothing had happened.

"Tina, are you okay?" Maggie asked timidly.

"I'm fine, Mrs. Scully. I think I'll be returning home on the nextavailable flight. It doesn't seem as if I'mwanted here." She said it with a matter-of-factness that shocked Maggie.How could this woman be so opento her only son's rejection?

"Tina, I don't think you should leave. I know that you and Fox have hadproblems, but perhaps you couldwork them out. He's very upset right now. You really don't want to takeanything he says at face value."

Tina Mulder turned with an icy glare. "With all due respect Maggie, Idon't think you have a clue about thekind of problems Fox and I have. He will never forgive me for not beingthe kind of mother that you are."

Maggie's Irish fury flared with the sarcasm in the last phrase. "Don'tyou dare place the blame on Fox. Ihave to agree with you. I think it would be best for you to leave. Foxdeserves a family and Dana,Walter and I will do our damnedest to give it to him. Why don't you goback to Greenwich and wallow inself-pity?!"

Maggie turned and stormed out of the bathroom and back to where Walterwas in the waiting room. Shewas visibly fuming, so it didn't take much of Skinner's investigativeskills to figure that Mrs. Mulder hadsucceeded in pissing off her third person in an hour. That woman wassure as hell batting a thousand in the"how to piss people off category."

When Dana entered the room, Skinner figured that he should leave the twowomen alone to discuss whatwas best for Mulder. Scully knew him better than anyone else on theplanet and in Mulder's case, off theplanet. He walked down the hall to where two of his agents were postedoutside the door. Skinner had toadmit that he wasn't particularly fond of Colton. The guy was alwaysknocking something or complainingabout an assignment. Why couldn't he ever just suck it up and solve thecase? That was one thing that youcould always count on Fox Mulder for. Skinner could only remember onetime when Mulder had evercomplained about a case and that was a rather spectacular case. TheFlukeman wasn't one of those thingsthat you saw everyday.

As Skinner approached the door, both Colton and the other agentstraightened up. Skinner figured that theguy with him must have been fresh out of the Academy. He looked like hewas about sixteen years old, buthe was more alert and focused on the job than Colton who was reading amagazine.

"Agent Colton, if Agent Mulder's attacker showed up right now, do youreally think you're ready for him?"Skinner asked.

Colton looked up at him. "Well sir, from this standpoint, it seems likethe only threat to Mulder is his ownmother."

He had a shit-eating grin on his face that made Skinner's hand itch tosmack it off. Who was he to make funof Mulder's dysfunctional family? "I would appreciate it if you wouldattempt to at least look like you'reguarding the door to Mulder's room. I don't want anyone going in there,but the nurses and doctors whohave been listed on this sheet. As for other visitors, it will only beAgent Scully, Mrs. Scully and myself."

Skinner turned and strode towards the elevator. It was time to go checkout what his agents had turned up atthe crime scene. Colton sat and stewed over Skinner's little reprimand.It was nice for Spooky to have theAssistant Director wrapped around his little finger. "Hey, Ruben, whydon't you take a break? I'll take overfor awhile."

Colton nodded at his younger associate and watched him wander offtowards the cafeteria. He quicklylooked around the hallway and ducked into room 105.

Mulder was lying on his side facing the door. All alone. He seemed to befloating in a state of semi-consciousness. Well, that was expected. They pumped him full of drugsafter his little outburst with hismother. Mulder could vaguely detect the outline of another person in theroom. As his eyes cleared, hepicked up on a gray suit that sent alarm bells of in his head.

As the figure kept approaching the bed, Mulder's heart rate started toincrease. He attempted to spit out asimple sentence, but it came out sounding more like gibberish.

"Is Spooky scared?" Colton leered towards the bed. That voice was theone that Mulder had been hearingin both his nightmares and his waking hours for the past 48 hours. Itwas one and the same. Unfortunately,he had no doubt of that. He could have sworn through the drugged hazethat it was Tom Colton.

"C--Col--Colton?" Mulder managed to stutter out in a whisper.

"Why Fox you remembered." he reached to touch the bandages running upunder the gown from Mulder'sthigh. Mulder flinched away with a violent shudder. "Fox, you didn'tappreciate my technique?"

Colton fingered the stitches lightly enjoying every moment of Mulder'sshivering.

"Get outta my room!" Mulder yelled with all the strength he couldmuster.

"You know what's funny, Spooks," Colton laughed evilly as he reached tocaress Mulder's neck, "no one'sgonna believe you if you tell them its me. You'll just end up lockedaway in a psych ward where you'vealways belonged anyway. Everyone thinks that I'm just a concerned fellowagent."

Mulder had begun to hyperventilate and was thrashing around in the bedtrying to get as far away fromColton as possible. The guardrails were in their upward position onlyserving to better remind Mulder ofthe jail that enclosed him both emotionally and physically. Colton movedcloser and reached down towhere the hospital gown had gaped open. He fingered the stitches onMulder's testicles slowly as if gettinga kick off the pain he had caused. Suddenly, he squeezed as hard as hecould on the already damagedscrotum. Mulder let out a scream of pure fear and pain that sent everynurse on the floor bolting to hisroom.

Scully was luckily the first to arrive. She took in the scene quicklyand saw Tom Colton standing to the sidelooking at Mulder with what seemed like genuine sympathy. Mulder wascurled fetally in the corner of thebed rocking violently. His arms were wrapped so tightly around his kneesthat the skin on his legs wasturning white from lack of circulation. The tears were pouring down hisface as he let out small whimpersand moans to no one in particular. The faraway, glazed look in his eyesalarmed Scully and though he waslooking at her she knew that he wasn't actually seeing her.

The gown was wrapped up around his chest and blood was leaking onto thestark white sheets in largesplotches of dark red. She had seen Mulder in this position before afterwaking from nightmares, but neverto this extent. He usually snapped out of it when someone spoke to him.The room was quickly filling withmedical personnel. Some of them moved to approach the bed, but Scullystopped them. She slowly beganto walk towards Mulder in the same way that she would have approached ahostage situation.

"Mulder? Can you hear me?" She was answered by a frantic nod and apathetic whimper. She saw out ofthe corner of her eye the nurse poised with a syringe to inject intoMulder. "Wait. We might not need that.Just let me try to talk to him. He has nightmares."

She nodded at the nurse to help clear some of the crowdout of the room."Mulder, what's wrong? Why areyou scared?" He just began to nod desperately towards where Colton andsome nurses were standing.Scully motioned for all of them to leave the room and then reached forMulder's hand.

"Sc--Scuuuully..." Mulder cried as he fell into her arms. She wassurprised that he allowed her to touchhim after pushing her away that same morning, but something wasseriously wrong. Scully strokedMulder's hair back from his forehead as she whispered all of thecomforting statements she could in his ear.

He was drenched with sweat and she knew that they needed to check therenewed bleeding that was evidentfrom the irregular stains growing on the sheets. Everyone had clearedout of the room but Dr. Tyler and anurse. Scully attempted to move Mulder back into a supine position, butfound that he clung to her like alittle boy to his mother.

"Sc...Scully, don't leave...please." he whispered into the crevice ofher breasts where his head was laying.She kissed the top of his head lightly and started to help him move.

"I'm not going anywhere, Mulder, but we need to check you out. You'rebleeding again." She maneuveredhis limp body until he was lying on his side. He hadn't eased up at allon his grip, so she was forced to layon her side next to him and allow him to bury his head in her chest."Mulder, Dr. Tyler is gonna come overand examine you. I won't leave, but can I get up and help him?"

"No!" he said with more fervor than anyone else thought he possessed atthe time. He wrapped his armstightly around her and relaxed onto the bed.

"Can I hold you while he does it?" He tilted his head until he lookedright into her eyes. Tears rushed to herown eyes when she saw the agony he was feeling. His beautiful lower lipwas quivering madly. She knewthat all she could do was stay and hold him. What he didn't need rightnow was rejection.

She held him to her and fingered his hair as the doctor began to assesswhatever he had reinjured. When Dr.Tyler began to lift the bandages from the stitches on Mulder's penis,Scully felt the tension in his bodydouble. He was shaking uncontrollably and she couldn't even tell if hewas breathing evenly. She leanedback to look at him and saw that he was sobbing quietly. He was bitingdown on his lip with so hard that itwas nearly bleeding.

"Mulder, don't bite your lip." She said as she ran her hand over wherehis teeth were firmly implanted in his lip. When he let up on thepressure, a loud sob came out that startled everyone in the room. Thetears began to flow in abandon as Scully enveloped him in her arms onceagain. It tore at her heart to see her brilliant partner so devastated.

"Mulder," Dr. Tyler said softly, "I'm going to inject a light anestheticinto the base of your penis so that I can restitch the ones you pulledout."

Mulder was breathing so heavily that she pulled away to make sure hewasn't hyperventilating. He wasn't, but he was close. "Mulder, breathedeep. It'll all be over soon."

She felt him relax a little, but he went rigid again as the nurse rubbedan alcohol pad gently over a spot that would serve to numb his testiclesand his cock. He flinched as she touched one of the stitchesaccidentally.Scully watched as the nurse readied him for the shot and then quicklyinjected it. The needle went into the area begrudingly as if rejectinganymore abuse to the private area. Mulder didn't say a word or let out awhimper as she pushed the plunger down into the base of his cock. Atthis point, he was welcoming a loss of pain in the area.

As soon as that was injected and Demerol was put in the IV, Scullynoticed that Mulder began to drift off. He was exhausted from the wholeordeal and hadn't gotten any real sleep since it happened. As shewatchedhim float in the world between being awake and being asleep, his facecontorted into a series of grimaces as he replayed the horrors of hisown private hell. Dr. Tyler finished sewing up the ripped stitches onhis penisand testicles and pulled back the gauze on his backside. They weren'texactly sure if there had been any extra damage sustained there or ifthe blood from the other area had seeped backwards. He slowly began toexamine the area as Mulder drifted off to sleep. They were all glad tosee him finally give into the exhaustion and fall into a deep sleep.Mulder only flinched once the whole time he was being looked over.

When Scully was finally sure that he was asleep, she attempted to getup. Mulder rallied the last of his energy to hold her back."Scully...don't...leave."

He was moaning sleepily, but managed to persuade her to stay with onlythat simple statement. No one could hurt him if she was lying with him.Maybe he would sleep soundly knowing that his one and onlyprotector was holding him. She was well aware of how tired she washerself and after double checking to see that her Sig Sauer was on thenightstand, she floated off to dreamland to protect Mulder from hisdemons.

Fox Mulder was dazed and confused. The nightmares continued to replay inhis mind.

He could see the bastard getting closer and closer, but yet he couldn'twake up to protect himself.

Was it really Colton? Mulder had never felt too fondly about him and heknew the feeling was mutual, but would Colton really go this far. Mulderwas too tired and afraid to think about it for too long. But Coltonwould know about Scully, and he had been pissed as hell when Scullystood up for Mulder and not him on that Tooms case. It just didn't seempossible, but that eerie voice was the same. He felt as if he was unableto escape the clutches of his subconscious and surface back into thewaking world. He struggled to regain a feeble grip on reality, but thefeeling that something wasn't right was relentless.

He tugged at his seemingly two-ton eyelids and through the crustybuildup of recent crying jags, opened his hazel orbs. He found himselfnestled against a pillow of peach cotton that didn't feel much like apillow. There was an arm around him holding him tightly that he knewwasn't the pillow.



Disturbing flashbacks of Colton's arm around him as the fucker's cocktwitched in him from the sadistic orgasm flooded his mind. Mulderstruggled to untangle himself and move to the other side of the bed. Heonly succeeded in yanking the catheter tube hard enough to hurt. Tearsgushed to his eyes with both the emotional and physical pain that he wasexperiencing.

Through the fear, he dared himself to look up into the face of hisrestrainer.

Mulder was panicking more by the second. He had barely raised his eyesthough when he saw a shock of red hair. His foolishness quickly dawnedon him.

It didn't bother him until he realized that his head was settled snuglyinto her breast and her hand was resting comfortingly against the smallof his back. He reached down between his legs, adding a considerableamount to the pain in his ribs and grabbed the catheter. He was notrisking another violent yank there. He turned over gingerly to his otherside and moved as far from her in the bed as he could. He didn't reallycare that the simple act of turning over involved putting most of hisweight on his already tortured buttocks. He was now safely out of herarms. There was too much time to think when he was cuddled against hisbeloved Scully. He would get lazy and comfortable and then, he wouldforget.

There was too much of a risk in forgetting and there was so much hewished he could forget. He just wasn't ready to let Scully hold him asmuch as he had wanted it before. Now, there was just too much physicalcontact involved in it. He wasn't ready to talk to her or anyone elsefor that matter. And he definitely was not ready to confess his love forher.

Scully awoke realizing that there wasn't a warm body next to heranymore. Mulder had retreated all the way to the right side of the bedand was cuddled against the railing. The blanket was wrapped around himas tightly as possible. She reached over to rub his back, but wassurprised to see him flinch away after the episode they had gone throughthe night before. "Mulder, are you awake?"

She was almost positive that he was, but she wanted to see how he wouldreact. Avoidance was his favorite defense mechanism and she was prettysure that the wall had been put up. He didn't respond to her question,so she reached over gently to caress the two inches of his back thatweren't damaged. She was startled and a little unnerved when he revoltedfrom her touch and turned over with lightning speed.

"Mulder, I--" she started holding out her hands.

"Scully, please leave me alone. Just get outta here please."

The hurt in his eyes pleaded desperately with her. She was so afraidthat he would fly off again and end up in the psych ward that shequickly scrambled off the bed. He stayed huddled to the railing andseemingly went back to his not-so-restful sleep. Scully pulled herselftogether and exited the room in a daze.

By the time she reached the waiting room, there were tears rolling downher face. She threw herself onto the sofa and tried to compose herself.She had been forewarned that Mulder would probably not be receptive toher comfort, but it still hurt. Her heart ached with the knowledge thathe needed her so badly, but was pushing her away. Her psych rotation inmed school had taught all these things educationally to her, but theywere hard as hell to hear emotionally. She looked up when the doorslammed quietly to see Dr. Tyler and another young man walk into theroom. Quickly, she smeared the tears off her face and focused on whatthey had to say.

"Dr. Scully, are you okay? I see you got some sleep last night." Dr.Tyler said with genuine concern.

"Yes, I'm fine. It's just been kinda tough." she said looking up at thesecond man. He leaned down and took the seat beside her.

"Dr. Scully, I'm sure you know that rape can be almost as hard on thepeople close to the victim as it can be to the actual victim." His deepbrown eyes were filled with compassion as he tried to lend a comfort toher. He was a tall, handsome man with oval glasses and sandy brownhair. She could see that he desperately wanted to help.

"Who are you?" was Scully's only response.

"How rude of me," Dr. Tyler said quickly trying to salvage thesituation, "Dr. Scully, this is Miles Fletcher. He's a rape counselorand therapist who's been through it all firsthand. He's going to talk toMulder after breakfast."

Scully let out a pent-up huff. "Good luck."


"Yeah, I've heard that I might need it. I wanted to talk to you aboutthat actually. Mr. Skinner said that you know Mulder better thananyone." Fletcher looked towards Scully for some type of response, butgot none. "I was just trying to get a feel for the kind of patient I canexpect him to be."

Miles continued on and Scully sighed realizing that she was taking outher anger on this man. "He's gonna give you the combination routine."

Fletcher and Tyler's eyebrows raised questioning the definition of thecombo routine. Scully chuckled softly even though nothing was funny."He's going to prove that he can outwit you and he's going to bedifficult and uncooperative and not really let you know a thing abouthim the whole time."

"So he has psychological training?"

"He graduated from Oxford magna cum laude in criminal psychology. He'salso licensed to practice clinically in DC, but he never has. He workedin the FBI profiling section and is considered to be the best." Both menlooked impressed with Mulder's credentials.

"Is there anything else I should know?" Miles asked.

"Well," Scully grimaced, "his life hasn't been all that happy. When hewas 12, his sister was kidnapped and has never been found. I wouldventure to say you could call her his obsession. His father beat himexcessively and his mother didn't care. I guess you could say he'sexperienced a lot of his psych training first hand."

The therapist looked a little shell-shocked as if wondering what he wasgetting into, but didn't respond because Maggie and Skinner walked in.Both of them walked over and quickly embraced Dana. She looked around asif expecting someone else and then said, "Where's his mom?"

Maggie's face turned dark. "I didn't tell you when we talked beforebecause Fox got upset, but she left."

"Really," Scully said sarcastically, "I guess she wanted to see how muchshe could hurt him and then leave."

"Her exact words were 'that it would be better for both of them.'"

"Mom, do I detect a hint of hostility?" Scully said with her first smilein days.

Walter returned a warm smile and replied, "Mrs. Mulder managed to pissall of us off before she left."

Scully let out a laugh. She had forgotten how good it felt to laugh. Itwas pretty funny that Mrs. Mulder had angered her mother. Maggie Scullywas one of the most even-tempered people on earth, but one insult to herchildren and she was hot. That Irish temper came flying out like flieson shit. She considered Mulder more of a son than his own mother did.

They were filling Dr. Tyler and Miles in on the family history of Tinaand Fox Mulder when an exasperated nurse came walking through the door.

"What's up, Cheryl?" Dr. Tyler asked.

"He won't eat a bit. I've threatened NG tubes and unless you go in thereand tell him to eat and he actually does it, I'm going to enjoy stuffingthat tube up his nose." she said firmly.

Scully giggled and looked at Skinner. "Now that's the Mulder we know."

"Alright, Cheryl. I'm right behind you." They all followed him out ofthe waiting room and down to Mulder's room. He was propped up in bedsitting on a padded donut used for patients who had rectal surgery withthe most stubborn, little boy look on his face that Scully had everseen.

"Mr. Mulder, what is this I hear about you refusing to eat?" Dr. Tylerraised his eyebrows, but spoke firmly to show Mulder that there would beno foolishness tolerated here.

Mulder glared at the nurse and muttered, "Bitch."

"I will not allow you to antagonize my nurses, Mr. Mulder." There was ahint of playfulness in his voice, but there was no doubt that he meantwhat he had said.

"You really expect me to eat a meal that I could drink through a straw.Everything on the tray is in liquid form." Mulder groaned crankily.

"You'll be thankful that it is once it makes it through you digestivetract." Dr. Tyler was not in the mood to play with this patient whoobviously was going to be argumentative and childish. It was a damn goodthing that looks didn't kill because the one Mulder shot back at him waslethal. Tyler realized that the only way he was gonna get anything outof Mulder was to compromise. "Alright Mulder, here's the deal. You don'thave to eat all of what's on that tray, but you do have to drink theEnsure. If you don't, I'll have Cheryl insert a NG tube immediately."

Mulder put on a pout and looked to Scully for support, but realized thathe wasn't going to get any there this time. He had just kicked her outof the bed and she was probably pissed with him. "I'm too tired to eat.I'm going to sleep."

"Oh no, you don't. You're eating before you do anything." Dr. Tyler wasnot playing around anymore. He had compromised and now it was time toplay hardball. Mulder didn't respond at all. They all knew that hewasn't asleep yet. Who did he really think he was kidding? Reluctantly,Tyler nodded at Cheryl to sedate Mulder, so they could insert the tube.

She approached the bed slowly and lowered the rail. In a split second,Mulder had sat bolt upright in the bed. He was swaying even though hewas sitting and it was obvious that the movement hadn't been as easy ashe made it look. The nurse put her hand on his shoulder and began topush him back down on the bed.

"Don't fuckin' touch me!" Mulder screamed at the top of his lungs. Thenurse backed off immediately and once again, it was Scully who cametoward the bed.

"Mulder, will you eat?" She pried gently.

"No, I wanna go to sleep. Now." He was so goddamned bullheaded when hewanted to be.

"Mulder, you can either go to sleep and let us put the tube in or go tosleep after you drink that one little can of Ensure." Scully was hopingthat he'd be willing to compromise with her, but to no avail. Tearswelled up in his eyes and he was obviously well beyond reasoning. Milesdecided to step forward and see if he could provide Mulder with anunderstanding friend.

"Mulder, I know what you're feeling. I've been there."

"Who are you?! Get the fuck out of my room! You don't have a fuckin'clue!" The tears were pouring down his face and he was curled into afetal position rocking.

"Actually, I do. It happened to me too, Mulder." Miles was approachingthe bed slowly and talking at the same time. Mulder had stopped sobbingand yelling when he heard Miles' statement. "It gets better, Mulder. Ipromise it does."

"Yeah, that's what people have been telling me my whole life. It'll getbetter, but it never fuckin' does." He was visibly tired and fighting tostay awake.

"Mulder," Scully said reaching for his hand, "why don't you go to sleepand they'll put the tube in, and then when you wake up, we'll take itout." She gently took a hold of his hand, but he recoiled violentlyalmost hitting her. He did, however, knock her off-balance.

"Scully, I asked you not to fuckin' touch me!" He was crying violentlyas if he felt guilty for knocking her over, but couldn't do anythingabout it. Dr. Tyler saw that the situation was only escalating andmotioned for Cheryl to grab the already prepared syringe of Ativan. Thatwould work fastest and right now that was what they needed.

As she moved toward him with the syringe, he freaked. "No needles! Don'tfuckin' touch me with that needle."

He was screaming so loud that nurses from down the hall came in to checkon the excitement unfolding. He kicked out towards the nurse when shetouched his arm with the alcohol swab and connected squarely with herstomach. Skinner and Colton were on him like lightning. They struggledwith Miles and Dr. Tyler to hold Mulder down. Miles noticed thatMulder's eyes were focused on one spot, Tom Colton, who was holding himdown.

"Mulder, talk to me. What's wrong?"

"It's him! Get him off me, please!" Mulder sobbed the last bit withdeep, gut-wrenching cries. Skinner first thought that the comment wasdirected at him, but then he realized that it was Colton. He continuedto hold him down, but nodded for Colton to exit, but figuring that itwas just a frantic placement of blame.

Scully cut in first. "Mulder, that's just Colton. He's not going to hurtyou." Mulder was letting out pitiful sobs now.

"Yes he is, Scully. It was him. He raped me!"

"Mulder, we'll take care of it just relax." She spoke soothingly hopingto calm him. Another nurse had come back with a new syringe of Ativanand handed it to Dr. Tyler. Mulder looked up at Scully and Skinner andit was as if for the first time he understood.

"You're in on it! You told him to do it!" He was hissing at Scully andSkinner. They both looked appalled that he would even think so andwaited for Tyler to inject the sedative. "You want him to drug me, soyou can kill me like you originally planned."

He reached out and bit Skinner hard on the hand. Skinner yelped, butdidn't let up at all on his grip. Quickly, Dr. Tyler plunged the needleinto Mulder's hip without even sterilizing the area. It took a total ofabout thirty seconds before Mulder dropped off gibbering about Scullyand Skinner's betrayal.

"We need to transfer him to the psych ward as soon as possible. I cancheck his physical injuries up there, but there was a definite intent toharm others and probably himself. Put restraints on him until we can gethim moved." Tyler was not happy about having to restrain a patient whowas raped while tied down, but there was no alternative.

Scully started to cry softly while Skinner looked at her with surprise.How could Mulder really think that they would be against him. There wasnothing to say or do because he was on his way to the psych ward inrestraints.

Mulder was dreaming a technicolor version of his own rape. It was as ifhe knew it was a dream, but he couldn't quite wake up. There were somany differences and yet there were a billion similarities. He couldfeel the tight grip of something holding his arms and legs down, but hewasn't face flat like he had been on his desk. He was on his back andhis ass was throbbing from the pressure. What the hell was going onhere?

He was struggling to awaken when he felt a hand touch his forehead andpush his hair out of his face. Christ, how many times did he have totell this people that he didn't want to be touched? He felt like a blindman in a wind tunnel. He could hear everything that was going on, butyet he couldn't see and it all sounded like it was light years away.

"I think he has a fever. Can we take his temp?" He knew that voice. Itwas the one he usually wanted to hear when he woke up, but today justwasn't one of those times. He couldn't deal with her hovering today.

"Yeah, but I'm going to have to run upstairs and get a thermometer."Mulder's state of awareness rose a notch with that evil word.

"Why is that?" That was definitely his Scully. Always wanting to knowwhy there wasn't an obvious explanation for everything.

"Because the aural thermometers that we use were recalled by themanufacturer and the psych ward is not exactly first in line for the feworal ones we have left. They stuck us with the rectal ones and I reallydon't want to use one of those on him."

He listened as the nurse left the room and came back awhile later. Hekept struggling to surface into consciousness when he realized suddenlythat those were restraints on his arms, but he couldn't remember when orhow they got there. All he knew was that they scared the shit out ofhim. The nurse gently put the thermometer in his mouth and held itthere. After a couple of minutes, the thermometer was removed.

"He's at 100.1. Can we put him on a fever reducer?" Scully asked. Therestraints were suddenly released and he was rolled gently onto his sideby some rather strong orderlies.

"Yes, but I want to briefly examine him to see where the fever isoriginating." That was definitely Tyler now. Mulder shuddered when thediaper-like underwear the doctor had put on him to support his swollentesticles was lowered. The hands touching him could only be Scully's.They were tiny and gentle hands that had traveled the highways of hisbody many times. They were like a lover's hands the way they knew everycurve. He was embarrassed and yet he was glad that it was someone hecould trust.

He dozed as she and Tyler looked over his body. Sleeping was mucheasier than thinking about what they were doing. It was easy to ignorethe clinical procedures until he felt her gloved hand separate his ownswollen buttocks. It scared him how much just that simple gesture hadhurt. Rivulets of aching pain were shooting all over his groin and lowerback. He shivered again as the lubricant came into contact with hisanus. Why was that shit always so damn cold? The burning sensation thatfollowed was enough to make him want to slip into unconsciousness againwhether the bastard was coming back or not.

The feeling tripled as Dr. Tyler deftly pushed some kind of scope intohis rectum. The lube was like bleach being poured over fresh cuts. Hewhimpered in pain startling all those who had believed that he wasfloating in la-la land somewhere.

"Mulder, it'll only take a second. I know it hurts." Scully was onceagain trying to make him feel better.

He only replied with a groan to let her know that he had heard her, andyet was in too much pain to acknowledge the comments. The burning hadsubsided somewhat, but there was still a dull ache echoing through himon top of all the millions of other aches and full-fledged pains that hewas feeling. Unfortunately, most of those pains centered in an areabelow the waist and above the knees.

"Alright, Mulder, I'm going to take it out. Hold still." Dr. Tyler saidas he started to pull back the instrument, irritating the stitches andfissures near his anus. He fought every muscle in his body not to curlup in a ball and thrash around on the bed. It was even worse beingpulled out.

Scully was alarmed to see the grayish shade that Mulder's face turnedand just as quickly, the green that crossed his cheeks. "Get me abasin!"

She said it just in time. The nurse threw an emesis bowl at her asMulder began to retch. There was absolutely nothing in his stomach andso all it did was enhance the pain.

"Get some Compazine or a painkiller or something!" she yelled at thenurse. "Mulder, I need you to answer a question for me. Are you sickbecause your stomach is upset or because of the pain?"

He grimaced and attempted to say something, but nothing came out. "Comeon, Mulder, help me out a little."

"Pain..." was his one word, whispered answer. And it was all she neededto hear. Morphine was plunged into his IV and he was blessed with thedisoriented haze that came with painkillers before he could even thinkto fear the restraints and Colton.**************************************

Scully had to admit that she was absolutely exhausted. She was alsoincredibly confused. One minute, Mulder was screaming at her to getaway from him and the next, he was letting her examine him like nothingwas wrong. She sat at the side of Mulder's bed and held his hand untilSkinner came to the door and motioned for her to come out. They hadleft the restraints off Mulder for awhile and she figured that he wouldbe okay if she was just outside the door. She tiptoed out of the roomto the hall where Skinner was waiting.

"Can we talk in the waiting room, Scully?" Skinner asked, nodding as ifhe didn't want Colton and Ruben to hear what he was about to say.Scully just started moving towards the room across the hall. Once theywere inside with the door shut, Skinner began to speak.

"How's he doing?"

"Well, he has a fever now, but he was doing okay when I examined himwith Tyler. I can't think that he really meant what he said. He wasscared to death. I've never seen him like that."

"What do you think about Colton?"

"I don't know what to think, sir. Mulder was very obviously terrifiedof him, but I don't know if he was even lucid. I think Colton's aschmuck, but I don't think he'd do this." Scully said with a shrug.

"I have to agree. I don't have great news from the team either. Theyfound absolutely nothing in the office, but Mulder's blood...and stuff."Skinner looked a little uncomfortable as he spoke. "They really didn'tfind anything else. No fingerprints, and no other body fluids. Theyfound a small hair sample, but no one really thinks its going to amountto anything."

Scully nodded sadly. "I hate to admit this, sir, but I don't even havethe energy to think about this right now. I want to find this bastardmore than anything, but I'm no good to anyone right now."

"Why don't you go get some rest? I'll stay with Mulder for awhile."Skinner offered.

"Thanks, but I'm not leaving him. There's two chairs in there though,if you'd like to try and catch some rest. That's what I'm going to do."

Skinner nodded and they both moved back towards the room. Scullywouldn't settle until she had first checked Mulder's vitals. As soon asshe did, she curled up in the chair and fell into a dreamless sleep.

*************************************







The pain was splitting him in two. There was a jackhammer in his ass.

Nose, ass, arm, ribs, legs; they all blended into a mass of pain.Nothing else existed at that moment, but the pain ricocheting throughhis body.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! PLEASE NOOOOOOOOOOOO!! OH GOD IT HURTS!!" Scullyand Skinner were shocked out of sleep by screams of terror.

"Mulder!" They both yelled simultaneously and looked toward the emptyspace in the bed. The thin trail of blood leading to the corner wasenough to show them to Mulder. He was huddled in the farthest, darkcorner of the room, rocking against the wall. His eyes were open, butthe glazed, faraway look proved that he had no idea where he was.

"Why!? SCULLY!! Please help me!" He was whimpering pitifully, butwouldn't let either of them get close enough to comfort him. There wasblood all over the hospital gown from where he had yanked out the IV.The catheter had also lost its connection to his bladder and there wasurine leaking onto the floor. Skinner could only guess that the pain inyanking the catheter out had only added to his waking nightmare.

"Sir," Scully said turning to him, "can you leave? If it's just me, Imay be able to help him. Tell Miles that he's unresponsive, but don'tbreak out the Valium yet. Just wait outside the door." He just noddedand moved to do as she had instructed.

"Mulder...Mulder It's me, Scully. You're having a nightmare. It's over.No one is gonna hurt you." She took a step closer, but retreated whenMulder curled himself further into the corner.

"Get out, Scully!! I don't want you to see!!" He was shakinguncontrollably and crying in loud, gasping sobs.

"Mulder, its okay. No one is hurting you. Wake up honey. Can I come overthere?" She extended her hand to him to take the first step. Mulder wasjust about to take it when Miles burst in the doorway.

"NOOOOOOO!" Another heartwrenching sob penetrated the room. Scullyturned on Miles with a face as red as her hair.

"Get out! He was starting to respond!" She then turned on Skinner. "Itold you not to let him in here."

"Sc..Scu...lly..."

She shrank down next to Mulder when he called her name, but a nurse andtwo orderlies pushed past her. She turned into a lioness protecting acub as soon as she saw that he was being threatened. "Don't you daredrug him! He's not violent! He's scared to death and you and thatgoddamned needle you're determined to put in him aren't helping."

She was a force to be reckoned with at this point. They all stepped backand looked towards Miles. He hadn't meant to let the situation escalate,but had done exactly that. And he knew at this point not to fuck withDana Scully.

"Okay..let's all just calm down. Can we at least move him back to thebed? Will you tell him we're going to move him and that we won't hurthim?" He asked her gently. She nodded, but still had the blue fireburning in her eyes.

"Mulder, we're going to move you over to the bed, so we can fix your IV,okay?" she whispered reaching for his hand, "No one's gonna hurt younow. I'm here."

He looked up at her as if just hearing what she had been saying thewhole time. The glazed look had lifted some, and he looked more aware.He was still rocking slightly, but he had stop crying in deep sobs. Aconfused, befuddled expression crossed his face. "Scully?"

Her face broke into a wide smile that only Mulder could provoke. "Hey,you had a nightmare. We're going to move you back to the bed. I'll beright here the whole time. I promise."

His lower lip trembled slightly, but he nodded in understanding. Theorderlies and the nurse moved to help him back onto the bed. A smallwhimper escaped as they picked him up, but he trusted Scully enough tolet them move him as long as she was there. Scully had to admit thatthis surprised her, but she wasn't going to remind him that he hadaccused her of betrayal not so long ago.

When they got him back to the bed, Scully gently turned him over to makesure there was no damage done to the stitches in his rectum. They alllooked okay up his back too. Mulder lay back on the bed and let Scullylook to see what the catheter being yanked out had done. Scully wasalarmed some by this. The old Mulder would have rather died than letScully examine his private parts. He would have made some lewd commentabout her just wanting to get her hands on him and then fought her toothand nail, but not this Mulder. He was looking up at her with frightenedeyes, but letting her do what she needed to do.

She dismissed the nurses from the room and told them to call Dr. Tyler.Miles and Skinner were the only ones to stay as she grabbed some glovesand lifted his penis. She had to clean blood and urine off him, butthen found that the inside of his urethra had been scraped and wasprobably going to give him a hell of a urinary tract infection. Anothernurse came in and quickly reinserted the IV as Scully talked Dr. Tylerinto leaving the catheter out long enough for the burning to stop.Mulder began to cry again as everyone worked around him.

"Mulder, what's wrong?" Scully asked carefully. He didn't answer, butjust kept crying.

"It's okay. He needs to get all this out," Miles hesitated, "I have badnews. We have to put the restraints on him because he's still not fullyaware."

Mulder's head jerked up to look at Miles on that. "The hell I'm not."

As much as Scully hated to admit it, in a way, he was right. If Mulderhad another nightmare, who knew what kind of damage could be done? Shestudied the tile on the floor and then turned to Miles. "I'm going togo get him some ice chips."

As she walked out the door, she nodded to Tyler to do what he had to do.Tyler quickly understood that Scully did not want to be present whenthey put the restraints on. It made her look like an enemy and she didNOT want that. Skinner also decided that it would be best for him toleave.

They were lucky enough not to have to watch Mulder's face in disbeliefas they buckled the webbed restraints around his ankles and wrists. Hecried softly whimpering from time to time. He couldn't know that Scullyjoined him in his tears apologizing from the waiting room. Mulder closedhimself off and fell back to sleep with the help of the Valium that hadbeen inserted in his IV.

***********************************
"Fox...Fox..." Who the hell was it that was so damned determined not tolet him sleep? Everybody wanted to wake him up every ten seconds tocheck if he had a temperature or if his ass was bleeding.

The voice wasn't Scully's. He was sure of that. It almost sounded likehis mother, but he had made enough accusations when she was here that hewould be lucky to hear from her in six months. He had to admit tohimself as much as he hated to be touched, those fingers running throughhis hair felt pretty damn good. Slowly, he opened his eyes with anexaggerated sigh.

"Fox, you've decided to join us finally." Maggie Scully was smiling downat him with her best "I'll be your mommy" look. It instantly made himwant to cry. Tears threatened to overflow, but he held them back.

"Fox, what's wrong?" Maggie's face quickly changed into a concernedexpression.

"I'm okay. My eyes are just watering." He said without meeting her eyes."How long have I been asleep?"

"Quite awhile, sweetie. Walter and I made Dana go home and get somesleep and a shower. She was ripe!" She said with a smile as shecontinued to run her fingers through his hair.

He nodded, but honestly he didn't care. He was thinking about therestraints and afraid to look down at his hands. He knew what he wouldsee. Flashes of being under Colton came back to him when he saw thestraps around his arms. Somehow, he managed to push them away. Beingdrugged into submission was not a good way to fend off a rapist and nowthat Scully wasn't here, he had no choice, but to protect himself.

"Fox, the doctor wants you to eat. There's a tray on the way up. Willyou try to eat for me?" He really didn't want to, but felt like athree-year-old with the way he was being talked to. It didn't reallymatter, but he just wasn't used to it. His own mother hadn't treated himlike a child when he was one. How could anyone say no to Maggie Scully?

"I'll try, but how am I supposed to feed myself with these things aroundmy hands?" He said motioning towards them. As if on cue, a candystripercame in with a dinner tray. She began taking off the covers on the plateand Mulder once again noticed that everything was liquefied. Thecandystriper left and came back with a tall male nurse.

"Let's get these off you and then maybe we can get some food into you."he said unfastening the belts.

Maggie took in the disdainful look that Fox was giving the tray and thenurse. She was surprised, however, when he stretched his fingers,actually picked up the can of Ensure, and took a sip. The look on hisface was like the exaggerated one she always got from her kids whengiving them cough medicine. "Fox, it can't be that bad."

"You have no idea how many times I've had to drink this stuff." he saidalmost painfully. He lifted the can again and took another sip slowly asif trying to get it all in before he could really taste it. He was stillso weak that the simple act of lifting a cup and putting it down wastiring. Dr. Tyler walked in the door to check on him and report on hiseating habits.

"How we doing, Mr. Mulder?" he asked cheerfully looking at the IV.

"This stuff tastes horrible." Mulder said with the infamous pout.


"I agree with you on that. I had to drink it once and swore I'd never doit again."

"Yeah, but you're making me drink it." Mulder said with a frown. Nosooner had he picked up the can to take another sip when he turnedghostly pale and then a faintly green. He gagged into the emesis bowlthat the nurse had put in front of him. He brought up the little bit ofEnsure he had gotten down and then continued to dry heave painfully.

Scully and Skinner walked in punctually as Mulder collapsed exhaustedlyback onto the bed.

"Mulder!" Scully said rushing over to the bed. He turned on his sideaway from her as soon as he saw her approaching the bed. She halted inmid-step remembering his utterances of betrayal. She had hoped they hadjust been tired ravings after the last outburst where he wanted hercomfort, but he had not forgotten. Dr. Tyler turned and looked at Scullypityingly. She stood rooted where she had stopped looking at the floorin disbelief and grief.

Mulder was lying quietly on his side as Maggie washed his face off witha cool washcloth. She knew that Dana was upset, but she also knew thatthere wasn't a thing she could do about it. Mulder's eyes were shut ashe attempted to ride out the tremors that were still echoing through hisstomach. Dr. Tyler walked around to the side of the bed and asked him toroll onto his back. Mulder did so with a grimace and Tyler began to tiltthe bed back into the prone position. As soon as Mulder was flat again,Tyler lifted the gown and began to slowly palpate his stomach. Hetouched on spot and saw the wince that Mulder tried to hide. He hit itagain and got a dirty look from Mulder.

"You pulled a muscle right there dry heaving." Tyler said looking atMulder. He then decided that now was as good a time as any to break thenews. "Mulder, you're probably going to think that I'm the devil forwhat I'm about to do, but we really have no other choice. You can't seemto keep anything in your-"

"Nooooo! I tried to eat! It's not my fault!" Mulder interrupted shoutingfeebly from the bed.

"Mulder, I'm sorry. I know you tried, but you need energy and the onlyway you can get that is by eating. NG tubes don't hurt, but we also haveto reinsert the catheter to measure your output." As long as Mulderthought he was a hateful son of a bitch at the moment, he figured hemight as well throw that in.

Tears welled up in Mulder's eyes. "I can't get a fuckin' break aroundhere, can I?! Nobody gives a shit about me. Just flood him with drugsand tie him the bed so he shuts up. Even people I trusted wanna dothat."

As he said the last sentence, he looked directly at Scully. His reply toher pleading look and tears was "I would have never done that to you,Scully."

Mulder was struggling weakly against the male nurse, Eric, who waspushing Mulder back in the bed while trying to shoo everyone out of theroom, except Maggie. Maggie was the only one who might be of any comfortto him during this. It wasn't going to be fun trying to get a catheterinto a patient's abraded urethra. He wouldn't have wanted it in his.

He then moved towards Mulder's bed. "Dr. Tyler, would you like me toinject the sedative into his IV?"

"Yeah, Eric, why don't you do that?" Tyler said with a sigh. He feltlike the biggest asshole in the world. It seemed like he was torturingMulder and he really didn't want to. He was putting Mulder out and then,he would insert the catheter and the NG tube in while he was asleep.Eric swiftly injected the sedative in the IV while Mulder simply laywatching him.

"Mulder, I'm going to sedate you, so that you won't feel any of this. Iam not doing this for the fun of it. I'm doing this because you needit, but I'm going to try to make it as pain free as possible."

Mulder looked up at him and for the first time since they entered theroom, the smartass look came off his face. "Will I be restrained when Iwake up?" It was obvious that Mulder was trying not to display hisfears.

"As long as you can promise me that you will not pull any of those tubesout voluntarily and as long as someone is in the room with you at thetime, they scan stay off." Everyone in the room was thankful that Tylerhad compromised with Mulder. There wasn't anyone who wanted to seeMulder in restraints.

Mulder's eyes were already drooping heavily with the sedative swimmingin his blood. He nodded quietly and settled back on the bed as if hewas trying to ready himself for the procedure.

"Mulder, I am going to put the restraints on you while I insert it, butthey will be off when you wake up. I promise." Mulder lay back quietlywhile Eric worked, but they could all tell that things weren't goingthat well. The alarms on both the heart rate machine and on the bloodpressure monitor were dangerously close to going off, but hopefully, thesedative would take over any second.

"Noooo.. it's.. not.. my fault.." Mulder was whispering as loud as hepossibly could, but it was obvious that he was tiring quickly. Therewas blood seeping through the gauze around his nose. All of the sudden,his eyes closed and he seemed to fall off into a Valium-induced sleep.

Quickly, Tyler and Eric secured the arm restraints as well as placingone around his chest to keep his upper body flat. Mulder was mumbling inhis sleep and tears were running down his face. "I...I tried...nobodycares...Scully? Mom? I doen want no tubes...lemme go...sleep."

He had exhausted himself. He was barely lucid, but he did know what wasabout to happen despite the drugs. Maggie continued to brush hissweat-drenched hair out of his face and murmur comforting words into hisear. Once the monitors seemed to be returning to normal rhythms,everyone in the room let out a sigh of relief. His body was finallytelling him what was best. Whether he would pay any attention to thatwas questionable, and probably not forthcoming.

Eric came over with a capped syringe and a small package. "I thoughtmaybe an analgesic would help with the pain since we have to put tubesin two pretty damaged passages." Eric said with a shrug.

"That's a good thought. Why don't you go ahead and inject it into his IVnow. Then it'll work for both." Tyler replied. Eric went ahead andplunged the syringe into Mulder's IV. Mulder hadn't moved since hisfinal outburst, so everyone figured that he was out. They gave theDarvocet a couple of minutes to set in and then Tyler gripped thedreaded naso-gastric tube.

What they didn't know was that Mulder wasn't completely unconscious. Hecouldn't just let himself surrender to the haze. Instead, he wasfighting to stay awake in some capacity. Though felt like he wassmothered in layers of cotton, he could still discern what was going on.

Normally, Tyler would have let the nurse do this, but with the damagethat Mulder's nose had sustained, he wanted to do it himself. He madesure that the tube was lubricated fully and then began to feed it intoMulder bruised nasal passage.



The tube was ever so slowly making its way up his nose and it wasn't invery far. He had had his finger farther up his nose than his damned tubewas. The pain wasn't as debilitating as he had expected because of theDarvocet and the Valium, but it was there and hurt like a motherfuckerno matter how diluted. He could feel it inching its way past thestitches. The pain that radiated all over his face made tears well up inhis eyes. Each millimeter felt like a mile to him. He knew that Tylerwas being as gentle as possible, but fuck if it didn't hurt. He felttears fall when Tyler accidentally stabbed it into the side of thepassage.

The tube had finally made its way past the stitches in his nose and wasworking down his throat. He gagged loudly when it hit the back of histhroat despite the drugs, but fought to avoid the inevitable series ofdry heaves. Tyler was able to pass the tube down the esophagus fairlyeasily and without causing Mulder any intense pain. It was a strangefeeling though. That tube that looked really little when it was in otherpeople felt like a baseball bat lodged in the back of his throat.

Finally, Mulder felt the tube slip past his cardiac sphincter and intohis stomach. Tyler seemed to breathe a rather loud sigh of relief whenthat was done. Mulder had to admit that as much as he hated that damntube, it was better than throwing up every five seconds. At least theywould leave him alone now.

Every time he thought of those he had to consciously stop the imagesthat flooded him. Colton standing in the doorway, Colton setting up thevideocamera, Colton's fingers in his ass, Colton slamming his face intothe desk, Colton talking about Scully, Colton jerking him off, butmostly, Colton coming in his ass.

Mulder shivered at those thoughts, but something was not quite. He knewthat they had stopped the bleeding on his nose and decided not torestitch the couple that had fallen out. He was panicking and starting to thinkthat they enjoyed looking at his abused testicles and cock. Then heremembered.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOT IN MY DICK!" he could hear himself yelling, butit sounded far away. He wanted to fight, but just didn't have theenergy. He was just now getting food into him after a lull of whatseemed like weeks. Oh fuck, they were getting ready to stick that thingin him. He couldn't even bear to yell anymore. His throat hurt from hisearlier screaming and the tube. He was starting to wonder if anything inhis body would ever be functional again.

"Shit! He's still awake! Can we knock him out completely here? I toldhim he wouldn't have to feel any of this." Tyler snapped at his medicalstaff.

Mulder squirmed to the extent that he could muster when he felt someonegrab his hips and hold them flat to the bed to make sure that he didn'tmove and cause himself more pain.

Mulder felt the burn asvmore of the sedative hit his arm through the IV,but he was still fighting to stay awake. There was no one to protecthim, but himself.

Suddenly, Tyler pushed the catheter into his penis; Mulder felt anintense flash of pain. His whole groin erupted like a volcano. Lava wasdefinitely floating through that tube from what he could feel. He'd belucky if he could ever have children at the rate this was going. He feltevery centimeter of that tube go in. The nerves in his cock werescreaming to make it stop. He could feel the abraded flesh beingreopened and rescraped every push of the way. The bastard was holding onso tight to the stitches on his balls and penis that he thought he'dhave another set of bruises.

The doctor was making tiny little circles trying to make sure the lubecoated everything and allowed Mulder a break from the scratching. Mulderhad never experienced anything this painful. How many people knew whatit was like to be scraped on the inside of one of the most sensitiveorgans in the body?

As Dr. Tyler went slowly down the last couple of inches, Mulder fellinto blackness. He'd had just about enough. It was better to pass outand get attacked than endure that any longer. The tube had just hit hisbladder and he had obviously managed to make a deeper cut there when hepulled it out. His last coherent thought was a reminder to neverhallucinate again.>

Scully wasn't quite sure what to do. She wanted to help Mulder, but hewouldn't even look at her. She hadn't wanted to put the restraints onhim, but she was doing it for his own good. He was scared and confusedat the time with no idea where he was, but he sure as hell rememberedher betraying him. She found herself wanting to get down on her kneesand beg for mercy, but instead here she was dragging herself up thesteps to her apartment with sagging shoulders and dark circles under hereyes. As much as she hated to admit it, this whole incident was weighingheavily on her. Mulder was her best friend not to mention other thingsand who wanted to see their best friend raped. All she wanted to do wascurl up in her bed and sleep until the rapist was caught, but if Mulderwas ever going to forgive her, she was going to have to work her ass offand figure out who the culprit was.

She dragged herself into the mailroom to find her box overflowingbecause it hadn't been checked in 4 days. On top of the pile, there wasa small package. Scully was instantly cautious when she saw that therewas no address or name written on the brown packing paper. In fact,there wasn't anything written at all on the box. Slowly, she pulled itout of the mailbox along with the rest of her mail.

she thought as she headed back to her car withan armload full of mail. No way was she going to open this until she wassure there were no explosive devices inside. Maybe it was Mulder'sparanoia rubbing off on her, but whatever it was, she was calling itcaution. As she placed her hands on the steering wheel, she noticed thatthey shook slightly from both exhaustion and an adrenaline rush. Seemedlike she was living on those these days. Quickly, she started her carand tracked her way back to the Bureau.

Agent Williams was surprised to see Dana Scully back in the Bureau.Skinner had called with explicit directions that she was to go home andto be escorted there if she refused. She had gone without a fight, butnow a half an hour later was back. He didn't have to wonder what she wasdoing back for long.

"Agent Williams, I found this in my mailbox. Someone obviously brokeinto it and slipped this in. There was no address on the envelope oreven a name. I didn't want to open it at home. It could be--"

Before Scully could even finish the sentence, Williams was examining thepackage. "Agent Scully, do you think this has to do with the case?"

"I would bet on it." She said sternly. The exhaustion was still evidenton her face, but was partially replaced by a keen determination.

"Perhaps we should call SAC Mahoney down here and let him know?"Williams said without looking up from the package. He had pulled out allkinds of high tech equipment to determine if there was any danger inopening the package. Scully didn't know what half the stuff was, buttrusted Williams to fully survey the situation before opening thepackage. She turned to the phone and dialed the switchboard to directher to Mahoney's office phone. He answered on the first ring and let herknow that he'd be there less than five minutes.

Williams was intently inspecting the package. The silence in the roomwas weighing on Scully's nerves more than a room full of people wouldhave. She was just about to leave and go find a soda when Williams setit down on the table.

"Well, hate to disappoint, but it looks like there are no explosivedevices in this. It's just a regular videotape." He said as if he werewishing it had been more exciting.

"It's a videotape?" Scully turned to see Mahoney walking in the doorwith five other agents in his tow.

"Yes sir, I found this in my mailbox when I went home and I asked AgentWilliams to make sure it didn't contain any explosives." Scully had onceagain become the mask of professionalism. "I'm not sure its anythingright now. I wasn't aware that you were bringing any team members withyou. It may just be a big disappointment."

"Agent Scully, I trust your instincts. Why don't we just watch the tapeand find out?" Mahoney said with a small smile. Williams quickly pushedthe tape into a VCR slot that was connected to a large TV. He gave theremote control to Mahoney and allowed him to press play. There was nohesitation on Mahoney's part. He pushed the button and they were allgreeted with a snowstorm.

No sooner had it started than a crystal-clear picture of Mulder facedown on his desk as someone wrapped duct tape around his anklesappeared. Everyone in the room let out a gasp when they saw Mulder'sface. The desk around his nose was covered with blood, as was his face.His nose was lying crooked almost next to where it had been minutesearlier. Scully was staring with horror at the screen. She really didnot want to watch this, but it was their only lead right now.

Mulder was making small whimpers of pain as he was being repeatedlykicked in the kidneys. There was no way to tell who the assailant wasbecause only his arms and legs could be seen on the tape. His head wascovered with a black ski mask and he also had on black gloves. All ofthe agents stood stock-still staring with a morbid fascination as theattacker showed an exacto knife to Mulder. There was little responsefrom Mulder's direction, but the knife sunk into his skin until all hisclothes were ripped from his body. All that was left behind was onceflawless skin now marred with bleeding red cuts.

The voice that they all heard talking to Mulder was now talking aboutScully. She was horrified to hear that this tape had been madeexplicitly for her viewing pleasure. You didn't have to be a profiler toknow that this bastard was enjoying everything he was doing. There wasno way to determine who that voice belonged to at this point. It hadobviously been distorted through a computer while Mulder's voiceremained intact.

She knew the worst was yet to come as she saw fingers being thrust intoMulder from behind. She could tell that Mulder was tensing in order tokeep the fingers out, but he was only given a hard squeeze on histesticles for that. She detached herself and began to watch with aninvestigator's eye.

Mahoney and the other agents seemed to be as appalled as she was asMulder let out a yell and began to vomit all over the desk. Questionswere being answered, but this wasn't anything she had ever wanted tosee. The assailant quickly took Mulder's pants and wiped it all to thefloor, giving him some respite, but then he was back again plungingfingers into a space that was meant to accommodate none. All of thesudden just as they all thought the man was going to whip out his penisand shove it into Mulder, Mulder let out a scream and blood flew fromhis penis onto the desk. One of the younger agents left the room inobvious disgust as Mahoney looked at her for an explanation.

"He squeezed the prostate so hard that blood was forced out." Shereported with medical detachment. She could almost see the other maleagents turn green, but no one had time to react because the rapist hadput a condom on and was now forcing his way into Mulder's rectum in oneplunge after he punished him with a bite to the lower back. Scullyfought tears at the expression of repulsion and intense pain that shesaw on Mulder's face. He was trying so hard to let the pain flow andpretend that it wasn't happening, but to no avail. He had almost passedout, but the assailant wouldn't even give him the pleasure. She wasrelieved that it was almost over, but then she saw the man reach aroundand attempt to bring Mulder cock to life. With all the damage that hadalready been done there, she could only imagine how the cheap handjobwas adding to it.

The bastard was trying to make Mulder feel guiltier by making him come.And damned if he didn't. Mulder came with a grimace of pain and a bloodysplatter all over the desk. She could see the other man's body tense ashis own orgasm passed over him. He then stretched out on top of Mulder.Mulder was on the verge of passing out as the rapist yanked himself outand wiped any traces of blood off himself. Mulder was roughly uncuffedand dropped to the floor where the videocamera could no longer observe.

The team stood in complete silence trying to gather words to describethe horrors they had just seen, but there were none. Scully exited theroom and went to the nearest bathroom. She stood and stared into themirror, but she wasn't seeing her reflection. She was bombarded with theimages that she had just seen on screen.

She couldn't begin to comprehend the motives and utter hatred that ittook to commit an act like that. All of the nuances that she had seen atthe hospital now made sense. The surgical-like cuts perpendicular acrosshis back, arms and legs, his revulsion when people touched him, even hisfear of Colton seemed more legitimate. The assailant had been wearingthe non-descript FBI regulation suit; it was plausible that Muldersimply laid blame on the first person he saw wearing the same thing. Thebite on his lower back was explained as well. They had even tried tomatch that with dental records, but to no avail.

Most of all, she understood his intense fear of being restrained.Everytime he closed his eyes while he was tied down, he had to convincehimself that he was lying in a hospital bed and not on top of his owndesk. How would he ever be able to work in that office again?

His episodes of hysteria and unawareness were completely justified. Ifthat had been done to her, she wouldn't be able to sleep either. And shedidn't dream with the vividness that Mulder did. His eidetic memory kepttrack of each detail and replayed it in his mind making the wholeflashback all the more terrifying. He constantly dealt with nightmaresof guilt due to Samantha's and her own abduction, but this was happeningto him personally and he could recall every horrid detail. This wouldonly add to his late night/early morning awakenings with clammy skin anda rapid heartbeat. A noise in the hallway brought her back to reality.She knew that standing in the bathroom crying over Mulder's misfortuneswas not going to help him. She needed to get back in that lab and solvethe goddamn case.

Mulder awoke to a sharp burning in his groin as well as the "not solittle" tube in the back of his throat. He was too tired to even attemptmoving and he had just woken up. The little fight he'd put up earlierhad completely exhausted him. He could see the bruises that had alreadystarted around his wrists and knew that there were probably identicalones around his ankles. But whatever sedative they had given him hadbeen strong. He hadn't dreamt a thing. Just completely relaxing, healingnon-REM sleep.

His hospital gown had ridden up around his waist while the blanket wasdown around his knees. The one area he least wanted exposed was therefor everyone to see. They had even taken that goddamn supporter offwhich was a relief at the time, but it would have afforded him somecoverage if it was still on. He looked down for the first time andactually examined the damage that had been done.

He reached down and pulled the blankets up to his chin, but stillcontinued to look under them. His cock was marred with stitches that ranup the back and around to the front. His balls were so swollen that ifhe attempted to put on real pants right now everyone would think that hewas some kind of freak. The image of himself with pants on and thismonstrous looking crotch actually brought the first smile to his face in

days. He chuckled softly at his own private joke.

His good humor didn't last forlong. The flashbacks came again with their terror and threat. Muldertried to push them away. The last thing he wanted right now was to starta catatonic screaming fit. He tried to think of the few happy things inhis life, but they all dealt with Scully or Samantha. He didn't want tothink about Sam. She had rejected him making his entire search a wasteof time.

Scully was another subject. In his rational mind, he knew that shehadn't wanted to restrain him, but his emotional mind was king of thehill right now. Scully usually stuck up for him and this time shewouldn't believe a word he said. Everyone just passed him off as a nutand shot him full of drugs. He had managed to forgive Skinner, but forsome reason, it wasn't quite as easy to forgive Scully. She meant somuch more to him.

Skinner was still the only father figure that he'd ever had, but he hadlived his entire life without that. Scully was the only person he hadever truly trusted with the secrets of his life. She had held him andcomforted the first couple days and he had pushed her away. But now whenhe wanted her here to help, she betrayed him.

He really didn't want to think about it anymore. There was too much tothink about and it took too much effort to think. He wriggled around inthe bed attempting to move the hospital gown down below his genitals,then he looked over at Maggie Scully who was asleep at his bedside. Shewas more of a mother than his mother had even thought to be. Thegentleness that she used whenever she dealt with him brought tears tohis eyes.

Skinner was still asleep in the other chair, snoring away. The chair wasdefinitely too little for someone the size of Skinner to be asleep in,but he wasn't having any trouble sleeping from what Mulder could tell.His mouth was half open and there was a little stream of drool in thecorner of it.

Mulder was getting ready to resign himself to sleep when Pratt walked inwith a nurse. Pratt smiled and waved slightly to let Mulder know that heknew he was awake, but didn't want to awaken Skinner and Maggie. Thenurse came towards the bed and briefly checked to see that the catheterwas okay and then measured his output. She was an older lady whoobviously had no qualms about touching the private parts of men. Shepulled out a brand new aural thermometer and showed it to Mulder. He wasrelieved to see that she wasn't going to have to take it anywhere else.She took note of the readings on the blood pressure monitor and theheart monitor. Then she lifted the gown and began to check the stitchesand minor cuts for any signs of infection.

"These will all be coming out soon." she said cheerfully. She brieflypicked up the gown and ran a wet cloth over his genitals gently to cleanthem off. Skinner had opened his eyes and now was alert and watchingover the proceedings as was Maggie. They both looked a little dazed, butthey were watching closely.

"Mulder, would you mind if Mrs. Scully and Mr. Skinner left for aminute? I'd like to talk to you alone." Pratt asked. Mulder looked athim suspiciously, but nodded his consent.

"Fox, we'll be right outside the door if you need anything." Maggie saidas she kissed him on the forehead. The two of them exited and it didn'tescape Mulder's investigative eye that they were looking quite chummy.

"Mr. Mulder," the nurse said looking at him sympathetically, "do youneed to have a bowel movement?"

He looked up at her with disgust. "No, but you'll be the first to knowif I do." She smiled, picked up her supplies and left the room.

"So, Dr. Pratt, what do you want to talk to me about?" he said almostjokingly.

"First of all, you can call me Miles. But I don't want to play mindgames with you, Mulder. I've been there. I know you're scared shitless,but I also know that you are probably not going to admit that to me. I'mhere to help you, but I can't do a thing until I know that you want tohelp yourself."

The smug look was no longer on Mulder's face. The psychologists he hadseen before and there were quite a few, usually waited until the secondsession to give him the cut-the-bullshit speech. This guy did it beforeit started. Mulder figured he must have talked to Scully and Skinneralready. Mulder was at a loss for what to say. He knew he was fucked upat the moment, but it would get better with time. Granted, it wouldnever go away, but it would get a little easier.

"Listen, I know you're here to help me, but I'm not ready to talk aboutthis yet. I just want them to catch the guy and then I wanna get out ofthis hospital."

"I bet that you do, but there are a lot of things going on in your mindright now that I might be able to identify with. I'm not some cocky-asspsych guy whose coming in here with no experience. It happened to metoo. I remember what it was like having some guy stuff his dick in myass when I didn't want it. I remember him making me come and thenwondering for the next 5 years of my life whether I was gay or not. I'mtrying to cut those five years out for you, Mulder. I don't want you tohave to go through what I went through."

Mulder had blanched to the color of the sheets when Miles had talkedabout his own experiences. As much as he knew that it had happened toother people, he still couldn't believe that anyone would identify withhim. Maybe it was arrogance or egotism, but he always thought thatthings were different when they applied to him.

"I...I appreciate what you're trying to do for me right now, but I'mjust not ready. I don't want to talk about it yet." His voice hadquivered slightly towards the end of his statement and he could onlyhope that Miles hadn't noticed even though he was sure he had.

"Alright, I understand that, so let's talk about something else. Yourpartner, Scully, she doesn't believe you. You think its someone in theBureau. Someone you both know and she doesn't believe you. How does thatmake you feel?"

Mulder hated that question. He had vowed to himself a long time agothat if he ever practiced clinically not to ask anyone that question.Even so, Pratt was hitting the nail on the head. Mulder had neverconsidered himself to be a very predictable kind of guy, but this dudehad him pegged. He seemed to know that Mulder felt more for Scully thanhe was willing to admit. He really didn't want to talk about thiseither, but what the hell, maybe this guy wasn't so bad.

"It pisses me off." he said bluntly. Miles seemed surprised that Mulderhad even answered the question truthfully. He sat with a dumbfoundedlook on his face.

"Have you talked to her about it?"

"No, she let them put restraints on me. She knows how much I hate themand she let them do it anyway." The little boy look was fully institutedby now. The lower lip was out and his arms were crossed over his chest.

"Mulder, if you think about that, don't you think what she was reallytrying to do was protect you?" Mulder was still looking at him with thepissed off pout. His lower lip was stuck out as far as it would go. "Atthe time, you were not lucid, you had just pulled out an IV and acatheter and she didn't want you to get hurt again."

"There were other things they could have done besides put me inrestraints." he said stubbornly.

"Like what?" Miles was truly going head to head with him. He wasn'tletting Mulder get away with a thing.

"Well...somebody could have stayed in the room and made sure that Istayed in bed..."

"Like Scully? Do you really think she could have made you stay in thatbed? You're about a foot taller than her."

Mulder smiled slightly. "Yeah, but I'm not exactly very strong at themoment. Scully's stronger than she looks."

"Mulder, when you have flashbacks, the adrenaline starts pumping andSkinner can barely get you down."

"I'm still pissed at Scully. She's worked with me for five and a halfyears and she should know by now to trust my instincts, but yet when Itell her who it is who attacked me, she doesn't believe me."

"Mulder, he did a hell of a lot more than attack you. Have you admittedto yourself yet what happened? You haven't been rational yet. Shedoesn't trust your instincts because you aren't the Mulder who shespends all her time with right now."

"Don't you think I know what happened to me. I might never be able totake a shit again because this fucker who claims to uphold the laws ofthe same government I do, thought he should teach me a lesson for beinga better agent than him." Mulder's face was red and his blood pressurewas rising, but not to a dangerous level yet.

"Say it, Mulder. Tell me what he did to you. You need to say the word."Mulder looked at him with tears in his eyes and streaming down his face.

He hesitated for a moment, but then in a soft whisper it came out. "Themotherfucker raped me." He began to sob softly.

"It's gonna be okay, Mulder. Just don't hold all this in. What he did toyou is not right and Scully is gonna make damn sure that whoever it wasgoes to jail. You did good, Mulder." Pratt stood up and walked to thedoor. He said something that Mulder couldn't hear softly to Scully, whohad suddenly appeared.

She walked in and looked at Mulder who was still sitting in the sameposition, looking straight at the wall and crying. He looked up when hesaw her enter and began to cry harder. She reached to embrace him andwas surprised when he allowed her to. She pulled him into her arms androcked him until he fell asleep again to her comforting words beingwhispered in his ear.

Mulder awoke from his second peaceful slumber of the day when Scully'scellphone rang. He couldn't believe that he hadn't had a singlenightmare after his little session with Pratt. He felt a little betternow. Maybe being with Scully did that to him.

He was still curled on his side in her arms as she manuevered the phonearound him. She knew he was awake, but obviously was as content with hisposition as she was. There was no way that he was glad that any of thishad happened, but at least it was making him evalute the importance ofScully in his life.

"Mulder... Mulder?" Scully was lightly rubbing his cheek trying to get aresponse.

"Yeah..." he said groggily.

"I need to go over to the lab. We have a lead. I want to check it out."She didn't want to tell him that she had seen the entire thing onvideotape, but he was going to want to know how they got the lead. Itwas going to devastate him to find out that by now most of the agents inthe J. Edgar Hoover Building had seen the video of his rape, but therewas a lead and at this point that was all that mattered.

"What did they find?"

Scully's voice faltered as she began to speak. Images of Mulder on thescreen in front of her came flying back. She could lie to panels ofBureau officials, but there was no hiding her true feelings from Mulder.

"Scully? What did they find?" He had a nervous look on his face now. Shehad seen something that had upset her pretty bad, but--

Scully saw understanding dawn on his face as she had a billion timesbefore during cases, but this was different. This was his own case hewas solving.

"Please tell me you didn't...goddamn it, he did..." Mulder's composureand relatively positive mood fell. "Yes, Mulder. Whoever it was put thetape in my mailbox. I took it to the lab not knowing what it was and itwas analyzed and the whole team saw it." Tears threatened to run over asshe said it more for the humiliation and degradation that this onlyadded to.

"Scully, its not you fault...its just that...I'm sorry you had to seeit. I wouldn't ever have wanted you to see that." He had tears in hiseyes as well but he was holding them back as well as he could.

"Mulder, I want to catch the bastard who did this. It was cruel andhorrific and if I have anything to do with it, he'll rot in jail for therest of his life. Better yet, he'll die for what he did to you."

"Scully, go. I now you'll do what you can." The look he gave her wasmelting her heart. He was so afraid of letting her leave, but he alsoknew it was the only way they were gonna catch the person who did it.She leaned over and kissed his forehead before she walked out the door.

Dr. Tyler came walking in with two nurses and his ever-present clipboardnot long after Scully left. Mulder had been lost in his own confusionletting himself cry and try to get it all out, but that wasn't gonnahappen for a long time.

"Good morning, Mulder. I'm glad to hear that you had the benefit of someundisturbed sleep. We even got some nourishment in you."

Mulder looked at him with disdain. Did this man really have to jokeabout stuffing a feeding tube down his nose? "Yeah, I feel a littlebetter."

"Do you think its time to get rid of some of those stitches?" Tylerasked with a smile.

"Only if the Foley's going too." Mulder said smugly.

"The Foley's going too, but the IV and the NG tube stay."

"Fine." Everyone in the room was surprised that Mulder had settled forthe compromise so quickly. He lay back on the bed, but his body wasstill tense.

"I'm going to do the exam and take things out as I go, okay?" Muldernodded, but Maggie saw the fear in his eyes as she left the room. He wasso scared that the pain would be as bad as it was last time.

"Alright, Mulder, let's get started." Tyler first went to the bloodpressure cuff and took it off. Mulder's BP had remained at a steady ratefor quite awhile unless, of course, you counted when he was with Miles,so there really wasn't a risk. He then took the gown off Mulder'sshoulders and pulled it around the sling on his arm. The slightest jerksent shimmers of pain through his shoulder, but Tyler was gentle didn'tcause Mulder any unnecessary pain.

The nurse turned the heart monitor off and began to pull the electrodesoff his chest. The sticky stuff off those damn things would itch likecrazy, but Mulder was just glad that the incessant beeping was gone.Tyler went ahead looked in Mulder's ears, eyes, and throat. He liftedbandages from around the laceration on Mulder's head to make sure thatit was healing okay, but he decided to stay away from the bandages onMulder's nose. He'd check those out when he took out the NG tube.

He did a quick neuro test just to make sure that the head injury hadn'tbeen more damaging than they thought. He moved on to examine the glandsin Mulder's neck and then he lifted the bandages on his shoulders tocheck the stitches carefully. Everything so far was healing nicely. Theglands under each of Mulder's arms were normal size and the dislocatedshoulder seemed to be on par to recover. Mulder had said that it ached,but that it wasn't too bad.

He then listened closely for pneumonia. There was a tiny rumble that wastrying to become larger, but he could nip that in the bud with theantibiotics. He briefly listened to Mulder's heart and then motioned forhim to lay back on the bed. Mulder hesitated slightly, but complied withhis orders. Tyler pulled the blanket up to his waist and then took thegown off completely. The nurse was right there with a fresh one to puton him. She folded it back and stepped away to allow Tyler to checkMulder's ribs. Mulder winced at the slightest pressure, but he had dealtwith them on many occasions. Broken ribs were a pain in the ass andthere was no two ways about it.

His whole abdomen was one big bruise in every possible shade of blackand blue. His kidneys were still emitting a small amount of blood intohis urine, but it had lessened considerably. The contusions on both hiskidneys and liver had begun to heal, but were still present uponexamination.

Tyler then lowered and repositioned the blanket and gown so thatMulder's groin and genitals were visible. He gently palpated eachquadrant and watched Mulder's reaction. He was still tender, but theredidn't seem to be any cause for concern. He then began to unwrap thebandages around Mulder's genitals while being careful of the catheter.He quickly checked for a hernia and then rolled each bruised testiclebetween his fingers.

***********************************************

Mulder started to squirm like crazy. Didn't this bastard realize that hewas hurting him? As much as Mulder knew that the whole thing wasnecessary, he was not reacting well to the methodical examination of hisbattered genitals. Every time Tyler hit a sore spot, which was basicallythe whole thing, he flinched. Tyler then pulled out a little penlightand began to look at the stitches on his penis and testicles withparticular interest. At least he was just looking and not touching.

Mulder was extremely uncomfortable with having someone stare athim...there. No woman had ever even done that. It was like they justwanted to get it in their mouth and get it over with. Ouch! Tyler wastouching again. He was getting ready to pull the catheter out. The nursehad checked the bag and clamped it off and Tyler grasped his penisfirmly.

Mulder began to whimper slightly. Having a hand digginginto those stitches was not pleasant feeling. He was squirming inearnest now and trying to get his dick out of this guy's hand. Hethought that was painful until he felt the catheter move deep in hisgroin. The scratch that he had so valiantly made the other day wasscabbed over and that scab was coming off.

"Just pull the damn thing out! Quick!" he yelled at Tyler. Tyler thengrasped his penis even harder and began to pull. Mulder knew he was onthe verge of passing out. The black spots had begun to gather in hisperipheral vision, but he wouldn't let them completely overcome him. Hewanted to pass out because those centimeters were going like milesagain. He wasn't quite sure whether going in or coming out was worse.Finally, just as he was about to pass out, he felt the end of it popout. Tyler let go and Mulder collapsed back onto the bed breathingraggedly.

"Mulder...Mulder..."

Tyler was calling his name. Couldn't he tell that he was trying torecover? "What!?"

"Are you okay?"

"Do I look like I'm okay?"

"Well, actually you don't. You're as white as your sheets and you'reholding onto the rails for dear life." Tyler had let a slightly teasingtone invade his voice.

"Next time you have the pleasure of one of those contraptions in a vitalorgan, why don't you tell me how you feel?" Mulder snapped.

"I'm going to give you a minute to recover while I go get rid of this."He said holding up the catheter.

"Oh, gee, thanks.

Mulder lay in the bed as still as he could after the doctor left.Unfortunately, he knew that the damn guy would come back. Then therewould be more torture. They were gonna take all the stitches out next.Whoopee! He could feel his muscles protesting against the straining hehad just done as they yanked the catheter out. He wanted to move hishead back onto the pillow and scoot his body up in the bed, but it wasjust too tiring. Every piece of him, including some pieces that hedidn't like to think about, was throbbing.

He groaned loudly as he heard the door open, but didn't turn his head tosee who had entered the room. The male nurse who had held him down onmore than one occasion face swam into view. What the hell was wrong withthis dude? He was smiling down at Mulder like he was a present. Thesmart-ass comments that Mulder contemplated saying went down the tubeswhen three other faces looked down at him.

"Am I really all that interesting?" he said sarcastically. Tyler simplyignored him and stated what Mulder already knew.

"We're going to take those stitches out now. We're going to start withthe ones on the back of your legs and work up towards your shoulders.We'll wait until last to take out the ones that will be the mostpainful, but we do want to move you into an examination room before westart."

Mulder winced at the painful comment. He really didn't want to thinkabout this guy that close to his balls with a pair of scissors. He'salready had the pleasure of a razor blade to them by one of his swornenemies.

"Mulder, we're gonna help you move over to the gurney, so we cantransport you." Mulder chuckled to himself. Help was definitely thewrong word. He didn't do a damn thing. The three of them just lifted himover like he weighed nothing. Of course, he had lost about 15 poundsthrough this whole ordeal, but that still didn't make him a lightweight.He lay flat on his back as they began to move through the halls of thehospital.*******************************

Scully sat at the lab waiting for the other agents to present whateverevidence it was that they had managed to gather over the past couple ofdays. SAC Mahoney was standing at the front of the room conversingdeeply with Agent Fuller. Scully wanted them to just shutup and startthe meeting so she could go back to Mulder.

She already knew most of what was going to be presented anyway. The PCRresults on the single piece of hair they had found in the office thatwasn't Mulder's, had been returned, but that was really of noconsequence until they had a suspect to compare the DNA with. Scullywasn't feeling all that optimistic about the case, but she had rushedover here because they had told her there was a lead.

Now, she had been standing here for ten minutes and there was stillnothing to get excited about. Those ten minutes were ten minutes longerthat she could have spent with Mulder. She was feeling extra icy today,so all those little bastards who liked to joke about Spooky Mulderbetter just hold off. She was on the verge of blasting someone just forthe hell of it when Mahoney called her over to a computer that Fullerwas typing away at.

"Agent Fuller has been trying to decode whatever encryption was used todisguise the voice of Mulder's assailant. He seems to be on the vergeof breaking the code." Mahoney said in eager anticipation.

Scully was getting ready to answer when the deep voice of Walter Skinnerspoke from behind her. "That's excellent news, Mahoney. How muchlonger?"

"Actually, sir," Fuller said, "I think this is it right here. Let's allcross our fingers." Fuller quickly jabbed the Enter key and focused onthe screen. A cheer went up around the room when a small screen openedsaying "Program Successful-Encryption Decoded."

"Play it without the encryption! Quick!" Scully said. She, too, wascaught up in the emotion. This was a major breakthrough.

Fuller fiddled around with the mouse for a minute and clicked play onthe audioplayer. Mulder's voice rang out distinctly and then, theyheard the other voice in its true form for the first time.

Around the room, many of the agents began to look at each otherwondering just whose voice that was. The voice was familiar, but no onewas exactly sure who it belonged to.

Except Scully.

She let out a loud gasp and turned to Skinner with a ghostly pale look.Skinner saw that her knuckles were white as she held on to the counterto keep herself upright. "OH MY GOD! Mul-Mulder wasn't...he wasn't crazy.Sir! That's Tom Colton's voice!"

Scully had been shocked and ashamed at first. How could she have notbelieved Mulder? What was she thinking!? She pushed her guilt asidethough and started to gain speed. "That son-of-a-bitch! Fuckin'bastard! How could he do this to Mulder?! I'm gonna kill him!" Shebegan to rant loudly and started to head out of the room.

All the other agents stood stock-still. Scully was right. It soundedway too much like Colton to be a coincidence. Skinner ran to catch upwith Scully and when he did, he grabbed her by the shoulders.

"Scully, you can't go arrest him by yourself. Are you absolutely sureits him?"

Scully looked at him fiercely, but before she could reply, Agent Rubenspoke up. "If she's not sure, I am, sir. I've been guarding a door withhim for three days and that's definitely him."

"Alright then, what the hell are we waiting for? Find out if he's in thebuilding." Someone quickly grabbed the phone to dial security. Indeed,Tom Colton had arrived at work at 8:08 a.m. and had not left thebuilding since.

"Alright, here's what we're going to do. Call Colton and tell him tocome down here. Tell him that we need his help with the profile ofMulder's assailant. When he gets here, we're going to ask him to saysomething on that tape and compare it. Fast. Can you do that Fuller?"

"Yes sir."

*********************************

Special Agent Tom Colton was sitting at his computer typing away. Thecase in Baltimore had been wrapped up, so he was back in D.C. profiling.Colton was completely engrossed in his work when the phone rang. It wasRuben, the kid he had guarded Mulder's room with.

"Agent Colton, we need you to come down to the lab. The team's downhere working and we need your opinion on the profile."

Wow, they needed his help. "Alright, I'll be right there." Quickly,Colton grabbed his coat and made his way to the lab.

"Alright," Scully said, "so we're going to ask him to say 'you can't getout of this that easily.'"

"Yes, unless a better opportunity comes along." Mahoney replied.

"And he isn't going to be suspicious?" Scully said doubtfully.

"Well, he probably will be, but what's he gonna do?" Skinner saidbluntly. "Now, everybody look like you're working. He should be here anyminute."

They all turned back to their legal pads and began to write. No soonerhad everyone taken position than Colton walked in. He walked across theroom to talk to Mahoney. "Sir, they said that you needed my help."

"Yeah," Mahoney said casually, "can you do me a favor first? We need toprogram something into the computer first. Can you read this card?"Mahoney handed the card over and Colton read for all to hear.

"You can't get out of this that easily." He then laid the card down andthe room continued to be absolutely silent. With a click of the mouse,the computer played back the tape. There was no mistake.

Colton turned abruptly when he heard the tape and was surprised to feelthe cold click of a handcuff on his wrist.

"Tom Colton, you are under arrest for the rape of Special Agent FoxMulder." Scully stated as she clicked the other handcuff. Skinner thenstripped him of his badge and his gun.

At the same time that Colton was being arrested, Mulder was beingmaneuvered onto an exam table face down so that they could take out thestitches on his legs. A nurse disinfected the stitches as Tyler preparedto take them out. Mulder felt the first couple being removed. It was astrange feeling to have something pulled through your skin, but on hisnewly calibrated pain scale, it got a low rating. The procedure wasn'tone that he would voluntarily go through, but it was about a 3 next tohaving a catheter yanked out of your already bruised and swollen penis.

The gentle pull and cut rhythm that he felt going up the back of hislegs began to lull him to sleep. Back and forth. Back and forth. It waskind of soothing, like sitting in a rocking chair. Tyler had barely madeit past his calves before Mulder was away in dreamland.

Mulder jolted awake with a gasp as he was being turned over. For aminute, he began to struggle, but quickly stopped when he saw that itwas Tyler.

"Mulder, we're done taking out all those stitches on your back and yourlegs. The only ones left are in your genitals and around your anus."

"Yeah, thanks for reminding me. As if I could forget that littletorment." Mulder snapped crankily.

"Most people scream and holler getting the other ones taken out and yougo to sleep. That's one thing that I haven't seen before." Tyler wasattempting to lighten the mood in the face of what he was about to do,but the joke fell flat.

"Yeah, well, when you've had someone ram all kinds of stuff into littleholes that aren't meant to hold it, your idea of what's important andwhat's not drastically changes," Mulder hesitated for a second and thenadded, "Plus I've never been all that normal of a guy."

Everyone in the room stopped moving at what he had just said. Tyler knewthat he was referring to the catheter mostly, but there was also just ahint of him admitting that he had been raped. Before Mulder was aware ofthe duplicity of his words, everyone in the room continued their duties.

Mulder was once again flipped onto his back. The end of the table waspushed in and a pair of stirrups popped out. His legs were gently placedin them allowing Tyler full view of what Mulder least wanted him lookingat.

he thought.He felt completely exposed. They'd had the courtesy to put a drape overhis knees so that he wouldn't have to watch as they did it, but it wasimpossible to relax when there was a doctor in the middle of your legsabout eye level with your balls.

"Mulder, I'm going to inject a mild analgesic into the base of yourtesticles and penis. I can't give you much because you're already onDemerol, but it should take the edge off. If it starts hurting to thepoint that you can't handle it, I want you to tell me. This doesn't haveto hurt. Ready?" He looked up at Mulder through the frame of his kneesand Mulder suddenly knew what every woman felt like during childbirth.Everybody was looking exactly where you didn't want them to. He noddedtowards Tyler, but the muscles in his thighs were tensed.

Tyler took the syringe from the nurse and uncapped it. Then he rubbed analcohol swab over a small area where Mulder's hip met his groin. Mulderjumped at the cold, wet feeling. "Take a deep breath, Mulder."

Mulder felt himself complying with Tyler's orders whether he wanted toor not. Dr. Tyler injected the painkiller as Mulder exhaled and hebarely knew that it was finished.

"Let's give that a minute to take effect. Does it feel good to have thatcatheter out?"

"It would've felt alot better if it hadn't hurt like hell coming out."Mulder said dryly.

"I know. Its gonna burn the first time you urinate. Do you need to goyet?"

Mulder shot him a dirty look. "I am still capable of knowing when I haveto piss." Mulder turned away and focused on the wall. Realizing that hewas directing his anger at the wrong people, Mulder looked up sheepishlyup at Tyler. His apology was written in his gaze.

Tyler nodded in acceptance and grabbed a bottle of peroxide to disinfectthe stitches. There was still residue of an infection there, but it wasbetter than it had been and the stitches were ready to come out. Muldergasped in surprise as the peroxide began to bubble and fizz. The yelpwas more from surprise than from the pain, although it did stingslightly. Mulder felt the scissors touch his testicles as the firstcouple of stitches were removed. He could feel the yank and pull on hisbruised genitals, but it wasn't exactly painful yet.

Mulder clenched hiseyes shut against the stream of images that popped into his head. Itdidn't help at all considering that the voice was coming from the fearinside him. He could feel the exacto blade so close to his genitals asColton threatened him. Every derogatory phrase he had ever heard hadwanted to come zooming out of his lips, but that blade was too close.His fingers and knuckles were white where he was clenching the mattressand sheets trying to make his brain stop working.

Tyler stopped and looked up at him alarmed slightly by the rapidity ofhis breathing. "Are you okay?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'll...I'll be fine." Mulder said rather unconvincingly. Hisvoice was quivering slightly. "Just finish...fast."

Tyler set back to work, but listened closely to Mulder's reactions.Mulder tried to focus on anything, but the flashbacks that werethreatening his sanity. He wasn't sure if he wanted to think about thestitches being pulled out or the incident. It was a pretty damned rottenchoice to make. Tyler noticed the way that Mulder was clenching his eyesshut and correctly surmised that he was having flashbacks. Mentally, hemade a note to tell Pratt. Tyler was quickly cutting the stitches andpulling them out. Mulder was, however, jolted from his nightmare whenTyler hit a particularly sore spot.

"OW! That hurt!" He yelled. Instinctively, his hands went down to cuphis swollen genitals, but Tyler pushed his hands away and continued towork. He looked up at Mulder once again when his thighs began totremble. Mulder's face was a pasty white and his skin was gettingclammy. Mulder was biting his lower lip so hard that blood had begun totrickle down his chin.

"Mulder?!" he said quickly as he grabbed a sweaty wrist to check hispulse. It was racing, but Tyler wasn't really sure if it was from mentalor physical pain.

"Fox!?" Luckily when Mulder heard his first name, his eyes popped open.They were brimming with tears that threatened to pour out over hischeeks and panic was spelled out in them.

"Mulder, what's going on? What can I do to help?" Tyler pried gently.

"N...nothing...I'm...okay." Mulder wasn't crying, but he was clenchinghis jaw so forcefully that he could barely speak.

"Mulder, you're not okay and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tellthat you aren't. Do you want me to page Pratt?"

Mulder's only reply was silence, but it was enough for Tyler, who noddedat the nurse to put a call in.

"Finish taking them out." Mulder said stubbornly and then added in asmall voice, "You're almost done, aren't you?"

Tyler nodded and sat back on the stool. He had removed all of them fromthe testicles and the underside of the penis, so there were only about 8more to pull out. Before he started, he picked up a small syringe offthe tray and injected more painkiller directly into the penis.

Mulder flinched violently, but made no comment as Tyler set to finishingoff the last couple. He had been perched up on his elbows watching theaction, but now he was lying supine and staring up at the ceiling. Hecould hear the voice repeating over and over again in his head. Thenauseous feeling in his stomach only intensified every time he thoughtabout the sneering face.

Mulder shook his head as if the vigorous shake would get rid of thememories that haunted him. His eyes flew open as the hand finally lefthis genitals. Tyler was done and changing his latex gloves now. Hewanted to examine the area briefly now that there were no stitches tointerfere. There was still a large hematoma in the scrotal sac, but itwould go done with the swelling. The penis had a couple of smallercontusions, but they simply needed time to heal.

Tyler allowed the nurse to wipe off the residue from the stitches as hestepped back and surveyed Mulder's current posture. Unfortunately, someof the worst was yet to come. He needed to thoroughly examine the rectumand decide which stitches to take out and which ones to leave in. Healso knew that when Mulder had to attempt a bowel movement, there wasgonna be a lot of screaming and cussing. The nurse had taken Mulder'slegs out of the stirrups and pulled out the end of the table.

Pratt showed up outside the door at about that time motioning to befilled in. Mulder seemed oblivious to the rest of the room and justturned over onto his side. Tyler took that as a cue and went to talk toPratt. Pratt was immediately full of concerned questions.

"What happened? Why'd you have to page me?"

"He had some trouble when we took the stitches in his genitals out."

"What kind of trouble?"

"Well, there aren't many men who enjoy having another man around hisballs with a knife, but I think he may have been threatened that wayduring the rape. He got incredibly tense and pale when I started to cut,and it wasn't from pain either. He grabbed the sheets like he washanging on for dear life, and he was on the verge of hyperventilating.For a minute, I thought I was gonna have to sedate him."

Pratt's forehead was now creased with worry. "How's he doing now?"

"I'm done taking out those stitches, but I have to do a close exam ofhis rectum. I thought I'd give him awhile to recover." Tyler said with ashrug.

"Alright, I'm gonna go talk to him." Pratt turned and pushed his waythrough the door into Mulder's room. Mulder was huddled on his side inhis normal fetal position. His eyes were open, but he looked a tad dazedas he stared at a diagram of an ear on the wall. He looked up at Prattalmost sheepishly as he came around the bed.

"I'm fine. Tyler thought I freaked, but I didn't." Mulder was definitelyback to feeling indifferent towards any help psychologically, but Milesstill heard the quiver in his voice.

"Oh, well, then why don't you tell me why the nurse's recorded pulse forabout 10 minutes ago is sky high?"

Mulder glared at him and snarled, "If you had someone with a blade toyour balls, you wouldn't be all that calm either."

"I would if I knew it was someone trying to help me."

"Yeah well, trust isn't one of my strong points." Mulder said quietlyrolling his eyes.

"So I've noticed." There was a lull in the conversation as both of thempondered the ramifications of Mulder's trust issue.

"Listen-"

"Mulder-"

They both started at the same time.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Pratt said with genuine concern. "Tylerseems to think that you were threatened with a knife during the rape andthat his exam caused a flashback."

Mulder looked rather surprised as Pratt told him that and then mumbled,"Damn, maybe he shoulda been a psychologist... I can deal with thisalone."

"Can you? From what I've heard, you can't sleep and you can't eat. Theonly two undisturbed sleep cycles you've had were either in Scully'sarms or under the effect of a sedative. Were having a flashback?"

"No. I was just a little tense." Mulder said avoiding eye contact.

"Bullshit, Mulder! I thought we got past these mind games. If you wantto talk later, page me." Pratt started to walk out the door, but haltedwhen he heard Mulder speak.

"She saw." Mulder said in a tiny whisper.

"Saw what, Mulder?" Pratt said turning back to the bed.

"Scully saw the rape." Mulder was intently studying the pattern woveninto the blanket.

"She was there?"

"No, he sent her a video." Mulder's voice was quivering with emotionsthat threatened to overtake him.

"There was a video?" Pratt asked confusedly.

"He taped the whole thing to send to her. She saw it. Half the Bureauprobably did too."

"Did you talk about it with her?"

"No. How can I talk about it with her? I never wanted her to see it."There was a single tear rolling down Mulder's cheek.

"Mulder," Pratt said sitting down across from him, "I'm sure it's thelast thing she ever wanted to see."

Mulder let out a shaky breath. "I don't want to talk about it yet."

"Fine, Mulder, but I'm going to stay through the next exam just incase."

"Would you tell him to get in here and finish? I just wanna get it overwith."

"Alright, I'll be right back." Pratt said walking out of the room.

"What the fuck are you talking about Scully?" Get these goddamnhandcuffs off me!" Colton was struggling hard against Scully and managedto push her away, but Skinner quickly grabbed him. Colton was pullinghis wrists hard in the cuffs and wiggling his shoulders, but Scullydidn't even hesitate in her reading of his Miranda rights.

"Let me outta these things! Dammit guys! You've had your fun now, let mego!"

"Colton, you fuckin' bastard, your sorry ass isn't going anywhere, butto rot in a jail cell!" Scully said vehemently. Her hand was itching totake out her gun and shoot the bastard, but she knew she couldn't.

"You have no fuckin' proof! Why the hell would I rape Spooky?" Coltonwas pulling harder against Skinner's restraint, so Skinner shoved himtowards a table and flattened him against it.

"Colton, we've got enough evidence to send you to jail for life and Godknows, you deserve worse than that, you sick son-of-a-bitch!" Skinnerhissed in Colton's ear.

"What are you gonna do? Have Spooky get up on the stand?! Scully, you'llhave to come and hold his fuckin' hand! The psych ward probably won'tlet his psychotic ass out anyway!"

Skinner yanked Colton upright roughly. "Who's fault is it he's in thepsych ward?" Skinner said. The other agents in the room now knewfirsthand why Skinner was feared in field offices around the country.They could all hear his teeth grinding fiercely as he held Colton.

"Sure as hell isn't my fault. Spooky's probably had so many dicks up hisass he didn't even-"

Colton was quickly silenced by Scully's fist. She came up with the rightand nailed him hard in the nose. Blood started to flow freely, butScully didn't even care. She knew she'd probably be reprimanded for it,but there was no doubt that she had been provoked. The other agents inthe room were staring at her with a new respect while they glared atColton with utter disgust.

"You have no fuckin' proof besides Spooky's testimony. They aren't goingto believe a fuckin' mental patient over me! Ow!"

Skinner cut him off abruptly by pulling his elbows back away from hisbody. "Well, they won't have to worry about that. We have enoughevidence to convict you without Mulder ever setting foot in thecourtroom."

Colton raised his head and spit blood out onto the floor. "He'd onlyfuckin admit that he liked the whole thing! Spooky loved every fuckin'moment of it! He came as hard as I did-"

Colton stopped realizing that he had basically just confessed to a roomfull of trained FBI agents, who could all easily serve as expertwitnesses. Mahoney had heard all he needed to of this bullshit. Hegrabbed Colton from Skinner and began to push him towards the door.

"Walt, I'll take care of this, Why don't you and Agent Scully go tellMulder the good news?" He smiled grimly at Skinner and motioned to Rubenand another agent to follow him out the door.

Skinner turned to find Scully gone. He quickly turned to Agent Fuller."Where did Scully go?"

"She rushed out just a minute ago, but all her stuff is still here. Shecouldn't have left for the hospital yet."

Skinner turned to the door that Fuller had pointed at. He wasn't surewhere he'd find Scully, but he had a pretty good hunch. He got on theelevator and jabbed the button to the basement. It didn't take him longto figure out that his hunch had been correct. Scully was standing inthe middle of the X-Files office with her back to him. By the slump ofher shoulders and the way that her hands were clenched into tiny fists,he guessed that she was crying.

"Scully?"

She lifted her hands to her face and wiped at her eyes swiftly beforeshe turned around. "Yes sir?"

"Are you ready to go to the hospital?" Skinner wasn't sure that heshould mention the fact that she was crying. She obviously had notwanted him to see.

"Yeah, I was just thinking..." she trailed off in a whisper.

"Thinking about what?" He said as he stepped closer so that he wasstanding directly beside her looking at the desk forever stained withMulder's blood.

"Thinking that I should know by now to believe him. How many times hashe been wrong when it really mattered?"

"Scully, you can't beat yourself up over this. I didn't believe himeither. How should we have known? The Mulder we've known in the pastcouple days has been prone to incredible mood swings and nightmares. Howcould we have known that he was right about Colton?"

"I've known him for five years. He would never have doubted myjudgement, so why am I still doubting his?," she paused and looked atthe floor, "he can forgive you for not believing him, you're his boss,but I'm his best friend and I totally discounted everything he said. Whyshould he forgive me?" There were tears running silently down her faceleaving little tracks to show where they had graced the pale white skin.

"Dana, I think he's already forgiven you." Skinner said with a knowinglook.

She turned slowly and looked up at him. Her eyes were still brimmingwith tears, but he could see the understanding dwelling deep withinthem. She just had to be reminded that Mulder understood her morecompletely than anyone else on earth.

"Now, shall we go tell him the news?" Skinner said with a smile.

Scully wiped at the tears on her face and flashed a small smile back athim. "Definitely."

Mulder knew what was coming next and was not looking forward to it. At thispoint, he just wanted to get it over with. And he wanted Scully to comeback. Hopefully when all the stitches were out, they'd let him go home.There wasn't anything to keep him here anymore.

At least not anything they could fix.

He lay silent as Pratt and Tyler re-entered the room. The big malenurse, Eric, was behind them, wheeling in a weird looking examinationchair. Mulder wasn't so sure he wanted to get in that thing. Pratt sawthe crease in Mulder's forehead and the way he started gnawing on hislower lip. Honestly, he didn't blame him. Proctology chairs were scarylooking things.

"Alright, Mulder, we need to move you over here so I can get as close tothose stitches as possible. I don't want to mess up any of what'salready healed." Tyler said a little too cheerfully for the situation,but Mulder made no move.

"Why can't I just lay on my side?" he said nervously.

"Listen, I know it looks scary, but it lets me see what I'm doingclearly. I've tried to avoid any thorough exams of your rectum recently,but it can't wait any longer." Dr. Tyler was being firm, but he was alsoletting Mulder know that he was sorry that he had to examine a placethat had been severely traumatized. Mulder turned from where he wascurled on the bed and straightened his gown. Not that it really matteredconsidering that everyone in the room was about to get an up-close andpersonal view of his battered ass.

Mulder walked over to the chair eyeing it warily and attempting to holdthe back of his gown shut. It wasn't hard to tell that he had no desireto get in it. Tyler showed him how to kneel on the platform and then, hetipped the chair forward gently to a point where Mulder's rear end wasat his eye level. It gave Tyler full access. Mulder was surprised by thesudden weight on his ribs. For a moment, he forgot that his ass waspresented for all to see and concentrated on the piercing sensation inhis chest. The pain dulled slowly, but left an intense ache where theribs settled into the padded chair. The little jaunt hadn't exactly beengood for them. The back-less hospital gown had fallen open the minutethe chair was tipped, so he was definitely bared ass over kettle.Unfortunately, Mulder felt the first bit of pain as soon as Tylerseparated his buttocks. This was going to be a long exam.

>From Tyler's perspective, things actually didn't look all that bad. Hereally only needed to take out the stitches on the outer ring of theanus because the ones on the inside would dissolve on their own."Mulder, I'm going to rub some lubricant on your anus so that I can getthe proctoscope inside. Just tell me when it starts to hurt. I'm goingto go slow."

Mulder nodded as best as he could from the position he was in. Prattcould see him holding onto the hospital gown for all he was worth.Unfortunately, he remembered this part of his own exam vividly. He couldsympathize with the way Mulder was clutching at straws.

Mulder's other hand was tucked under his chin. From the side view he wasgetting of the whole operation, Mulder's facial expression looked morelike on of the anticipation of the pain to come than of actual pain.Tyler put on a fresh pair of gloves and started to lubricate hisfingers. He took some of the KY jelly and warmed it in his palm beforetouching it to the sphincter. If there was any way this could go easily,he wanted it to.

Mulder flinched automatically as the first bit rubbed into him. Theinvoluntary spasms of the anal sphincters sent him into a whirlwind ofpain. Each clench added to the weight of the stitches. The pull and tugat the tight sutures was hardly noticeable to Tyler, but to Mulder, itwas like a private tug of war. He tried to concentrate on making themuscles stop, but to no avail. Tyler held his finger down firmly on themuscle until the twitching stopped. He knew that Mulder couldn't do adamn thing about the muscle spasms. His body was attempting to protectitself from any further destruction. Finally, the spasms calmed downenough for Tyler to push his littlest finger in. He was going to try towork up little by little until he got to the proctoscope.

Mulder gasped as Tyler's finger began to press into him. He moved hishand to where his mouth was resting and bit down softly on his knuckle.The Demerol was taking the edge off the pain, but that wasn't exactlysaying much. As soon as the finger went through the muscle, Mulder bitdown as hard as he could to keep from yelling. Tyler was working hisfinger in little circles to stretch the anus gently. There was areasonable amount of resistance from the muscle, but the tone wasn'twhat it was supposed to be.

The pain had lessened some for Mulder, but there were still bullets ofwhite-hot pain echoing into his brain from their respective synapses.The muscle began to relax some, but Mulder was still prepared for whatwas coming next.

"Okay, Mulder, I'm going to take this finger out and work my indexfinger in. Okay?" Tyler asked as he wheeled the stool around to look atMulder. Pratt had been standing to the side, but now he moved to watchMulder who was biting his hand and clenching his eyes shut.

Mulder felt as if someone had just shoved a knife in his ass. It wasprobably his own fault because he hadn't told Tyler when it hurt, butthat was no consolation.

"Mulder! Mulder!" Tyler and Pratt were both yelling at him to respond.

"What?!" He said letting up on the grip he had on his hand with histeeth.

"You scared the shit outta me!" Pratt said bluntly. "I thought I wasgonna have to tell Scully you were catatonic."

"I'm fine." Mulder repeated stubbornly through clenched teeth.

"Are you?" Tyler said taking the hand out from under his chin. Therewere teeth marks stamped into his hand, but only one of them had begunto bleed. "You were supposed to tell me when it hurt, Mulder."

Tyler grabbed a bottle of antiseptic and a piece of gauze off the tray.He dabbed some of it on the knuckle and then held the bandage over it."Did you know that human bites almost always get infected?"

Tyler was obviously pissed with Mulder's lack of respect for his ownhealth. "I didn't want to give you a muscle relaxant, but I'm not goingto sit here and watch you suffer. I'll just have to inject it locallyinstead of in the IV."

Mulder's face was red with rage. He didn't appreciate being treated likea 5-year-old whether he'd acted like one or not.

"Why didn't you give me the damn stuff in the first place?" Muldersnapped angrily.

"Because I wanted to give the sphincters some exercise, so that lateron, things wouldn't be so hard." Tyler said matter-of-factly. He couldhave sworn he heard Mulder mutter "bastard" under his breath, but hechose to ignore it and get back to the unpleasant task at hand. Mulderfinally nodded for him to go ahead and do whatever tortuous medicalexperiment he needed to do now.

"I'm going to inject it directly into your anus, Mulder." Tyler saidgauging his reaction to make sure he fully understood.

"I know! Would you just do it already?" He was still pissed andobviously not thinking about the ramifications of snapping at someonewho was about to examine a private part of his body.

Pratt stood back and observed Mulder's mood swings. They really weren'ta surprise to him. Mulder was holding most of the psychological stressinside. Miles knew exactly what was going on in Mulder's head because hehad been there. Every time someone touched him, Mulder wondered how theycould stand it. He felt so dirty that he just wanted to sit in theshower for days, but he also knew that that still wouldn't make him feelclean. Most of all, he was scared shitless that it would happen again.

Nosooner had the thought gone through Mulder's head than he almost jumpedof the table.

"Easy, Mulder, I'm injecting the muscle relaxant. Keep still that wasjust the alcohol swab." Tyler knew that he had to be patient withMulder, but he didn't like being Mulder's dog to kick all the time.

Mulder, on the other hand, was starting to feel like a pincushion. Itseemed like he was always being poked or prodded somewhere he didn'twant anyone touching. Tears gushed to his eyes as Tyler injected therelaxant directly into the sphincter. Fortunately, the drug took effectquickly. Even though it had been injected locally, Mulder felt the restof his body droop considerably.

"I'm putting my finger in again." Tyler reported as if Mulder didn'talready know. His finger was working in little circles again. Therelaxant really didn't do much for the pain, but it allowed Tyler topush through with less resistance. The lack of resistance lessened thesharp, excruciating pain into a duller throb. Tyler watched as themuscle began to accept his finger. He worked gently until he could gettwo to fit without causing Mulder to scream, at which point, he noddedat the nurse to hand him to the proctoscope.

Quickly, he switched the scope with his fingers and pushed it in gently.The Demerol seemed to be taking care of the pain Mulder was feeling, butTyler was fairly certain that Mulder had learned how to cope with painlong ago. Mulder was visibly exhausted from his morning workout, so hewanted to finish his exam and clean out the stitches as swiftly aspossible.

The near panic attack and nervous muscle clenching were weighing heavilyon Mulder because his eyelids were drooping and he had stopped clenchingthe sheets and worrying about the exam. He was too tired to agonize overwhat was being done to his body. Pratt caught the way that Tyler wassumming up Mulder's attitude and they smiled at each other with theknowledge that their patient was seemingly on the road to recovery.

Tyler leaned down and looked into the proctoscope. Mulder's rectum stilllooked like a war zone, but it was healing slowly. The sutures wereholding their own in the thin walls of rectal tissue. There was still amild infection, but they had stayed away form peritonitis and thislittle bit of bacteria would clear up when he irrigated the stitches. Itwas hard to keep bacteria out of a cool, wet area where they couldthrive. The hard part, however, was going to be getting Mulder to have abowel movement. It was NOT going to be fun. Anal fissures were known fortheir excruciating pain during defecation. He only hoped that Muldercould do it because the alternative was much, much worse.*********************************************

Mulder's eyelids flew open when the first bit of the antiseptic wassquirted into his anus.

Mulder thought as it started to hit thestitches. Tyler was squirting a small amount of antiseptic into eachfissure. Mulder flinched and tried to remain calm, but pain signals werefiring rapidly to his brain. The little velocity with which the liquidwas hitting each laceration was the proverbial salt in his wounds. Tylerwas also unintentionally nudging the scope farther into his anus witheach squirt. It reminded Mulder a little too much of Colton's thrusting.

Flashes of the heart-stopping pain that he'd felt when Colton hadreached up and pinched his prostate rehashed through his cursed eideticmemory. The pain in his backside intensified as Tyler began to evacuatethe antiseptic through the tube. He felt like his insides were beingsucked out through his ass. As much as he knew that it was almost over,his mind wouldn't quit replaying the raw, tormented orgasm he had cometo after Colton's demonic handjob.

Suddenly, the fear that Tyler was going to rape him overwhelmed hisrationale. Pain began to radiate throughout his chest as if rats weretrying to gnaw their way out of his chest from the inside. The shallowpants of oxygen that he was sucking in were barely making it into hislungs. He knew that his imagination was running wild, but it was as ifthe one little thought that Tyler might rape him was ruling the 99 otherlogical thoughts that were telling him that he was overreacting. He wastrying to believe them, but that nagging one percent was giving himhell.

He couldn't even take a deep breath because his chest hurt too bad. Hesure as hell wasn't going to be able to calm himself that way. Pratt hadbeen watching Mulder closely throughout the exam and was proud at howwell he was doing. Pratt vaguely remembered having this done to himbecause he had been to busy screaming bloody murder. One moment he wasthinking about how proud he was of Mulder for almost falling asleepduring this and the next, he was watching a panic attack in action.Mulder was grasping at his ribs in a frenzied panic because the pain inhis chest was only escalating.

"Tyler! Stop! Mulder! Mulder! Look at me!" Mulder's eyes opened andglanced his way, but they were panicked and wild with fear and pain."Get me some diazepam, stat!"

"What's going on?" Tyler said as he pulled out the proctoscope a littletoo hastily. He had finished evacuating the liquid from the rectum, buthe hadn't been able to finish taking out the stitches around Mulder'sanus. Little did he know that the vigorous pull that he had just used totake out the scope had only added to Mulder's waking nightmare.

"He's in the middle of a full-blown panic attack. Shit! His pulse isracing! Can we get him upright?" The chair was tilted back withinseconds. Pratt steadied Mulder's ribs as they moved him over to theregular exam and helped him into a semi-fetal position on his side.

After what seemed like hours of listening to Mulder struggle to breatheas a nurse held a mask over his mouth, another nurse entered with asyringe. Pratt quickly injected it into the fleshy part of Mulder'sbackside. There were so many bruises back there that it was hard to findan unblemished spot to put it in. It was only when he went to push theneedle in that Pratt noticed how much weight Mulder had lost. He hadbeen keeping the blankets over him and not showing the fact that hisskin seemed to be stretched tautly over his bones.

To the benefit of all of them, the drug acted quickly. His pulse beganto take on a normal rhythm just as Scully and Skinner barged in thedoor. They had heard the commotion from the hallway as they approachedthe room. As soon as Scully saw Mulder on the table with everyonebuzzing around him, she was at his side brushing the sweat-soaked hairout of his eyes. He flashed her the brightest smile he could musterconsidering the drooping of his eyelids. She lovingly ran her fingersthrough his hair and held his hand as he drifted into an exhaustedsleep.

"What just happened?" she said turning to Pratt, Tyler, and Skinner, butnever letting go of Mulder's hand.

"He was fine one minute and then he was having a panic attack." Tylersaid simply with a shrug.

"I expected him to be emotional initially, but he was almost asleepthroughout most of the exam, so I figured he was okay." Pratt said. Theyboth answered quickly as if they were afraid of being on the receivingend of Scully's wrath.

"I think he's basically exhausted more than anything. We put him throughalot this morning. Let's just get him up to his room and let him sleepfor awhile." As Tyler finished the sentence, he motioned for Eric to geta gurney to take Mulder back upstairs.

"He was okay through most of it?" Skinner asked tentatively.

"He had a couple of rough spots, but we stopped and he worked throughthem. He was upset about one thing though," Pratt said looking away fromMulder to meet Scully's eyes. He saw the residual horror of what she hadseen there. She was traumatized deeply by the disturbing images she hadbeen forced to witness to solve the crime. "He said it was something henever wanted you to see."

Tyler was completely confused at the cryptic path their conversation hadjust taken so he moved to help Eric load Mulder onto the stretcher andaway from the discussion he was obviously not a part of.

Skinner saw that Scully was still ashamed of her actions. Her bodylanguage clearly highlighted the guilt she felt at adding to Mulder'sgrief, but she regained her control almost as quickly as she had lost itand raised her eyes to meet Pratt's.

"I never wanted to see it," she said regretfully as she watched Tylercover Mulder with a blanket, "but I'm thankful that Colton was stupidenough to tape it."

A smile crossed her face and Skiner's as they exchanged a look. Prattshot them a befuddled look and repeated, "Colton?"

Scully's face set into the remorseful mask once again, but Skinneranswered. "We took the tape to the lab to have it analyzed. They wereable to filter out whatever computer generation was used. As soon as weplayed compared the voices, it was obvious that Mulder was right allalong. It was Colton and I actually sent him to protect Mulder." Skinnershook his head reproachfully while Scully let out a grunt that wassupposed to accent the irony in the whole situation, but all it did wasconvince Pratt that they were placing way too much of the blame on theirown shoulders.

"Congratulations to the FBI. Has the arrest taken place yet?" Pratt saidseeing if he could lighten their shame some.

"Yeah, he's done at the station right now. I wanted to tell Muldermyself, but I was a little too late." Scully said without looking upfrom where Mulder was snoring lightly.

"Dana," Pratt started on familiar ground. Psychology he could handle;criminals he could not, "we had no idea whether he was delusional ornot."

Pratt stopped and looked at them both. "Think about the Mulder we've allknown this past week. I seriously doubt if that's the same Mulder whoworks for the FBI. He wouldn't have made it past the first psychscreening if he walked the thin line I've seen him walk emotionally thisweek. He even has admitted to me that you had a right to not believehim."

Scully nodded silently, but turned back towards Mulder. "How long willhe be out?"

Pratt knew that she was avoiding a subject she clearly did not want totalk about. She wasn't ready to let herself off the hook yet. It wouldjust take more convincing, but she had to convince herself. Skinner justshrugged and nodded slightly.

"Probably quite awhile. He exhausted himself emotionally and physicallyplus he had a little help with the Valium. I would say at least fourhours." Tyler reported.

"How long do you think it will be before he can go home?" Skinner asked.

"Well, he hasn't returned to normal bowel or kidney function, but we'regoing to try and fix that when he gets up from his little nap."

Pratt cut in quickly. "I don't think he's mentally stable enough toreturn to his apartment alone yet. He could potentially damage himselfif he wakes up from a nightmare and isn't completely lucid."

"You don't have to worry about him going home alone. He's either goinghome with me or my mother. He'll raise hell about, but he doesn't have achoice. He doesn't even have a bed at home." Scully said firmly.

"What's he sleep on?" Tyler said with a chuckle.

"The couch." Skinner said bluntly with a laugh.

"He can't fall asleep in a bed, but put him in a car and he's out like alight," Scully said smiling and then her face turned grim, "I have acouple of theories as to why he's like that, but all that matters to meis that he sleeps."

"Interesting." Pratt said doing his best Freud imitation.

"Let's get him up to his room." Tyler said raising the rails andbeginning to wheel the stretcher out of the exam

Scully was abruptly awakened by a loud "Shit!" from the bed. She turnedher head to see Mulder squirming around in the bed like a little kid whohad to pee. He looked up and saw her looking at him and grinnedsheepishly.

Scully rewarded him with the smile he always got when he was rousingfrom his most recent bout with death. It was fabulous to see thatlopsided grin again. She couldn't even bear to think about how long ithad been since he'd smiled. "Mulder, what the hell are you doing?"

He looked up at her with embarrassment and blurted out, "I gotta piss."

She laughed for the first time in what seemed like months. "Why didn'tyou call the nurse?"

"Because I didn't want to wake you up." he said as if it was whateveryone would have done in the same situation. "I was gonna get up andwalk there myself, but I knew you would kick my ass if you caught me."

She smiled back at him. He never ceased to amaze her. He was the onelying in the hospital bed and he was worried about waking her up.

"Mulder, I have good news." She said rising from the chair and startingto walk towards the bed.

"What?" he said cautiously as if he was afraid to know.

"You were right all along. It was Colton." Mulder collapsed back ontothe bed and looked up at the ceiling. "Mulder, I'm so sorry I didn'tbelieve you. I should have known better then to doubt your instincts bynow."

Tears lined both their eyes as they turned and looked at each other."I'm sorry for accusing you of being in on it. I wouldn't have believedme either." Mulder said quietly.

"Mulder, I should have at least listened. I'm the one who should beapologizing."

Mulder shook his head as if to clear it. He couldn't deal with thisargument right now. As much as he wanted to be angry in some ways, heneeded her here with him. They'd just have to address it later. "Scully,let's just put it behind us. Has he been arrested yet?"

"We arrested him right at the Bureau. Skinner was here for while to seeyou, but now he's down at the jail interrogating Colton. We have apretty clear-cut case."

"How'd you figure it out?" Every time she said the name Colton a chillran down his back.

"Fuller analyzed the voices and filtered out whatever computerenhancement Colton used. As soon as he played it back, we all knew itwas him. He's facing charges of first-degree rape, assault on a federalofficer, forcible sodomy and some other charges. He could get life,Mulder. I'm going to do my best to make sure he does."

"Am I gonna have to testify?" Mulder asked timidly.

"Skinner's trying to make sure that you don't have to, but its dependenton what happens during the interrogation. If it comes down to thatMulder, you can get through it."

He looked down at the blanket and started to fidget around with hishands. "I had a panic attack earlier, Scully. It was stupid. I thoughtTyler was gonna rape me, even though I knew he wasn't."

"Mulder," Scully said moving the rail down on the bed, so that she couldsit next to him. She then took his hand between her own, "everyoneexpects you to be upset. You were raped. Don't expect so much out ofyourself. Let it heal. We all want to help and I know that's what's hardfor you. When Samantha was abducted, no one wanted to help, but Fox, Iwant to help. Skinner wants to help. My mom wants to. Pratt is doing allhe can, not just because it's his job, but because he sees himself inyou. He remembers how much it hurt. I know it's hard to accept it, butwe all love you."

During Scully's little heart-to-heart, Mulder had moved into her arms.His face was buried in her neck as she rubbed his back and rocked him.She was both surprised and alarmed when he started to wiggle out of herembrace.

"What's wrong?"

"Scully, I still gotta pee...bad!" She erupted into laughter at thedesperate look on his face and the way he was holding himself betweenhis legs. She regained her composure and pressed the call button. Whenthe nurse, Eric, walked in a couple of minutes later, Mulder was stillsquirming and Scully had the full-blown giggles. Eric had to say that it

was a relief to see a smile on both of their faces. Immediately, he tookin the way that Mulder was holding himself and took a stab at what theproblem was.

"Mr. Mulder, do you need to use this?" he said holding up a urinal.

"No, I need to use that," Mulder said pointing at the bathroom.

"Nope, sorry. We still have to check your output for blood."

Scully shot Mulder a look that said, "just do it," and he let out asigh. It was probably time to pick which battles to fight, instead offighting all of them.

"Alright, but you have to leave, Scully." he said with a pout.

"Fine, Mulder," she said with mock exasperation, "but it isn't like I'venever seen it before."


"Yeah well, I was either unconscious or psychotic at the time, so out!"he finished by pointing at the door. She picked up her purse with alittle smile to herself. It was great to see him acting like himselfagain, but who knew how long it would last.

Eric started to pull back the covers and the gown, but Mulder pushed himaway, determined to do it himself. He took the urinal in his own handsand started to position his penis into the hole.

"Now Mulder, Dr. Tyler said it was going to hurt the first time you didthis."

"I know, I've had UTI's before."

"Yeah, but I don't think you've ever had an abraded urethra before."

Mulder shot him a dirty look and pushed his hands away. As he started tobear down, a stinging sensation attacked his loins. It felt as if therewere ants crawling inside his penis. It wouldn't have been an altogetherunpleasant sensation if they hadn't been crawling on such sore skin, butit wasn't as painful as he had feared though. As the urine made its wayup his urethra, the burning continued, but it had lessened considerably.He had really done a job when he yanked that first bit out of hisbladder.

Eric watched as the first bit of urine hit the container. It wasblood-tinged, but that was to be expected after going past all theabrasions plus his kidneys were still healing. Mulder finally let out adeep sigh and lay back on the bed. He let go of the urinal and handed itdisgustedly to Eric.

"That wasn't as bad as you guys made it sound," he said with a look ofdisdain.

"We don't all have your tolerance for pain, Mulder, sorry." Eric said ashe exited the room. As he walked out, Scully walked back in with Tylerand Pratt. They had obviously been talking about him. Besides what elsedid they have to talk about?

When Mulder saw Pratt, he immediately blushed. "I'm okay."

"I'm glad. You want to talk about what happened earlier?" Pratt priedgently.

"Not right now, I don't." Mulder said bluntly.

"Mulder, maybe you should." Scully said with a concerned look.

"Not yet, Scully. I don't want to." Mulder looked up at her with one ofhis stubborn pouts. He knew she just wanted to help, but he reallydidn't want to talk right now.

Scully shrugged and turned her gaze to Miles. He nodded to Mulder tosay that he understood. "We'll talk about it later, but I won't forgetMulder." Pratt said as a warning.

Tyler began to speak. "Mulder, we have some things to talk about. Thefirst is your current condition. Things are going rather well. You justmanaged your first attempt at returning to normal kidney function rathernicely, according to Eric. The antibiotics seem to be working. Thelacerations on your body are healing nicely and avoiding infection, butthere are still some causes for concern." He paused slightly and lookedfrom Mulder to Scully and back again. "I am slightly worried about yourkidney. Eric has just shown me the urine sample and I'm alarmed by theamount of blood in it. Now, granted, I did expect there to be some blooddue to the abrasions in your urethra and your kidney, but there was morethan I expected. I would like to do an ultrasound just to make sure thateverything is still progressing nicely. The other thing that causes meto be concerned is that you have not returned to normal bowel function.Mostly, this is my fault because I've had you on a restricted diet and

because I haven't taken the stitches out. I'd like to take those finalstitches out immediately after your ultrasound and then, I hope that wecan attempt to return to bowel functioning."

Tyler paused and looked at Mulder was face had gotten a little paler atthe mentioning of trying to take a shit. He was NOT looking forward tothat. His ass hurt when he sat still. Who knew what it was going to belike when he was trying to push something through it? Mulder began tognaw slightly on his lower lip as he thought about the pain that couldbe involved.

Scully saw the worry in Murder's expression and asked his question forhim. "How painful is it going to be to return to normal functioning?"

Tyler grimaced a little. He really didn't know how to answer thatquestion. It was probably going to be hell. "Well, it could be anywherefrom just slightly painful to excruciating. It depends on a lot ofdifferent things, that I'm sure you can all imagine. You'll be givenyour next dose of Demerol when I take out the stitches, so that will befloating around in your system to relieve some of the pain. If you don'tfeel the need to go on your own, I will prescribe a suppository and-"

"Oh hell no! I am not letting anything else go up my ass. Thank you, butI've had enough of the recently." Mulder began to mumble angrily, butScully reached over to grab his hand.

"The suppository shouldn't hurt, should it?" she asked Tyler.

"No, it really shouldn't. It will just help you get out of here faster."Tyler paused and looked sympathetically at the bed. "Mulder, do you wantto get out of here?"

Mulder shot him a look that, for all intents and purposes, said "are youstupid?"

"Of course, I want to get out of here. Do you think I enjoy your dailytorture regime?"

Tyler decided to ignore the sarcasm and said, "The sooner you return tobowel functioning, the sooner you get out of here. You may not even needthe suppository, Mulder."

Mulder nodded resignedly, but was not a happy camper. Tyler had to admit

that he felt sorry for him, but there was no real alternative. He didn'teven want to mention to Mulder what they would have to do if thesuppository didn't work. He had a feeling that the word "enema" wasgoing to send him through the roof.

"Alright, so what do you need to do now?" Mulder said with a sigh. Hewas tired already and he's barely been awake for a half an hour.

"Why don't we go down to radiology and do the ultrasound?"

Mulder nodded and looked at Pratt. "I suppose you want to talk to melater, too. I'm doing okay, you know."

"Yeah well, humor me, Mulder. Am I that bad of a guy to talk to?" Prattflashed him a smile and turned towards the door. In his best ArnoldSchwarznegger impression, he said, "I'll be back."

Scully chuckled slightly and turned to look at Mulder. He was actuallysmiling for the second time that day. It had been way too long sinceshe'd seen real smiles on his face. Maybe his nose was big, and maybehis lower lip stuck out a little too far, but when you put it alltogether, Fox Mulder was nothing to complain about. In fact, he wassomething to brag about. She hadn't really had time to think about theirrelationship in the past couple of days, but it seemed to be heading ina different direction. And that was a direction Dana Scully had wantedto head for a long time.

"Okay, Mulder. Let me go get a gurney and we can go down to radiology."Tyler said as he placed the chart back on the hook at the end of thebed.

"Why can't I just ride in a wheelchair?" Mulder asked slightly perturbedthat he hadn't been given that choice in the first place.

"Well, are you sure you can sit up for that long? I can put a donut inthe chair so that it will be more comfortable."

Mulder was rather surprised that Tyler had yielded so easy.

"I'll be fine. It's not like we're riding down the street or something."

"Alright, I'll be right back." Tyler exited the room and Scully stood upfrom where she had been sitting on the bed. She folded the blanket backoff Mulder and rearranged the IV tubing.

"Mulder, I'm going to swing your legs over here, okay?" He nodded andshe took his feet and maneuvered them, so that they were hanging overthe edge of the bed. He turned his body so that he was sitting up andfacing her.

"Scully!" Mulder said suddenly.

"Oh Mulder! Did I hurt you?" Mulder immediately started to laugh. "Iguess not. What are you giggling about?"

Mulder was most definitely having a fit of giggles right now. "FoxMulder, I don't think that I have ever seen you giggle! What's sofunny?" She was trying to figure out what was going on, but every timehe stopped laughing for a second, he would look at her and burst intopeals of laughter again.

Tyler re-entered the room to find Mulder clutching his ribs asinsulation against his laughing. There were tears rolling down his facebecause he was so amused. "You two care to let me in on this littlejoke?"

Scully turned to him with a mock scowl. "I have absolutely no idea whathe's laughing at."

Mulder was finally managing to calm down. "Scully, you should have seenyour face! It was classic!"

"What are you talking about Mulder?"

"When I called your name, you absolutely panicked! Dr. Dana Scully doesnot panic and you most definitely panicked." He giggled again softly.

"Well, when her partner scares the shit out of her, she does!" Scullysaid with a grin. "What did you call my name for in the first place?"

Mulder chuckled. "Because I just realized that I have no underwear onand this flimsy gown that barely covers me and you both want me to ridearound the hospital like this."

"Mulder, anyone standing behind you like I am now has the full viewanyway!" Tyler said laughing. Mulder's gown was completely separate inthe back, so that only the front of him was left to the imagination.

"Well, then, why doesn't someone tie it shut?" Mulder wasn't so amusedthat he was naked to anyone in the hallway. His good humor haddisappeared as fast as it had appeared.

"Let's stand you up and then we'll tie the gown shut. Alright?" Scullysuggested to get him moving, and out of his own head. Mulder nodded ather and put his feet on the floor.

"Shit, that floor's cold!" He said as soon as his feet were flat. Tylerhad disconnected the IV so that he could stand up fully now. Slowly,Mulder pushed himself to his feet. He hadn't been out of bed in days. Itfelt good to stand, but he wasn't so sure how long his legs were gonnahold him. Tyler was standing to one side of him and Scully was on theother, so that he couldn't fall. He swayed slightly as he tried to takehis first step, but managed to keep himself upright. The wheelchair wasabout five steps in front of him and Mulder was determined to make itthere on his own.

Scully was behind him quickly fastening the ties to the gown. As soon asshe was done, Mulder began to move. Hekept repeating to himself. Scully knew that there was no way in hell hewas going to ask for help. He would make it to the chair by himself orfall on the floor, but he would not ask for help.

Finally, the chair was only a step away. Mulder reached and steadiedhimself on the arms. Tyler quickly went around behind it and held thewheelchair to counteract Mulder's weight. Scully was trying to move thefootrests so that Mulder wouldn't trip, which left him to his owndevices as to how to sit down gently.

Unfortunately, the word "gracefully" seemed to have been omitted fromhis vocabulary. He was tired and ready to sit. With an unceremoniousplop, Mulder found himself in the chair, but he also found himselfregretting that move.

"Shit!" Mulder mumbled a string of expletives under his breath andwaited for the pain to pass over him.

"Jesus, Mulder!" Tyler said as he grabbed his wrist to take his pulse.It was racing, but that was to be expected. He had performed his firststrenuous activity in days and he had also landed on the most injuredpart of his body.

"Are you okay?" Scully was squatting down in front of Mulder, waitingfor him to open his eyes. Finally, hazel met blue.

"Yeah, I'm okay. That was stupid." He flashed her a sheepish grin.

"Next time, let me help, Mulder." She grabbed his hand and looked atTyler. "We ready?"

"Yup, let's roll." The three of them moved to make their way to theradiology department.

"Alright, Mr. Mulder, hop up here." A bouncy, energetic X-ray technicianwas helping to get Mulder on the table to do the ultrasound. Mulderstarted to lie on his back, but she quickly protested. "No, no dear, onyour stomach." He turned over and lay flat on his belly.

"Damn, this table is cold!" he exclaimed to no one in particular.

"Well, let's hope we can get you off it as soon as possible." The techsaid as she began to untie the back of the gown. She grabbed a towel andplaced it over Mulder's rear, but not before she saw the damage. Hereyes widened and she looked up at Dr. Tyler. He gave her a look thatsaid, "you don't want to know," so she turned back to her patient.

Scully stood to the side and out of the way. Mulder's eyes were turnedin her direction, but she could tell he was exhausted. She could barelysee the hazel in his eyes because his eyelids were drooping athalf-mast. He would regain his strength eventually, but right now, shewas just proud of him for doing this well. Granted, there was alot ofpsychological healing to battle, but he was doing as well as could beexpected. Rape victims were not expected to heal fully in a certain timeframe. No one knew how long it would take for each individual person.

"Ow!" Mulder suddenly yelped. His eyes weren't shut anymore. The techhad just squirted gel onto his lower back with no warning. "You could'vetold me you were gonna slap that goo on my back. Shit, that's cold,too."

"Sorry dear." The tech said as she went back to her work. Scully smiledas Mulder shivered slightly then looked up at her. He gave her a goofygrin and rested his head back on the table. This was all par for coursewith a Mulder in the hospital. He got extremely cranky after a coupledays.

"Hold still, Mulder. We're going to look at your kidney now." Tylermotioned for Scully to walk over to the little screen, so she couldobserve the sonogram of his bruised kidney.

"There she is." The tech said pointing at a little gray blob on thescreen. Scully hadn't looked at ultrasounds since med school so she wasa little lost. Dr. Tyler, however, was staring closely at the screen. Hethen stood up and reached over to where the tech was holding thetransducer. He moved it just a little and then looked back to thescreen.

"I don't see anything, but the same contusion. It doesn't seem to haveenlarged or changed shape at all. Everything seems to be fine." Hesnapped a pair of rubber gloves out of a box on the counter behind him.Slowly, he palpated the kidney. With the transducer still in place, hecould see the organ move every time he pushed on it.

"Mulder, does this hurt?" Tyler pressed directly on the kidney, butthere was no response from Mulder. "Mulder, does this hurt?" He repeatedthe action, but there was still no answer. Scully walked around to thehead of the table. She smiled when she saw why there was no answer.

"He's asleep. Hold on; let me wake him up." She ran her knucklesdelicately overhis cheekbone and called his name. After a few tries, his eyes flutteredopen.

"'Msleep, Scully" was the drowsy response.

"Come on, Fox." As soon as she said his given name, his eyes popped openand he scowled at her.

"I heard that." He answered in a husky, sleepy voice with a frownplastered on his face.

"Got ya to wake up, didn't I?" she grinned at him.

"Yeah, so what?" he said just staring up into her eyes. The conversationstopped completely and Mulder and Scully's eyes locked. They could havestared into each other's eyes for hours, but a throat clearinginterrupted them. Tyler and the X-ray tech were both gazing at themexpectantly. Scully's face flushed for a second, but she quickly becamethe mask of professionalism.

"Mulder," Tyler said as Mulder turned to face him, "I'm going to presson your kidney. Tell me if it hurts." Tyler went ahead and palpated itfirmly. When there was no noise from Mulder, he assumed that there wasno pain.

"Alright then, everything seems fine. We'll just monitor your urine, butif the amount of blood in it doesn't decrease, I'm going to do acystoscopy. No sneaking to the bathroom, Mulder." Tyler said with astern look.

The tech took the towel off Mulder's butt and wiped the gel from hislower back. She then retied the gown to allow him his modesty. "Let'sget you back in that wheelchair, Mr. Mulder."

Scully watched as Tyler helped Mulder turn over and swing his legs overthe side of the table. Mulder winced as his weight settled onto hisbackside, but didn't say anything. Dr. Tyler and the tech flanked eachside of him, and then pulled him to his feet. Mulder shook them both offof his arms and walked to the wheelchair on his own. He was, however,leaning heavily on the IV stand. Though he was still pretty shaky, hemade it. This time, however, when he got ready to sit, he was smartenough to let Dr. Tyler help him sit down gently. As much as Mulderhated to admit it, the donut actually was rather comforting. It made hisass feel ten times better.

"Mulder, I'm going to take you back to the exam room where we can takeout those last couple of stitches around your anus." Mulder winced asTyler said "anus."**************************

Mulder was once again in his least favorite position. He was in theridiculous proctology chair and Tyler was staring at his ass. Scully wassitting in a bright yellow, plastic chair by his head and talking to himas Tyler took out the last couple of stitches. They had given him a doseof Demerol when he came in the room, so he was supposedly "good to go."

Scully had come in the exam room to talk to Mulder and try to distracthim from what Tyler was doing. So far, it was working. She had gottenhim engrossed in a conversation about the vampire case in Texas. Now,much to her dismay, they were arguing about whether the sheriff trulyhad buckteeth or not.

After observing the two of them all afternoon, Dr. Tyler had come to theconclusion that they just needed to get it over with. It was blatantlyapparent that they loved each other, but they were just scared to takethe first step. Mulder was content and relaxed around her, and theprogress he had made in dealing with his rape was evident. Tylerhonestly didn't think that any of it was a show put on for her benefit.Mulder really felt at ease with her. If he got upset when she wasaround, it was okay. She was allowed to see the weaker side of himbecause she was always there to pick up the pieces.

Mulder was truly enjoying his conversation with Scully. It seemed likeold times. She made him feel like nothing had ever happened. Unlikeeveryone else, she wasn't walking around on eggshells with him,constantly afraid to say the wrong thing. He wasn't foolish enough tothink that he was all better, but he actually felt like a normal humanbeing, instead of a medical specimen. Well, he did until-

"OW!" Tyler had plucked the last stitch out a little too hard.


"Sorry, Mulder, but it just didn't want to come out." Tyler said as heexchanged an amused glance with Scully. "That's the last one."

"Thank God. Are you gonna stop staring at my ass now?" Mulder laugheduneasily. It wasn't fun having someone minutely examining private partsof your body, especially after those parts had just been violated.

Scully came around in front of him and pressed a button on the examchair to tilt it upright. Mulder suddenly was hit with a cramp deep inhis stomach. he thought as he rode thepain out. Instead of confessing his pain to Scully, he decided to hideit. Besides, something else was bothering him.

"Scully?" Mulder said timidly.

"Yeah?" She said worriedly. He had sounded upset, so her and Tyler bothstopped to look at him. His face suddenly flushed bright red when herealized they were both staring expectantly at him.

"Can you bring me some boxers from home? I'm feeling a little nakedhere." He said with an embarrassed mumble.

Scully's face melted into a smile. "Definitely Mulder. Geez, you scaredme. I thought you were about to say that something was upsetting you."

As soon as the words left her mouth, the room went absolutely silent.She wasn't quite sure what she's said to unnerve Mulder, but he takenhis gaze off her and was now staring and fumbling with the paper on thetable. He wasn't even making a move to turn around from where he waskneeling on the table. She was appalled to see a wet spot drop onto thesheet. she thought horrified. Tyler looked ather face and motioned to her that he was going to exit the room.

"Oh Mulder, I'm so sorry." Scully said as she laid a hand on his upperback. She began to slowly massage his shoulder blades in little circles.He let his head drop to the table and began to cry in earnest.

She knew he was crying, but he was absolutely silent. She attempted tocomfort him by rubbing his back and hugging him as best she could, buthe shrugged her off. This quiet crying was even more disturbing than hisdeep sobbing. It was as if he was scared to let out whatever he wasfeeling.

Almost as abruptly as it started, the crying ended. Mulder turned aroundin the chair and sat where he had been kneeling before. He ran a handacross his face and wiped the tears out of his eyes. Then, he met hereyes and smiled vaguely. "I'm okay." He said softly.

"Keep saying that, Mulder and maybe it'll come true," she then addedgently, "I'm sorry."

Mulder wrapped his arms around her waist as she stood in front of himand looked up at her face. "You didn't do anything wrong. Thank you,Dana."

"For what?" she said puzzled.

"For being here and caring." Mulder's eyes once again filled with tearsand he dropped his head to look at his lap. He was quiet for a momentand then he added, "No one's ever been there for me like you are." Hemet her eyes again with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Scully lifted her hands to cradle his face. Gently, she wiped the tearsaway with her thumbs and leaned down to kiss his forehead. She thenpulled him to her and he buried his face in her stomach. "Mulder, youdeserve it. I know you don't believe that, but you do. I wish I couldhave been there for you all the times people have hurt you."

He was still silent with his face pressed against her. He felt muchbetter emotionally; it was just too bad that his intestines weren'tcooperating. Much to his dismay, he knew exactly why he was havingcramps. It happened all too often when he was profiling. It usuallymeant that he was constipated. He must have grimaced when he leaned backbecause Scully was surveying him with her "doctor look."

"Are you okay, Mulder?"

He decided quickly that the best option was to tell her that somethingobvious was wrong to mask what was hidden. "Yeah, this table is too damnhard for me to sit on."

She immediately moved to help him up. The IV was transferred to thestand attached to wheelchair and he sat waiting for a ride back to hisbed. Hopefully when he got there, it would be easier to disguise thepain twisting in his gut.**********

When they got back up to the room, Scully put the IV back on itsoriginal stand and sat on the bed next to Mulder. He was looking at herworriedly for a change.

"Scully, I want you to go home."

She began to shake her head unfalteringly. "No, Mulder. I told you thatI am not leaving."

"Scully, you haven't slept in days. I can see the circles under youreyes. Besides, I am not going to let you witness what they are about todo to me." He was trying to joke, but the smile he gave her wasn'treflected in his eyes. There was only anxiety there.

Because he seemed nervous enough and she didn't want to add to that, shedecided to give in. "I'll compromise with you, Mulder. How about if I gocurl up on one of the cots in the staff lounge?"

He looked at her with a frown and then said grumpily, "I'd rather youwent home and slept in your own bed, but I guess I have to settle forthis, don't I?"

"Yes, you do. Because I can be more stubborn than you can. Remember, I'mIrish." She kissed him lightly on the forehead once more and walkedtowards the door. "I'll see you in awhile. If you need anything, havesomeone come get me, okay?"

He nodded as she shut the door. As soon as he was sure she was gone, hecurled tightly on his side. His stomach was not happy now. Hisintestines had decided to play tug-of-war and they were in little knots.He knew he wasn't going to have to wait long to go to the bathroomthough. Tyler was way too excited about him returning to normalfunctioning. Mulder was gonna try his damnedest to go because there wasno way they were sticking a suppository up his ass. He was really gladthey had taken out that feeding tube while he was out from the diazepambecause now he could eat on his own. He could control his own diet andhe knew just what to eat and what not to eat. He was so lost in histhoughts that he didn't even hear Dr. Tyler and Eric enter.

Tyler quietly came around to the side of Mulder's bed where he layfacing the window. Quickly, Mulder tried to hide his discomfort, but notbefore Tyler saw the way that his hands were pressed down stiffly overhis belly.

"Mulder, is there something you'd like to tell me?" he asked with oneeyebrow raised.

Mulder looked up at him in mock innocence and let go of his stomach."What are you talking about?"

Tyler knew that something was up. Mulder was hiding something and notdoing a very good job of it. "Lay back for me, Mulder."

Mulder rolled onto his back and looked smugly up at Tyler. Tyler pulledthe blankets up over his patient's hips and then folded the gown back.He then pressed firmly on Mulder's lower abdomen. It took all the willpower Mulder had not to grimace during the exam. Tyler felt around for aminute noting the rigidity of Mulder's abdomen and then returned hispatient's smug expression. "Game's up, Mulder. Does you stomach hurt?"

Mulder knew that it probably wasn't worth trying to hide his littleproblem any longer. Tyler evidently knew exactly what was wrong from hislittle exam. He looked at the blankets then replied, slightlyembarrassed, "Yeah."

"Well, sounds like as good a time as any to try to defecate. Eric, canyou grab me a bedpan?" Tyler said pointing to the closet. Mulder'sfaçade was one of pure disgust.

"No way! I want to use the real bathroom. None of this bedpan shit."Mulder stated stubbornly.

Tyler exchanged a look with the nurse, and then seemed to consider theidea for a moment. "You can use the bathroom, but only if I go in therewith you."

Mulder immediately began to mutter under his breath. "Can't even fuckin'go to the bathroom by myself. Gotta have a freakin' chaperone."

"Mulder," Tyler said exasperatedly, "I have to go with you becausecomplications could arise."

Mulder shot Tyler another dirty look, but started to straighten his IVtubing so that he could get out of the bed. Tyler had to say that he wassurprised Mulder had surrendered so easily, but he wasn't about to fightit. He lowered the rail on the bed and watched as Mulder started toclimb off. His movement was much better now, but he was a little hunchedover because of the cramps in his stomach. His energy seemed to bereturning too, but Tyler could tell he was tired. As soon as this gotover, and hopefully, it would be sooner rather than later, he would havedinner sent up, so that Mulder could eat for the first time since the NGtube was taken out. It had been so much easier taking it and thestitches in his nose out when Mulder was completely unconscious. Tylerdidn't think that there would be a problem eating either because thedrugs Mulder was on now weren't as harsh on the digestive system.

Mulder was moving towards the bathroom while Eric helped to push the IVstand. Tyler went ahead of them and turned on the light, so Mulder wouldbe able to see. Mulder soon made it to the bathroom by his own power.Eric looked towards Tyler, who nodded for him to leave and close thedoor.

Mulder was grumbling as he sat down on the toilet. "This is soembarrassing. Do you have to watch while I do it?"

"No, Mulder, I'll turn the other way, but I am going to hold onto yourwrist so that I can monitor your pulse." Tyler sat on the sink with hishead turned to face the wall. He had Mulder's hand in his lap as hewaited for him to finish. The room was pretty much silent. There wasvirtually no noise coming from Mulder, except for the occasional groan.That didn't make Tyler happy. He noticed that Mulder's pulse was risingsteadily. Obviously, things were not going well on the other end, toexcuse his pun.

"Mulder, are you okay? I'm going to turn around now." There was noanswer from Mulder, so Tyler rapidly hopped down off the sink. Mulderhad sweat dripping off his forehead and his face was contorted in agony.

Mulder thought. He was feeling no response fromhis body at all, except for the cramps that were still in hisintestines. He was straining down on muscles he didn't even know he hadand he was sure as hell finding aches and pains in places he didn't knowexisted.

"Mulder, this isn't working. I hate to say it, but I think you'reconstipated. Let's move you back to the bed. I can give you a laxativeand this will go much easier."

Mulder's eyes were like daggers when he looked up at Tyler. "No way inhell are you sticking something else up my ass. I told you that before."He was trying to be firm, but his eyes just wouldn't stay focused andthe room was starting to spin.

"Mulder, you are about to pass out. I'm going to get Eric and we'regoing to move you back to the bed." Tyler then yelled out Eric's nameand the nurse rushed into the bathroom. "We need to get him out to thebed. Now!"

Mulder wanted to object, but he just couldn't. Everything in the roomseemed to involve him, but he didn't feel as if he was a part of it.Eric and Dr. Tyler hauled him off the toilet and back to the bed. Whenhe was safely on his back, Mulder began to breathe deeply at Tyler'scommand. What he didn't like was when he heard Tyler's orders for alaxative.

Mulder was lying flat on his back staring up at the ceiling. He wantedmore than anything to curl on his side, but then Tyler had way too muchaccess to his ass. He was determined not to get a suppository, eventhough deep down, he knew he really had no choice and that it wouldprobably make him feel better. Cramps were still lurching through hisintestines, but there was only one way they were gonna disappear.Unfortunately, he had already attempted that and it hadn't worked. Hewas going to wait and try again. Why wouldn't these damn medical peoplejust leave him alone?

"Mulder, you know this would go a lot easier if you would just let meinsert this. It'll melt and then you'll be able to defecate. If you tryto go when you're constipated, it'll just hurt the fissures in yourbowel." He exchanged an exasperated look with Eric and then sighedloudly. Mulder was being a royal pain in the ass. Tyler wondered ifMulder really thought he enjoyed this. His job was to help people, notto punish them. He had sincerely hoped this wouldn't happen, butapparently, Mulder did not have very good luck.

"Mulder," he said in a stern voice that held an edge of warning. Hewaited until Mulder's glare met his own and then he began. "I do NOTwant to do this. I know you think I enjoy this shit, but I don't.Honestly, I would like to see you get the hell out the hospital."

Mulder's eyes widened a bit. he hoped silently, but his hopes were dashed quickly.

"Now, we can either make this easy or you can make this difficult. Youcan roll over on your side and I can quickly and gently push this in ORI can have Eric wrestle you down and hold you on your stomach while Itry to insert this into a moving target. I'm sure you remember from FBItraining that its harder to hit a moving target, especially when you'retrying to be gentle. Now which option sounds more painful? I can clearlysee what I'm doing or we can have Wrestlemania right here on the bed.Frankly, neither Eric nor I are trained in wrestling and it's not ouridea of exercise. Now what's it gonna be?"

Mulder was dumbfounded. He stared up at Tyler with a new respect, but hewas also trying to decide if he was bluffing. Dr. Tyler's stature andgrim expression did not reflect any sort of game afoot. Mulder was justabout to put up a little argument when the worst cramp yet hit him.

"Oh God, make it stop." He said as he clenched his arms over his stomachand curled on his side. His intestines were scrunching themselves intight spasms. The spasms were then reverberating all the way downthrough his rectum where the perforations were, but there was nomovement with them. He was most definitely constipated. Dr. Tyler stoodwatching for a second and then snapped on a pair of gloves. He grabbedthe KY jelly and the two small bullet-shaped suppositories from Eric andturned back to the bed. He put his hand firmly down on Mulder's hip andthen looked to his face. To his amazement, Mulder nodded. Tyler musthave hesitated slightly in his awe because a whimpering "please" madeits way from Mulder's mouth.

Tyler grasped the suppositories and quickly parted Mulder's buttocks. Herubbed a small amount of lubricant on the puckered star of the sphincterand then pushed the little capsule through. Swiftly, he pressed thesecond one in along with his finger. He advanced them as far intoMulder's rectum as he could and then withdrew his finger. The medicinewas only about a half-inch in diameter and an inch long, so theyshouldn't have caused as much pain as the proctoscope. Luckily, theyworked quickly as well.

"Mulder, can you try to turn on your back?" Tyler said as he helped himstraighten his gown. Slowly, Mulder turned over and Tyler began tomassage his abdomen to calm the spasms. It seemed to be working becausesoon enough the agonized look on Mulder's face melted into a meregrimace. The problem was that now, there were tears spilling out of hiseyes.

Thankfully, the cramps had lessened considerably for the moment. He wasactually starting to feel like a person again. Well, he would have felteven more so if he hadn't just had two suppositories stuffed up his ass.Mulder looked up at Tyler who was still rubbing his stomach. "Can I bealone now?" he whispered.

Tyler had to admit that he didn't really want to leave Mulder alone. Hewas even tempted to call Pratt, but he decided not to. He was trying togain some trust from Mulder. Tattling on him wouldn't help that. He'djust monitor Mulder closely. "Alright, I'm going to go check on someother patients on the this floor. Buzz the nurse to come get me when youhave to go. I'll be right down the hall."

He was almost out the door when a thought hit him. "Mulder, DO NOT tryto get up and go by yourself, do you hear me? Remember what happenedlast time. You don't want to know what's going to happen if I come backand find out you tried to make it to the bathroom by yourself." He saidwith a slightly threatening tone and left the room.

Mulder thought as he curled fetally on his side oncemore. For the first time in days, he was alone. It was a littlefrightening, but it also felt good. He knew Colton was behind bars, soit was easier to believe he was safe. It had scared him when theyinserted the suppositories because it felt like miniature Colton. He wasacutely aware of the fact that they were still there, too. He'ddiscovered nerve endings in the past couple days that he hadn't knownexisted.

he thought as tears rolled downhis face. As if I wasn't fucked up enough before, he had been fucked andwas fucked up. I have enough problems for twenty people, yet thishappens. This hell he was being forced to endure.

Wasn't he confused enough? He had lost his faith in everything hebelieved in and been rejected by the sister he'd searched for his wholelife, but now he had other things to worry about. If a week ago, Scullyhad held him cradled between her breasts, he would have come all overthe place, but now it didn't even send a tingle up his spine, much lessmake him hard. He was starting to understand personally why male rapevictims always wondered if they were homosexual. Colton had given him ahard-on.

He knew he was being self-pitying, but dammit, he had every reason tobe. Maybe he deserved everything that had happened to him, but thatdidn't mean that he couldn't feel a little sorry for himself every oncein awhile.

Mulder laid there and allowed himself to cry. There was no one to hearand he needed to cry for himself, not for everyone else, but forhimself. He needed to cry for the fact that the whole Bureau had seenSpooky's rape, because he was in pain, because his mother didn't lovehim, because his father was an abusive bastard, because Scully loved himand he couldn't deal with it. He was sure as hell NOT at a loss forthings to cry about, but he never had long enough to cry about them. Nowwas his time.

After about ten minutes of healthy tears, his body decided that he hadcried long enough. Hallelujah! He actually had to go to the bathroom,but he'd be damned if anyone was going to help him. He'd make it to thebathroom on his own and he'd go on his own. If it was the only waythey'd believe him, he's leave it floating in the goddamn toilet, but hewas determined to accomplish this independently the way he had beensince he was three.

Mulder maneuvered his IV tubing, so that it wasn't caught in anything.He had already pulled the blankets down and was now searching for a wayout of the bed. The trickiest part was going to be getting the bedraildown without making a lot of noise. He began to survey the rail, lookingfor the best way to get it down. Luckily, he wasn't in the psych ward orICU anymore, so there weren't nurses coming to check on him every coupleof minutes. He probably had about 10 minutes to get to the bathroom andback before Tyler would return. He quickly discerned that the rail waslowered by the release of 2 small pins and by lifting it up and slidingit down again. First, he lowered the bed to its closest position to thefloor. Then, he put the railing down without any problems.

he thought as he put his feet on the floor. He then used theIV stand to haul himself to his feet. There was no denying the fact thathe was weak, but he could do this if he took it slowly.

When the headrush passed and the swaying stopped, Mulder took his firststep towards to bathroom. He was glad there was no one behind himbecause the back of the gown was flapping in the breeze. If anyone hadseen, they would have had quite a show from his scrawny ass. Amazinglyenough, he made it to the bathroom without any dire emergencies. Itwasn't tough to plop down on the toilet considering that he didn't haveto remove anything. All he had to do was sit.

Once he did that, Mulder tried to evacuate his bowels. There wasn't muchmovement. Mulder could feel the suppositories come out because theystung his sore anus, but there wasn't anything else coming. He began tostrain slightly and his rectal tissues protested greatly. They had beenput through this only about twenty minutes earlier and were fighting anymore exercise.

Mulder began to strain harder and was surprised when there was actuallymovement from his sphincters. However, when he looked down into thebowl, all he saw was red. The sight of blood from his own rectum senthis senses reeling. He leaned his elbows on his knees and tried toconcentrate on not throwing up. He had never liked blood. He becameaccustomed to seeing it because of his job, but when it was his own, itoften made him queasy. That was sure as hell what he was feeling now. Hesat there taking deep breaths until his head stopped pounding and heonly had two feet, instead of the four he'd had with double vision. Hewas surprised to find that he felt fine now. His bladder was aching alittle, but hey, he was on the toilet, why not take care of that sincenothing else was happening?

Mulder suddenly remembered what Tyler had told him about using a urinal,but he was already going to piss Tyler off if he found out so what wasthe loss? Anyway, Tyler was not going to find out about this littleescapade. Mulder sat back and evacuated his bladder rather easily. Itstill burnt, but it wasn't too bad. He could deal with that pain. Hedecided to try bearing down on his bowels another time before he had toscramble back for the bed. As soon as he did, another splatter of bloodfizzled into the water.

This time, Mulder didn't take it so well. His hand flew to his mouth inan attempt to ward off the peristalsis of his digestive system.Unfortunately, his hand was no match for the muscles in his esophagus.He began to vomit all over the floor, which did nothing for hisheadache. Mulder knew he was about to pass out, so he leaned towards thesink and slumped against it. Now if and when he fainted, he wouldn'tfall on the floor in his own vomit.

Just before he succumbed to the darkness, Mulder thought about thetrouble he was going to be in with Scully and Tyler.

**************************************

Dr. Tyler walked out of room 122. His other patients all wereprogressing nicely. The lady with the hiatal hernia was doing fine aswas the man who'd just had his prostate removed. As he strolled towardsthe nurses' station, Tyler got a strange feeling that Mulder was doingsomething he shouldn't have been. hethought, but still walked briskly to room 125.

As soon as he walked in, he saw what was wrong. "Dammit, Mulder, I toldyou not to get out of that bed!" he said looking at the empty bed withthe railing down. He turned back to the bathroom door which was shut andswung it open hastily.

"Oh shit!" he said as he saw what lay inside. Since he had left the dooropen, he yelled loudly for a nurse. Three of them came running towardsthe room. There was always something exciting going down in this room.Dr. Tyler was standing to the other side of the toilet with his hand onMulder's neck as he took his pulse. "We need to get him back in thatbed, now!"

Immediately, they all began to move in a well-practiced rhythm. Eric,the male nurse, joined Tyler in lifting Mulder of the toilet whileanother nurse grabbed the IV stand. The other nurse had snatched theblanket off the bed and was wrapping it around Mulder who was shiveringviciously. They quickly laid him in the bed and began to clean him off.He was sweating profusely in his unconsciousness, but he was shiveringas well. One of the nurses went back to the bathroom and looked at thefloor before she called to a custodian. When she stood up, she got alook into the toilet bowl.

"Dr. Tyler!" she yelled as she came flying out of the bathroom.

"What, Cynthia?" he said alarmed.

"There's a lot of blood in the toilet. You may wanna come look." Tylerquickly left his patient and went in to observe what his nurse had seen.

As soon as he saw the amount of blood, he rushed back to Mulder. "Shit!Hang a new bag of saline on full. He needs fluids. He just bled. Damnyou, Mulder, why can't you just listen to me!? If you're hemorrhaging,I'm going to kick your ass!" he said in a pissed-off, but worried voice.

"Did he go?" Eric said wondering if it had all been worth it. He foundout from the grim look that he received from Tyler that there hadobviously been nothing good to come out of that little trip.

"No, he didn't, which means all he did if anything is irritate thefissures. Somebody get me a scope, so I can see what damage is done."

Mulder's pulse had steadied and it seemed as if he would be coming backto consciousness any minute. Eric ripped the ruined, vomit-stained gownoff him, wiped him down, and then replaced it quickly. The last thingthey needed was for Mulder to freak when he woke up because he wasnaked. He had no sooner finished than Mulder's eyelids began to flutter.

Mulder was not waking up to a good situation. Tyler was angry. He coulddeal with stubbornness and pouting. He could even deal with nightmaresand violent reactions, but he could not deal with a patient who keptblatantly ignoring his orders.

When Mulder's eyes opened up, Tyler began to roar. "Goddamnit, FoxMulder! I am a patient man, but I am not putting up with this shit anylonger! Find yourself a new doctor who will put up with your bullshit!What were the last words I said when I left this room?"

He looked at Mulder, whose eyes had gone from bleary to wide-eyed. He'dseen Skinner and Scully this mad at him a couple of times, and ofcourse, his dad was always this angry, but he had never seen a doctorthis furious. He put on his best puppy-dog face and began to protest.

"I just wanted to do something by myself. You don't even let me hold myown dick when I piss." Mulder was arguing with the wrong person. Tyler'sface only managed to get redder.

"Considering that we just picked your ass up and carried it out of thebathroom, there's a very good reason you aren't allowed to do anythingalone."

Mulder opened his mouth again to argue, but shut it when he saw the lookon Tyler's face. He wasn't going to win this one. He might as well justshut up before he got himself in more trouble. If Scully got wind ofthis, he was gonna get an earful from her too.

Dr. Tyler was starting to get control over his emotions. He sighedloudly and took a deep breath before he told Mulder what was comingnext. "Mulder, I need to examine you again. There was blood in thetoilet and I need to see if any of the fissures came open again. If theydid, we may have to take you back to surgery."

Mulder hadn't thought of that. All he knew was that he did not want tohave rectal surgery again. With a reluctant sigh, Mulder turned on his side and let Tyler insertthe proctoscope once more.

He was so sore that just the touch of the scope against his sphinctermade him flinch. He was trying to think of anything but what Tyler wasdoing, so he wallowed in guilt for getting out of the bed and pissingTyler off. Normally, he wouldn't have felt bad, but Tyler really had putup with a lot of shit from him.

He was thinking of apologizing when his anus gave way and the scope went

all the way in, it was cold and it hurt. Mulder wrapped his hands aroundthe blanket and held on tight. He had a feeling this was not going to befun, but it was his own fault.

"Alright, things aren't too bad, but some of the perforations arebleeding a little bit. I'm going to clean them off with a swab and thenwe'll discuss how you are going to return to normal functioning. I willtell you now though that you are not going to like it." Tyler said. Hisdemeanor reminded Mulder of Skinner's when he was angry. He almostthought he could hear Tyler's teeth grinding.

He could feel the long Q-tip against the thin rectal tissue. It didn'treally hurt until Tyler got right down into the fissures. Then, it wasagony. Who knew that a little cotton swab could cause so muchdiscomfort? He clenched his own teeth tightly to ride out the pain.

Mulder had begun to wonder what Tyler meant when he said that they weregoing to have to do something different to evacuate his bowels. He wasracking his brain for possibilities. They could always try moresuppositories, but he doubted if that was the case considering thatTyler said he really wasn't going to like it. He pretty much knew thatit wasn't going to be waiting until he had to go. Mulder would haveappreciated that. They could always feed him some laxatives, but thatwasn't a bad option either. Then, it hit him. He remembered being aconstipated as a kid, and he remembered a little too well what hismother had done to take care of it. A chill ran down his spine as hethought of that and he couldn't suppress the shiver.

"Mulder, are you cold?" Dr. Tyler asked.

"No" was Mulder's one word reply. He knew it. They were really going todo that to him. Or so they thought they were. No way. Fox Mulder was 37years old and he was NOT going to have an enema, not for anything in theworld.

Tyler must have finished his job because the scope was removed gently. Anurse lightly wiped the lubricant of his anus and then covered him upwith the gown. He then looked up at the nurses. "You all can leave now.I need to have a little discussion with our patient." He saidunsmilingly.

Mulder now knew what he had feared. This was definitely not good.Whereas minutes before he had been sorry that he got out of the bed, nowhe was planning a new escape route.

"Now, Mulder, you obviously know that I am not very happy with you rightnow, but I need you to know that what I am about to say is notreflective of that. It is the only choice we have now that we'veexhausted the others." He watched Mulder's reaction and was surprised tosee that there was none. Mulder was lying in the bed like the perfectlittle patient. Tyler had learned to be more suspicious of that, then ofwhen he was ranting and raving like a lunatic.

"It's absolutely necessary that you return to normal bowel functioningor I'm sure you can imagine the implications. The only way to do thatright now is to give you an enema." Tyler then waited patiently for theinevitable blowup.

"I'm not going to get an enema. I don't care if I have to walk aroundwith a colostomy bag, but I am NOT getting an enema." Mulder said, hisface turning red with anger.

"Well, Mulder, I'm afraid you are. Eric already has the cart outside andI'm just waiting for him to bring it in. Mr. Skinner is also out therein case we need reinforcements."

Mulder's eyes were glazed over in absolute terror. In his mind, he wasreplaying scenes from his childhood when his mother had threatened him.She told him that if he didn't let her give him an enema, he was goingto have to go to the doctor and they were going to dig it out.Obviously, he had relented. She had made him lay over her lap while shefilled him with water. To this day, Mulder could remember the fear andtotal loss of control he'd felt. He wasn't going to let that happenagain.

"Mulder, enemas are not painful. They just cause cramps. You only haveto hold it in for five minutes. Five minutes, Mulder, and all this isover. Can we just do it and get it over with?"

Tyler watched Mulder's reaction closely, but he seemed to be engrossedin his own thoughts. He was snuggled under the covers like a little boywho was scared of the monster under the bed. Dr. Tyler decided that now wasas good a time as any, so he walked outside to get Eric and theenema equipment.

What he didn't know was that Mulder was plotting his flight from thehospital bed. While he was under the covers, he had been attempting todisconnect his IV without making a mess. He had accomplished that, nowall he had to do was get out of the bed and out of the room. He couldn'tget very far with a hospital gown on, but he could get the hell away fromthat enema.

Mulder heard the latch on the door click shut and quickly got out of thebed. He didn't even notice the blood rushing to his head because of theincrease in adrenaline pumping through his veins. They were NOT going to dothis to him.

He had been a petrified eight-year-old when his mother had done it. Hewas too scared to do anything about it at the time because he had notwanted to go to the doctor and have it dug out. Doctors were onlyassociated with pain in the young Fox Mulder's mind. The only time heever saw them was in the emergency room when they were giving himstitches or setting a broken bone. He could only imagine what kinds ofhorrible pain would be derived if the doctor had to dig "something" outof him. So eventually, he'd stopped fighting and let his mom yank downhis pants. Today with his psychology degree, he understood the sexualovertones that had frightened him at the time, but he still didn't wantto relive them.

Mulder peeked out the door to see a couple of nurses buzzing around thehall. Dr. Tyler and Eric were discussing something, probably him, at thenurses' station, but their backs were turned. It was the perfect moment fora getaway. Silently, he pulled the door open far enough to slip through it.He then proceeded stealthily down the corridor. He wasalmost to the stairs when he heard Tyler exclaim, "Where the hell did he gonow?"

A nurse had seen him dash into the a door farther down the hall. Mulderhad entered the first room he saw. It looked like another hospital room,but it was filled with small cots. There was a door to the right of himthat said staff lounge. He realized quickly that Scully was probably asleepin this same room. He could hear the commotion in the hall as well as thenurse telling Tyler that Mulder went in one of two doors. Well, he wouldjust have to find somewhere to hide.

There wasn't much of a choice of places to hide. He listened at the door tothe lounge, but backed away quickly when he heard a people going inside. Itlooked like he was stuck in this room. There was one obvious place to hidewhere he didn't think that they would look. He could hide on one of thecots and pretend to be a staff member, but that was too easy or he couldhide under one of the cots. The blankets hung down, but they would probablylook there too. However, they wouldn't look there if someone was sleepingin the cot above him.

There were only two beds that were actually being occupied and itfigured that they were on completely opposite sides of the room. Henaturally gravitated towards the one with the red hair. Sure enough,Scully was sleeping soundly in the little cot. He slid himself swiftlyunder the bed on his side and arranged the blankets so that they hung tothe floor. They wouldn't want to wake Scully, so they wouldn't think tolook under her cot.

He hoped. It wasn't like he had any other choices.

He heard footsteps in the room. He couldn't tell what they were doingbecause they were being quiet, so they wouldn't wake Scully. Or so hethought. All of the sudden, he heard Tyler's voice almost directly abovehim.

"Agent Scully..." he said in a whisper.

Mulder knew how much fun Scully was to wake up. She slept the sleep ofthe dead and waking her up was not a treat. She tended to fling her tinybody in all kinds of gyrations and moan like she would never get to sleepagain. Once, she'd nailed Mulder right in the nose. He now woke her up bytickling her feet. It was relatively safe that way.

"What?" He heard her say confusedly.

"Scully, Mulder has disappeared from his-" Tyler was trying to finish,but Scully was already awake and sitting up. When she had sat up thecot had come closer to the floor, Mulder hoped they wouldn't notice thatthere was a lump in the bed. It was his hip. The cot was so close to theground that because he was turned on his side, the bed sat on his hip.

"Where the hell did he go?" she said angrily, looking around the room.

"A nurse saw him in either this room or the one next door, so we'relooking. Have you seen him?"

"No. Give me a minute and I'll come help look." Scully had noticed thelump in the bed and she had a pretty good idea where Mulder was. Shewanted to find out first why he had run away. He hadn't tried to escapebefore, so there must have been a reason.

"Alright, I'm going to go next door." Tyler pushed through the door tothe lounge and Scully bent down so she could see under the bed. Sureenough, there was Mulder. He grinned at her sheepishly, but made no move toget up.

"Mulder, what are you doing?" she said shaking her head.

"Scully, I'm not going back there. They're trying to kill me," he saidtotally seriously.

She shot him her patented "Mulder, you're crazy" look and then grabbedhis hands. "Get up here. You shouldn't be laying on the floor."

"No, Scully! They'll see me!"

"Mulder, you're going back in that bed. Now, come on!" He climbed up offthe floor, but he wasn't doing as well as he had been minutes ago. Heswayed uneasily when he got to his feet and Scully pushed him back to siton the bed. She pulled the cot up from behind her and sat acrossfrom him. Mulder was not feeling well. She could tell. He'd actuallylaid down in the bed with no prodding from her.

"Mulder, tell me what's going on," she said gently as she brushed hisbangs out of his face.

"I pissed Tyler off big time. I passed out in the bathroom." He lookedup at her and was not at all surprised to see the worried expression onher face. She held her tongue, but gave him a quizzical look. He let out asigh and decided to just tell her the whole story. She might as well hearit from his perspective.

"Okay, I couldn't go to the bathroom when I tried, but I was havingreally bad cramps. Tyler decided he was gonna give me a suppository. Ifought him, but got one anyway. He left me alone and I decided I couldmake it to the bathroom by myself. I did make it by myself, but I wasbleeding and I passed out. I woke up in the bed, but I hadn't done anydamage to myself. Tyler gave me a lecture that was better than anythingSkinner has ever reamed me for, then he decided that I needed an enema." Helooked up at her for pity after he said that.

He was rewarded with a sympathetic look and a pat on the shoulder. "Soyou decided to escape, huh?"

He nodded at her with a grin and then his face turned to solemn."Scully, I am NOT getting an enema. Please don't make me." He put on hisbest puppy-dog pout to convince her.

"Mulder, you are never going to get to leave the hospital if you don'treturn to normal bowel functioning. It won't be that bad. I'll sit withyou if you want me to," she said rather persuasively, but it didn'twork.

"NO! I am not having one. Have YOU ever had one?" he said sitting up inthe bed.

"No, but they can't be that bad. Come on, Mulder, you've been shot. Youcan deal with this."

"Unhuh, Scully. I've had one before and I vowed never to have one again.Please, trust me on this one."

"Mulder, its not that I don't trust you. It's just that it's for you owngood. I don't know where you've had one before, but maybe it wasn't give toyou right or-" she stopped when Mulder fell back on the bed andclutching his stomach. "What's wrong?"

"No, no, no. This is not happening." He was rocking back and forth in atiny ball on the bed trying desperately to make the cramps go away. Theywere worse this time if that was possible. His intestines wanted to get ridof whatever was in there and they weren't going to stop until it was gone.

Scully noticed that tears were beginning to pool in the corners ofMulder's eyes. Whether he wanted an enema or not, he had no choice. Shedidn't blame him for wanting to avoid it, but he was sick. This had tostop. "Mulder, I'm going to get Dr. Tyler. Stay in that bed."

She got up and walked to the lounge door yelling in to the nurses to goget Tyler. Mulder was trying to sit up and make another getaway, so shequickly ran back to the bed and pushed him down. "Mulder, its gonna beokay. I'll take care of you while they do it, okay?"

Mulder was not ready to consent to the procedure, but something had tomake the hell in his stomach stop. He was tempted to just curl up anddie if they didn't make it cease soon. He reached out to Scully andgrabbed her hand to hold onto.

For the first time, she saw that it wasn't only that he didn't want toget the enema, it was that he was terrified. He was afraid of something,but there was no telling what. She guessed that it had something to do withthe other enema he'd received in his life. "Mulder, why are you scared?Tell me."

He couldn't get the word out, but he was glad Scully had understood hissilent signal. "Mom" was the only syllable that he managed enunciate.Scully wasn't exactly sure what it meant, but she guessed that hismother had been the one to administer the treatment the first time.

Tyler came flying through the door at about that time. He rushed toMulder's side where he began to take charge of the situation. "Damn you,Mulder. This shit is getting real old."

Scully shot Tyler a dirty look and whispered something in his ear.Almost as if a light bulb went off in his head, he seemed to understandthat Mulder was scared. He'd thought mistakenly that Mulder was justbeing a pain in the ass, but he was truly frightened of receiving anenema.

"Mulder," Tyler began, "I'm sorry I got angry at you, but you managed topush my buttons. We need to do this now, and I promise you will feel onehundred percent better when its over."

Mulder gave absolutely no response, so Tyler motioned Eric to come andhelp him move Mulder out to the gurney. Mulder was able to stand up andwalk, but only with the help of Scully, Tyler and Eric. He was in a lotof pain and all he wanted was to curl up in a little ball.Unfortunately, that wasn't possible when you were trying to walk. Theyhelped him climb up on the gurney and then they rushed back to the room.Mulder was quickly transferred to the bed.

The pain was confusing Mulder. He saw Eric fill a red enema bag withsomething, and all he could think of was his mother. He was positionedon his side, and his gown was pulled up. He couldn't help, but rememberhis earlier experience with his mother. Though Scully was talking to himand trying to console him, she couldn't have known that her soft femalealto voice reminded him of his mother's. He was transported back intoanother time.

"Fox, come here and bend over my lap. Samantha's going to be awake in acouple of minutes. We need to get this over with unless you want to goto the doctor's. They'll just dig it out there. What do you want Fox?"His mother was looking at him with impatience. There were tears rollingdown his face, but she ignored them.

"Mom, is it gonna hurt?" he said doubtfully. For an eight-year-old, thewhole event was a little confusing. He'd never had this problem before.It was embarrassing, and now his mom wanted to put him over her lap? Hisdad only did that when he was about to spank him.

"Fox, stop being a baby. Come over here now." If it had been Samanthashe would have been holding her in her arms and trying to soothe herfears, but not with Fox. He knew he was supposed to be the big boy, buthe was confused.

He walked towards his mother and before he knew what was happening, shehad pulled his pants down to his ankles. He blushed bright red withembarrassment and tried to cover himself, but his mom slapped his handsaway and pulled him over her knees.

"Mom! Mommy! Stop! Mommy, it hurts!"**************************

Title: Ravages of Spirit (16b/?)

By: Invisigoth Too

Scully was surprised hear a 37 year old Mulder yelling at his mom.Suddenly, she understood just how traumatizing his prior experience hadbeen for him. God only knew what was going to happen when Tyler insertedthe nozzle. She was whispering comforting words in Mulder's ear, but hedidn't seem to be hearing her. His eyes were glazed over and his pupilswere dilated. Fox Mulder was far away.

"I think he's having a flashback. That's why he was so scared," she said tono one in particular. Tyler had just finished lubricating the nozzle andtube, and was on the verge of putting it in.

*******************************************

Little Fox felt something touch him where no one was supposed to touchhim. It felt like when his mommy took his temperature, but OUCH!Whatever she was pushing into him hurt more than a thermometer. Why washis mommy touching him there?!

The adult Mulder came back for a moment, but it wasn't a good moment.Tom Colton was laying on his back pushing into him. He could feel hisbody being ripped apart by Colton's hard penis deep in his bowels. Allthe sudden, there was liquid flowing into his rectum. It was warm! Whywas Colton raping him all over again?

What was his mommy doing to him!? She was letting water into an areathat was supposed to let things out, not in!

"NOOOOOOOOOO! Lemme alone Colton! Mommy! Make it stop! Please help!"

*****************************

Scully and Tyler both stopped and looked at each other before hereleased the clamp and allowed the water to flow in. They were bothpraying silently that Mulder would be okay when this was all over. Tylerlifted the clamp, and Mulder immediately began to moan and groan.

Scully was extremely alarmed when she heard him scream at Colton. Shehad hoped that he wouldn't make the subconscious connection betweenColton's horrible act and the one that was supposed to be helping himnow. Mulder was very obviously not lucid. He was screaming at his momand Colton at the same time, and there was nothing Dana Scully M.D.could do. She felt completely helpless. She could see Skinner and hermother crowding around the doorway trying to get a peek at their belovedFox, but no one could do anything until it was over.

Finally, all the water was in him. Now they just had to keep it in himfor five minutes. Eric shooed everyone away from the door and shut theshade. They needed to give Mulder a little privacy. Poor guy justcouldn't cut a break.

Tyler began to slowly massage Mulder's stomach. He was trying to pushthe water solution as far up in his intestines as possible, so that itwould work as best as it possibly could.

Scully just sat on the bed next to Mulder brushing his sweat-soakedbangs out of his eyes. She had tears streaming down her own face withthe ones that were pouring down his. Why did everything have to be sodifficult on Mulder?

******************************************

"Mommy, please! I gotta go to the bathroom! Now!" Fox whined.

"Fox, stop your yelling! Samantha is asleep. You cannot go to thebathroom yet, You have to hold it." His mother was holding his torsofirmly on her lap, but he started to squirm madly.

All he wanted was to get this stuff out of him. He was afraid to make amess on the floor. Then, he'd be in big trouble with Dad. That wassomething he always wanted to avoid. He started to wiggle hoping that hecould get away from his mother, but he was given a hard slap on his rearfor his fighting.

More tears began to roll down his face. His mother hardly ever punishedhim. She just ignored him. It was his father who was the disciplinarian. Hewas scared, but his only option was to lay in his mother's lap and fightthe horrible cramps that were pumping through his body. The tears startedto flow a little harder.


To everyone in room 125, they were the longest five minutes of anyone'slife, but finally, they were over. Mulder was on the verge of hysteria,but he most definitely was not the Mulder that anyone knew. He wascompletely uncomprehending of where he was in time or place. Scullywasn't much help either. Tyler decided that she did not need to see herbest friend sitting on a bedpan.

"Scully, go outside. He'd be mortified if he knew you saw this. Gooutside!" Tyler said as he took a bedpan from Eric.

Scully looked as if she was going to argue but saw the wisdom of Tyler'swords. Mulder would be embarrassed if he knew she saw him receiving anenema, but then again, that Mulder in the bed was not 37 years old. He waslost in the past. Quickly, she hurried out the door.


Skinner and Maggie Scully were waiting outside the door. Maggie was thefirst to reach her daughter. "Dana, what's going on?"

She had heard Fox's screaming and yelling for the past five minutes andshe couldn't even imagine what type of torture they were carrying out onhim. Skinner had been searching all over for Mulder. No one had eventold him he was found, but Skinner had discovered that for himself whenhe heard a loud yell all the way down the hall.

"They had to give him an enema. He's...Oh God, Mom... he's hysterical.It's not even Mulder in there. He's having flashbacks to when he was alittle kid. I think his mom must have done something like this to him. Idon't even want to think about it." Dana said as she fell hard into achair. There were still tear-tracks on her face, but she wasn't cryinganymore until she heard Mulder's last scream.

Maggie wrapped her arms around her daughter and held on tight. How FoxMulder had managed to survive his childhood was a mystery to her. Theyall sat silently until Dr. Tyler exited the room.

Scully was immediately out of her mother's arms on her feet. "Did itwork?"

Dr. Tyler looked tired. It wasn't everyday he had to carry and fightwith patients and today he'd done it way too much. He hesitated, butthen said, "Yes. Thank God," as he looked towards the ceiling in silentthanks. "He's asleep now. I gave him a sedative. Hopefully when he wakesup, he'll be lucid, but I think Miles needs to be informed of what justhappened here."

Scully nodded in agreement. She wasn't even able to think for a secondthat Mulder would be traumatized again by this whole event. It wasimpossible for her to think she had participated in something that couldhurt him that deeply. She looked up at Tyler with tears glistening in hereyes. "Can I go in?" he nodded and she slipped inside the room.

Mulder was lying on the bed as if nothing had ever happened. Everythingwas cleaned up and he was donning a fresh gown under his blankets. TheIV had been reinserted and he actually looked peaceful in his sleep. Ifonly that continued in his waking hours. Scully climbed up into the bednext to him. She was surprised when he seemed to wake for a second andfall into her embrace.

Once again, she began to whisper comforting words into his ear and rubhis back. When Maggie and Walter peeked in later, they looked like theperfect couple. She was resting softly on the pillow while Mulder wassettled in the niche of her arms.

To everyone's surprise, Mulder slept through the night until eighto'clock the next morning. He must have been truly exhausted by all theexcitement of the day before. Scully knew that she should have gotten upand gone to work, but she wanted to talk to Mulder when he finally wokeup. Colton could wait and besides Skinner would definitely take care ofhim.

Dr. Tyler hadn't been in to see Mulder yet that morning, but he had leftstanding orders that a tray be brought in as soon as he woke up. Theyhad wanted to feed him the night before, but no one had the heart towake him up after the enema. Tyler had also left an urgent note forPratt to call him at home. Later when Pratt came in, he did just thatand got the full story of the day before.

Maggie was sitting to the side of Mulder's bed watching her daughter andsurrogate son sleep. Mulder looked peaceful. No one would ever know howemotionally tortured he was. It made her angry to think that Bill andTeena Mulder had abused their son so fully without even realizing it.Teena honestly didn't seem to comprehend the depths of hurt that her sonsuffered from because of her emotional detachment. She was glad that Foxhad found Dana and through Dana, found her. She would always see him asa son. Maggie was the type of mother who took other kids in off thestreet because she couldn't stand to see them out in the cold.

She glanced towards the bed when she heard a small groan. At first, shewasn't sure if it had come from Dana or Fox, but when Dana opened hereyes, it was obvious where the noise had originated. Scully looked overat her mother and smiled. She was glad that her mother was here. Notonly could Mulder use the support, but she could too.

She looked down at Mulder who was still dead to the world. He seemedlike he would be okay for a couple of minutes. She had to get out thisbed. Her bladder was telling her that. She began to untangle Mulder fromher and lay him gently back on the bed. He slumbered on luckily. Shewasn't quite sure she wanted him to wake up yet. She knew it had to comesooner or later, but she honestly had no idea how Mulder was going toreact to the events of the night before.

She walked over and embraced her mother for a second and then headed tothe bathroom. Just as she was coming out, Miles came into the room. Hegave her a questioning smile. He obviously wanted her take on Mulder'sbehavior. It alarmed him that Tyler had seemed upset about the wholeexperience. Benjamin Tyler was well-known in the hospital for hislevel-headedness. If he had been troubled by Mulder's reaction then itmust have been rather extreme. From the details he'd heard what worriedhim most were the flashbacks Mulder had been having to his childhood.Mulder didn't need that right now on top of the rape. They needed to tryand work on getting him to cope with his rape and that was impossible todo if he was trying to deal with his childhood abuse at the same time.Miles hadn't had to deal with anything like that and it has still madehis recovery hell. He could only guess what things would be like forMulder. It scared the shit out of him to be Mulder's therapist when hethought about it.

Scully gestured for him to follow her into the hall where they couldtalk while Maggie stayed inside with Mulder. No one was even consideringleaving him to wakeup on his own. That would have been disaster. Shemoved her chair closer to the bed and took Mulder's hand in her own. Hewas partially on his side and partially on his stomach, but his face wasturned to the back. The position immediately reminded her of the wayCharlie had slept when he was little. Her youngest had always made it apoint to screw himself into the weirdest positions. Fox seemed to havethat talent as well.

Mulder began to moan softly as Scully and Pratt talked outside. Maggiereally didn't want him to wake up without anyone beside him, but shealso knew that Dana would want to be here. Quickly, she got out of herchair and moved towards the door. She pushed it open and signaled forDana and Pratt to come inside.

When she returned to the bed, Mulder was still moaning incoherently. Hiseyelids were fluttering and he was also attempting to turn over onto hisback. Scully approached the bed and took his hand in between her own.

"Mulder, wake up." The only response was a little growl in herdirection. "Come on, Mulder. I know you're in there. Open your eyes."

Amazingly enough, he did as she asked . His eyes opened and immediatelywere filled with tears. He stared hard at Scully, but didn't say a word.She was a little unnerved by his glare and not quite sure how to respondto it.

"Morning, sleepyhead." She said with a smile. She knew she was beingincredibly nonchalant considering what had gone on the night before, butshe really didn't know how to approach him. The tension in the room wentup a notch when Mulder made no attempt to answer her. He just turnedover and laid back on the pillows while pulling the covers up under hischin.

Maggie decided it was her turn to give it a try. "Fox, did you sleepwell?"

"I slept okay." he said with a frown. Mulder could never resist MaggieScully. She was the mother he'd always wanted and never had.

"Are you hungry, Mulder?" Scully asked.

"Not really, but you'll probably just force-feed me anyway like youforced other things." Mulder snapped with a look that could turn anyheart cold and definitely one that belonged to a woman who loved him.

Pratt wasn't at all surprised by Mulder's attack on Scully. He waslooking for someone to blame and she was the one who had ultimately madehim get the enema. "Mulder, you know it isn't Scully's fault so don'ttake your anger out on her."

"I don't know shit, Miles." he said in a voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Fox, I know you don't feel well, but neither Dana nor Miles didanything to hurt you." As Maggie said this, she reached over and sweptthe hair off Mulder's forehead. He immediately shut his mouth, but tearsseemed to well up in his eyes. "Sweetheart, you need to eat somethingyou're turning into skin and bones."

Just as quickly as the tears had come, they abated and Mulder smiled upat her. "I'll eat if you make me some of your lasagna."

They all smiled, but Pratt was worried. Mulder's mood swingsunpredictable and could be triggered by anything. They needed to talksoon. He figured now was just as good a time as any to approach Mulder.He waited for Maggie to finish whatever it was she was saying and thensprung the trap on him.

"Mulder, I'm going to have a tray brought up and when you're done eatingwe're going to have a long talk about these flashbacks you've beenhaving." Mulder immediately opened his mouth to protest, but Prattspoke first. "Don't deny it. There are plenty of witnesses, Mulder."

Mulder looked down at his lap and began to play with the blanket. Hislips were pursed tightly without the slightest pout. That alarmedScully. Mulder always stuck that lip out when he didn't get his way. Itwas almost a silent surrender that only Scully would notice. He waitedfor someone else to speak for a couple of seconds and then started toclimb out of the bed.

"Where are you going, Mulder?" Scully asked as she pushed him backtowards the bed.

He looked up at her with a piercing glare. "Would it be okay if I wentto the goddamn bathroom or would you like to come and hold my dick whileI piss?"

Scully stepped back as if she had been burned. She then reached in herbag and snatched out a pair of black boxers. She threw them onto the bedand then began to storm out of the room. She was surprised when Prattstopped her by pacing his hand on her arm.

"Mulder, you owe her an apology. Does it really help to take your angerout on her?" Pratt said gently.

"Fuck you! I don't owe anybody anything, but they all owe me something,a little fuckin' respect for my privacy!" Mulder violently pushed thetray table to the floor and got out of bed with the boxers in his hand.He swayed as he rose to his feet, but grasped at the IV stand in orderto remain standing. He then moved slowly, which was as fast as he couldgo, towards the bathroom. Scully called after him as he was about toshut the door.

"Make sure you use the urinal." He rolled his eyes at her and thenslammed the door.

Once he was safely inside the bathroom, Mulder collapsed onto the toiletseat. Hopefully, no one had noticed that he was trembling. He droppedthe boxers onto the floor and let his head fall into his hands. Therewere still images of water rushing into him.

Of water touching his innermost parts. Parts that no one was supposed totouch.

Why were they trying to touch him there? Hadn't Colton done enough ofthat?

Tears began to flow freely as he sat confused the hospital bathroom, butas much as he wanted to just sit and sob he knew that if he didn't getup they would come in and drag him back to the bed.

* * * * * *

Scully was just starting to consider breaking down the door when Mulderopened it. He had managed to put his boxers on, so he walked towards thebed without trying to hold the back of the gown shut. Scully noticedthat his eyes were a little puffy which quickly clued her into the factthat he had been crying in the bathroom. However, it was obvious that hewas trying to hide it.

He walked to the bed and laid down without saying a word to anyone. Heallowed Maggie to pull the covers up over him and move the bed into anupright position, but without so much as a peep. Scully peeked into thebathroom and saw that the urinal was sitting on the sink half-full. Hehadn't had much in the way of fluids so that made sense. It even lookedto her like there was something in the toilet. she thought. She never wanted to him go through an enema again.

When she turned and looked at him again, she realized that he had beenreally pale ever since he came out of the bathroom. It suddenly dawnedon her that it must have hurt like hell. He was barely on anypainkillers this morning because Tyler was starting to cut back thedrugs in anticipation of him leaving the hospital. The cafeteria trayhad been brought up as well, but it sat untouched.

It worried Pratt that Mulder wasn't speaking much. He had to admit thathe couldn't relate to the experience of having an enema. Luckily, he hadnever been forced to that option. He decided that his best option atthis point was to get Mulder alone and away from Scully, who he waswrongly accusing.

"Mulder, can we talk?" he asked as he came around the side of the bedwhere Mulder was staring out the window. He was trying to make eyecontact, but Mulder was avoiding it at all costs. He shrugged as if hedidn't really give a shit, but he wasn't fooling anyone and least ofall, Pratt.

"Can I get a yes or no?" Pratt said attempting to elicit a verbalresponse. Mulder couldn't say he had been forced into this conversationif he answered him. His response was a disgusted look and a snarled"yes."

"Thank you." he said cheerfully before he turned to Maggie and Scully,"Could I ask you two to leave now?"

They both nodded and exited the room with anxious glances toward thebed. Pratt sat in the chair next to the bed facing Mulder andimmediately realized just how difficult this was going to be.

He wanted to help Mulder, but he couldn't if Mulder wouldn't talk. Thesession started off on the wrong foot with a silent, staring session tosee who could hold out longer. Neither of them would relinquish theirgazes, but then Miles decided to quit playing childish games.

"Mulder," he said, slightly annoyed at the smirk that graced Mulder'sface as soon as he spoke, "believe it or not, no one here relishes inmaking you suffer. Tyler was doing what he had too, or you would havejust been in the hospital for even longer. Unfortunately, what's bestfor you isn't always enjoyable."

"Yeah no shit." Mulder said flatly.

"Well, since you're obviously not going to initiate any kind of realtalking, I will." Pratt said giving Mulder a stern, but empathetic look."Why don't you tell me what happened the other day when Tyler wasexamining your rectum?"

"No."

Pratt was surprised at the blatant refusal. He knew Mulder wasn'texactly happy about this, but he had been playing along.

"Alright. Well then, if you won't talk about that, then let's talk aboutwhat happened when you were given an enema yesterday."

Miles' judgment on this subject had been right. Mulder did not want totalk about it. His whole body tensed as he looked up at Pratt with adefiant look, but the depths of pain in his eyes did not escape Miles'well-tuned observational skills. Mulder needed to talk about thiswhether he wanted to or not.

"I'm not talking about it. When you've had someone shove water all theway up your ass then, we can talk about it." Mulder was refusing to makeeye contact with Pratt. It seemed like an insignificant thing, but Milesknew it was because Mulder's fear shown like a candle in his expression.It was time to take the bull by the horns, so to speak.

"Mulder," Pratt said leaning towards the bed and attempting to make eyecontact, " who did that to you? What did they do to scare you likethat?"

Mulder flinched visibly, but still said nothing.

"Why did your mother do that to you Mulder? Was she trying to help?"

Pratt saw the tears start to flow down Mulder's face before he heard thestrangled whisper. "She hurt me."

"How did she hurt you, Mulder?" he said lowering the rail on the bed, sothat he could sit closer just in case anything happened.

Mulder sniffled and looked up at him with tears brimming. "No one wassupposed to touch me there. Why did she have to touch me there? Her andDad said it was bad to let anyone touch me there, but they both did it."

When Miles heard they both did it, he was alarmed. "Did your dad help your mom?"

Mulder let out a loud sob and sunk down into the bed. He curled himselfinto a ball as he continued to cry. "No, Dad tried to hurt me. Henever hurt Sammy though. Mommy wasn't trying to hurt me, she just did,but Dad always tried to hurt me."


Pratt was appalled that his suspicions had been right. He had suspectedphysical abuse, but he hadn't really considered sexual abuse. This wasturning into a three ring circus with Fox Mulder's past in the centerring. He just hoped he could handle playing the ringmaster role.

Miles had decided that he needed to leave Mulder alone forawhile. He was going to make sure someone was watching him, butnot only did Mulder need sometimes to regroup, but so did Miles.

"Mulder, I'm gonna go check on some other patients. I think youcould use a little time to yourself. Do you need anything?"

Mulder just stretched out in the bed and stared out the window.Miles could almost see the curtain of avoidance coming back overMulder's features. He obviously did not want to talk anymoreand Miles wasn't sure he'd ever be able to get Mulder to talkabout the child abuse again. He kind of felt like he waswalking away from the issue, but this was just too much for himto jump into without some serious thought. Mulder had beentraumatized by the rape, but when you added sexual abuse on topof that and it just sent his emotional status way over the top.Mulder had been coping with his father's abuse his entire life,not well, but he had been coping. Miles wasn't convinced thatit was a good idea to delve into the horrors of Mulder'schildhood when there were more recent issues to deal with.

"I thought you were leaving." Mulder said startling Milesout of his psychobabble. Mulder didn't sound pissed, he justsounded impatient to get rid of Miles. It was kind ofunderstandable.

Miles cocked an eyebrow, but started for the door. "Do youwant me to send in Scully? She really doesn't deserve youranger you know. She was only doing what was best for you."

Mulder nodded resignedly, but still answered no. He thenturned back to the window._*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Mulder's mind was a jumble of images and not one of them was animage that Mulder wanted to think about. It wasn't like hecould confront his father about the way he had treated him as achild. What was he supposed to do, have a seance and call uphis father? He might believe in extreme possibilities, but thatone was out of the question in his case. His father was deadand as much as he hated the man, he still found that there weretimes when he missed him. Sure, his family was dysfunctional,but it was the only one he had. If his mother ever spoke tohim again after what he had said to her days before, it would bea miracle. She was about as loving and forgiving as Hitler.Mulder was never sure that she knew what his father was doing tohim sexually, but he was positive that she knew about thephysical abuse.

She was the one who'd taken him to the hospital a dozen timeswhen his shoulder was dislocated or he needed stitches or he hada bruise so big on his kidney that his belly had swelled up andhe'd pissed blood for three days. She was always the one whomade up the stories to fool the doctors. Falling out of treeswas considered the Fox Mulder specialty. He'd fallen out of somany trees that his neck should have been broken about 12 times,but the hospital staff always seemed to ignore the bruises thatcouldn't be explained. Mostly because they were afraid of thethreats that Bill Mulder had made towards their careers if theyever mentioned what was happening to his son. For some reason,it never dawned on his mother that all these trips to thehospital made her look like a negligent mother. She didn'treally seem to give a shit as long as no one pried into theirprivate lives. Mulder could remember all too well how manytimes he had laid on the gurney letting them check over his armsor legs when there were other areas that needed attention, butno one ever thought to examine those areas.

He could remember the nights that he'd gotten those injuries alltoo well thanks to his cursed memory. It was great having an

eidetic memory, except when you could remember vividly everythingyour father did to you when he came to visit your room late atnight. Mulder would always lay as still as possible and hopethat he would leave and just go to bed, but it never happened.Mulder instantly felt nauseous as his mind recalled the ranksmell of whiskey on his father's clothes and breath. Thesickening part was that it was the only time that Mulder evergot any attention from his father that wasn't completelynegative. Bill Mulder would always talk for awhile before hefulfilled his needs. He'd always spoon up to the back ofMulder's adolescent body and tell him that he really did lovehim. He was just the kind of man who couldn't show hisemotions. He would ramble from subject to subject until finallyhe could wait no longer. He would then cuddle up to Mulder evenfarther. Mulder had always wondered why his parents suddenlybought him a double bed when he never asked for one, but he knewthe answer. His father just wasn't comfortable enough in thelittle twin bed he'd had before. He should have known somethingwas up. His parents never bought him anything that he didn'tabsolutely need after Samantha was gone.

His father would slowly begin to reach beneath the waistband ofhis son's pajama pants. Mulder could remember lying thereabsolutely rigid as tears trickled down his face. His fatherwould then pull his pants and underwear off almost sensually, asif he were trying to arouse him. He could feel his father'sperverted hardness against the back of his thighs. After thefirst couple of times, he had stopped screaming throughout thewhole thing. Not because it didn't hurt anymore, but becausethe screaming never got him anywhere. All he ended up with waslaryngitis the next day. His father always tried to pretendthat his son was getting something out of it when he fondled hispenis and testicles. Mulder never once got hard though. He wasan adolescent boy was uncomfortable with the changes in his bodyand yet his father was taking advantage of that.

He would slowly begin to work his large finger through Mulder'sanus. Despite the lube, it always hurt. Always. He never gotused to it and he never liked it. His father would then thrusthis whole length in at once. Though it always felt like he wasbeing ripped apart, Mulder would bite his lip to avoidscreaming. His father would be satisfied with thrusting intohim for a while and then he would drag him to the end of the bedand bend him over it, so that he could penetrate him evenfurther. There was never any enjoyment in those sessions,especially not later when he sat over the toilet waiting to stopbleeding. If there was no enjoyment then, why had he gotten offwhen Colton had raped him?

His father would always threaten him after he'd taken what hewanted. He would threaten to tell everyone that Fox was alittle faggot. Only now did Mulder realize that was an idlethreat. It would have tarnished the morally upstandingcitizenship of Bill Mulder.

_______________________________________________________________

Subject: [MTA_Stories] Ravages of Spirit 18b

All the official stuff was included in part A.-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8-8

Mulder was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't hearScully enter the room until she put her hand on his shoulder.He flinched, but then laid back when he realized who it was. Heknew he really had no reason to be mad at her. It was just thatthe enema that brought up so many issues for him and he wastaking that anger out on the person closest to him. She was soforgiving though. He'd treated her like shit for the past weekand she put up with his mood swings and always came back tocomfort him. He definitely did not deserve her loyalty. Shewas looking at him now with complete compassion. It wasn't pity,she knew he would have hated that. As she sat down on the bed,Mulder turned towards her. She reached up and wiped the tearsoff his face. He hadn't even realized he was crying.

"What were you thinking so hard about?" she said as she took oneof his hands between hers. He quickly turned and looked backout the window. She could see the tears brimming over onto hiseyelashes again. She stroked the back of his hand lightly. "Youdon't have to tell me, Mulder. It's okay."

"I want to tell you, Scully. I just can't right now. I don'tknow if I ever will be able to tell anyone. Its just somethingI've always had to deal with on my own."

"You don't have to tell anyone, Mulder. You just have to knowthat if you ever want to, there's a lot of people who would bewilling to listen."

He nodded, but continued to stare out the window. It wasobvious that whatever he had been thinking about when she camein was still on his mind. Miles hadn't told her exactly whathad happened when he had talked to Mulder, but he had seemedoverwhelmed. She wondered which Mulder family skeleton hadtumbled out of the closet. There certainly were enough hiding inthere.

"When can I go home?" Mulder said turning to face her onceagain.

"I think Tyler is planning on discharging you tomorrow as longas your kidneys look okay and your temp stays down. It was alittle high last night. He also wants you to get everythingstraight with Miles."

Mulder rolled his eyes at her and chuckled. "It isn't all goingto be "straight" for a long time." That was all he would say.He wasn't willing to elaborate on his comment, he truly was notready to talk about what had happened. She figured she might aswell change the subject to at least get his mind off hismemories.

"How about if I go heat up whatever it is that's on that trayover there and you can get something to eat?"

"What exactly is on that tray over there?" Mulder said with agrimace.

She lifted the pink cover off the plate and revealed some typeof soup, a roll, vanilla pudding and what looked like broccoli.She raised and eyebrow and looked at Mulder with amusement. Noway in hell was he going to eat that broccoli or anything elseon the tray for that matter. He shot her a look of disgust andshook his head.

"No need to warm any of that up because I am not eating it."

"Mulder, if you don't eat, they won't let you leave. I know itslooks unappetizing, but maybe its not that bad."

"You can eat it then."

She gave him a stern look, but honestly she couldn't blame himfor not wanting to eat it. "Alright, I'll make a deal with you.If you eat the pudding and the roll, I will go down to the delion K street and get some of their famous chicken soup."

Mulder grinned. "Deal. Hand me that mess they call pudding."Scully laughed and pushed the tray towards him. He picked upthe spoon and scooped up some pudding.

"Here goes nothing." he said as he shoved it in his mouth andclosed his eyes. He reminded Scully of a little kid who wasbeing forced to take his medicine. His eyes popped open though."Its not too bad."

"You haven't eaten in so long that anything would probably tastegood."

"Yeah, that soup will taste real good. What are you waitingfor?" He was feigning an impatient pout.

Scully raised her eyebrows again and laughed. "Well, I can seeyou feel at least a little bit better. You're being pushy andimpatient again."

"Well, everyone wants me to eat so bad. Go get me some food,woman!"

"Only if you promise that when I come back, I'm not going tofind out that you got in trouble while I was gone."

"I don't get in trouble that much, Scully. Why's everyone thinkI'm so mischievous?" He had the kicked dog expression fullyemployed at this point.

"Because you can't seem to keep your little butt in that bed."

"Have you been admiring my ass, Agent Scully?" he added a pensive look, "Ialwayswondered why you walked a step behind me."

"I walk a step behind you because your legs are double the sizeof mine, but I do get a nice view of your rear-end."

Mulder's jaw dropped open. Was Scully actually flirting withhim? He tried to come up with a witty comeback, but his brainbackfired. Instead, he just sputtered. Scully couldn't help,but laugh. He sounded like the old Mulder. She knew there weregoing to be ups and downs, but they came so quickly with him.The mood swings were different every other minute.

"What's all the noise in here?" Skinner said as he and Maggiecame in. Skinner had just gotten back from his interrogationwith Colton. They had gotten absolutely nothing out of him.Luckily for them, the judge had ruled to hold him without bailfor forcible sodomy, assault on a federal officer and severalother lesser charges. They couldn't charge him with first degreerape because it wasn't considered that when the incident wasmale to male. Sometimes justice was completely backwards.

Maggie had walked over to the bed and given Mulder and kiss onthe forehead as Skinner sat down in the chair next to the bed.

"Alright. Scully, you can leave now. There's people here tobabysit me."

"Where are you going?" Maggie asked.

"I told Mulder that if he ate the pudding and the roll on hislunch tray I would get him some real soup from a deli downtown.And now he won't give up." She said rolling her eyes at him.

"I'll stay for awhile. Why don't you go?"

"Scully, you should go home and get some sleep. You looktired." Mulder said almost guiltily.

"I'm fine, Mulder. I slept as long as you did last night. Ijust need to change my clothes and shower. I'll go get the soupand bring it back and then I can go home and freshen up whileMom's here."

"I don't have to be watched all the time you know. I'm goinghome tomorrow. Alone." He was becoming quickly disgusted byeveryone's over-protectiveness.

"Fox, why don't you come home with me for a couple days?" Maggiesaid.

Mulder quickly shook his head. Normally, he couldn't refuseanything to her, but he was feeling smothered. "I'm sorry, Mrs.Scully, but I just really want to go home."

"That's fine, Fox. I'll cook up some food and bring it over foryou since Dana tells me that what you usually eat is atrocious."

Mulder looked at Scully in mock shock. "What I eat at home isbetter that this hard, stale roll. Are you implying thatMcDonald's cheeseburgers aren't fulfilling my daily intake ofnutrients?"

"They're filling something, but its not your nutrients, its yourarteries." Scully said dryly.

"So why don't you go get me some soup?" Mulder yawned as hefinished his sentence. "Why am I so damned tired? I've onlybeen awake about two hours."

"Your body is trying to heal, Mulder. It wants you to rest.You go to sleep and I'll wake you up when I get back with yoursoup after I take a shower."

Mulder was already sliding down into the bed and shutting hiseyes. He definitely did not have his energy level back yet, butat least he had eaten something and he was gonna eat more later.

Scully said good-bye and walked out the door just as a nurse wascoming through it to take Mulder's vital signs. She stayed to seeif his temp was still high.

"Mr. Mulder, can I have your arm to take your blood pressureplease?"

Mulder simply held out his arm, but didn't even open his eyes.She popped the thermometer in his mouth and started to take hisblood pressure. After the required amount of time, she took thethermometer and looked at it closely.

"Your temp is still up a little bit. You're not running araging fever, but you've got a little bit of one. I'm going tohave Dr. Tyler come in when he gets here, but you should go tosleep for now." She then glanced over and saw the meal tray,"Mr. Mulder, you didn't eat all of your lunch."

"That's because its looked disgusting." Mulder said pointedly.

"I'm going to get him some chicken soup right now. He ate thepudding, so I figured we'd compromise."

The nurse nodded and left the room. Scully walked back over tothe bed and looked down at Mulder. She really wanted to know whyhe was still running a fever. There had to be an infectionsomewhere and she could only hope that it wasn't in his rectumor his kidney. They'd have to see later. Now, she owed herpartner some soup.

Scully returned with Mulder's soup to find Dr. Tyler standing over asleeping Mulder. Hewas listening to his heart under the gown, but he slipped the earpieces outwhen he sawScully.

"Hey." he said quietly.

"Hi, how is he?" Scully whispered back. Tyler opened his mouth to answer,but Mulderspoke first.

"I'm already awake. You don't have to whisper." He still hadn't made anyattempt toopen his eyes or look even the slightest bit awake.

"How's anybody supposed to know that when your eyes are shut?"

"He should know. He woke me up kicking out your mom and Skinner and tryingto lookup my ass again." He finally graced the two of them with his hazel eyes,butthey were stillonly halfway open.

Scully just ignored him and pulled the tray over with his soup on it."Here, eat." She putthe spoon in his hand and turned back to Tyler. "Did you figure out why hehas a fever?"

"He doesn't have a fever anymore, so all I can guess is that he wasslightlydehydrated. Ifits anything serious, the fever will be back tonight. When he's spikedfevers, its been atnight. We'll watch him and I'm going to give him a thorough exam tomorrowmorningbefore I release him."

"What time are you setting me free?" Mulder said between bites of soup.

"Probably around ten. I'm going to take your IV out now though. I want toget most ofthe heavy painkillers out of your system today. I'm sending you home withDarvocet.Have you ever taken that before?"

Mulder looked up with a mouthful and a drip of broth running down his chinand raisedhis eyebrows at Scully. He shrugged.

She handed him a napkin and shook her head jokingly. "Yes, he's had itbefore, but hedidn't take it. He has a habit of dumping painkillers."

"I don't like the way they make me feel and you know it."

"Well, I think you're going to want to take it this time around. Betweenyour nose,shoulder, ribs, and all the other stuff, your body is going to hurt likehell after we knockoff the Demerol completely." Tyler said.

"Oh, I just can't wait." he said with a frown, but he didn't slow downshoveling the soupin his mouth.

"Is that soup good?" Scully said with a bemused smile. He'd alreadyfinished off most ofthe bowl.

Mulder didn't even look up from the bowl. "Nag me when I don't eat, nag mewhen Ido."

"I'm not nagging. I'm just happy that you're eating and looking soenthusiastic about it."

"If what they served here tasted this good, I would have eaten a lot more."

Tyler was putting Mulder's chart back into the slot on the end of the bed."Bye, Mulder.I hope I don't have to see you again until tomorrow." He grinned as hewalked towardsthe door.

The corners of Mulder's mouth raised a little. "Believe me, the feeling ismutual."



The hours passed entirely too slow for Mulder, but despite a night oftossing and turning,it was finally Thursday morning. He could definitely feel the lack ofpainkillers in hissystem. His body felt like one big ache. He'd even taken the Darvocet fromthe nursewithout so much as an argument. He'd been on Demerol for almost a week anda half, ofcourse, he was going to be in pain. It wasn't his longest hospital stay,but it was quitelong enough.

He'd just had blood drawn and was now waiting for Miles to grace him withhis presence.Everyone had absolutely insisted that he set up appointments for twice aweek before heleft the hospital. He had also been threatened by Scully to actually attendthoseappointments. With any luck, he could narrow them down to once a week, butMiles washarder to fool than most of the psychologists he'd been to. Right now allMulder had toconvince him of was that he was well enough to go home by himself.

"So I guess you're ready to get the hell outta Dodge, huh?" Miles said witha grin.Mulder hadn't heard him enter.

"Can't wait. As soon as Tyler gets here, I can bust this joint."

"Just remember that you aren't fully recovered yet. You have to take iteasy. Are yousure you're gonna be alright at home with your arm in that sling?"

"I'll be fine." Mulder said trying not to show his anger. He was fed upwith everyonedoubting his self-judgement. He knew it wasn't the arm in the sling thathad Milesworried.

Miles nodded, but his mind was elsewhere and Mulder knew it.

"I'm not going to pull a mental patient routine or anything. I'm going togo home and dothe same thing I'm doing here. Lay in a bed."

"Fine, Mulder, but you also know its not a good thing to sit around andthink all the time.Keep your mind occupied. And not by work."

"I'll read the stack of books that's piled up beside the bed I don't use."Mulder said flatly.

"You're going to get the lecture about your bed from Dr. Tyler, so I won'tgive it to you."

Mulder flashed a frown momentarily, but it dissipated as fast as itappeared. "I'msupposed to set up appointments with you."

"Its already done. Tyler organized them with your weekly doctor'sappointments. He'sgonna bring the schedule to you later."

Mulder instantly started grumbling. "I can't even make my own doctor'sappointmentsanymore."

"That's not why we did it, Mulder. We did it so that you wouldn't have tospendeveryday at the doctor's office. All your physical therapy is coordinatedwith it so thatyou have two completely free days during the week."

Mulder nodded, but he was still ticked off. He didn't appreciate peoplecontrolling his lifefor him.

It was as if Miles had read his mind. "No one is trying to take over yourlife. We're alljust trying to make things a little easier on you. I'm leaving all mynumbers with you.Scully has them, too. If you wake up at four in the morning, call me. Iwant you to. Theonly way I can help you is if you tell me what's going on." Miles pausedand looked forsome expression on Mulder's face, but it was passive. "Mulder, you don'thave to talkabout the child abuse. I know that's hard for you and it should be. You'vebeen dealingwith that your whole life in your own way. I won't push to change that, butyou do needto talk about the rape. I know how much it hurts, but you can either try toalleviate someof that or let it get worse."

Mulder was back to his favorite pastime of studying the pattern on theblanket, but Milesknew his words had some impact. Mulder was thankful that Miles wasn't goingto forcehim to talk about his father. He didn't really know how to reply.

"Umm..thanks. I know I've been a pain in the ass, but I really doappreciateeverythingyou've done for me." He then looked up and grinned, " For a shrink, you'renot too bad."

Miles chuckled. "Takes one to know one." He then handed Mulder a card witha bunch of numbers on it. He reached to shake Mulder's hand and said, "Ireally mean it, Mulder.Call me anytime."

Mulder thanked Miles again and watched as he walked out the door.Subject: [MTA_Stories] Ravages of Spirit 19b/?

From: Invisigoth Too

All the chit-chatty stuff is in part A.

******

Scully witnessed the tiny display of affection between Mulder and Milesfromoutside thedoor. She hoped that they'd finally found a psychologist who could getthrough to thecore of Mulder's pain.

"You ready to get out of this hospital, Agent Scully?"

She startled, but quickly regained her composure and turned to see Dr.Tylerwith a bag ofprescriptions. She nodded, but he could see that she wasn't quite sure thatthis was thebest thing for Mulder.

"Dana, physically, he's healing amazingly well. We can't keep him here anylonger. Milesreally does think he'll be safe at home. That's all we can hope for."

"I know, but I just know how he tends to go off in his own little world attimes and forgetabout everything else. Its not pretty."

Their conversation was interrupted by Miles leaving the room. Heimmediately picked upon the solemn countenance of Scully.

He put his hand on her arm and began to speak softly. "I know you'reworried, but youcan't baby him. He's not used to it and it smothers him. He realizes thathe's notcompletely well and I think that the threat of ending up in the hospitalagain is enough tokeep him straight."

"Let's hope so." Scully said and then effectively ended the conversation byleaving Milesand Tyler to look at each other as she entered Mulder's room.

"Morning, Mulder."

"Hey Scully." He said, truly happy for the first time in days. "Did youbring me someclothes?"

"Yes. I brought your Adidas warm-up suit. I figured it'd be the mostcomfortable." Shenoticed that his hair was damp as she sat down on the corner of the bed."Did they let youtake a shower alone this morning?"

"Did you think I was gonna let someone else get in there with me?" He gaveher adoubtful look. "You know, I really hate hospital shampoo. Its like usingdish detergent."

Scully grinned. "You are so finicky about your hair, Mulder! Did you expectthem to havePaul Mitchell here?"

He feigned a look of shock. "I'm finicky!? You have no room to talkScully! What kindof dye do you use?" He couldn't help but grin when she shot him a wickedlook.

"I do NOT dye my hair and you know it!" She swatted him on the arm andstoodup fromthe bed when she saw that Tyler was coming in with a nurse. "I'm going downto getsome coffee while Tyler examines you. I'll be back."

"Nice Arnold impression." He called behind her as she walked out the door."Alright, Dr.Tyler, let's get this over with."

"I'm in complete agreement. We're ready to rid of you." He smiled as hepulled a traywith some instruments on it over. "Can you sit on the edge of the bed forme?"

Mulder moved to the edge of the bed despite the pain in his ass and hisshoulder. Hedidn't really want Tyler to know how much he was hurting. Tyler quicklychecked all ofthe regular stuff and then peeled the bandage back over Mulder's nose. Itwas healingnicely. He didn't really know what Mulder's nose had looked like before,but thecosmetic surgeon had been in a couple of times, so he guessed thateverything was lookinggood.

He then asked Mulder to lower the gown to his waist and lay back on thebed.A physicaltherapist had already talked to Mulder about his shoulder, so Tyler couldbypass that. Hepalpated Mulder's abdomen thoroughly, so that he could feel the shrinkingcontusions onhis liver. He then asked Mulder to shed his boxers.

Mulder didn't move to do anything. He was eyeing the nurse suspiciously.

"Is there a problem?"

"Does she have to stay here?"

The nurse turned around with a surprised, but slightly hostile look.

"No offense, but I would just rather she not be here."

The nurse turned to Dr. Tyler and he nodded for her to leave. She scurriedout of theroom and Mulder stiffly removed his boxers.

"The pain's pretty bad, isn't it?" Tyler asked skeptically. Mulder's headjerked up insurprise. "You're not hiding it as well as you think." Tyler gave a slightshrug. "The rigidposture gave it away. Did you take the Darvocet this morning?"

Mulder nodded as he sat back on the edge of the bed.

"Is it even making a dent in the pain?"

"It helped a little. I just have to get used to being off the Demerol."

"I know. I am sending some Demerol home with you in case it gets reallybad.I also gaveyou some Flexeril. I want you to take that with the Darvocet once you gethome. Its amuscle relaxant."

"Yeah, I know I've had it before." He said as he laid back down.

"I need you to stand for this part." Tyler said as he sat on a stool.Mulder once againclimbed off the bed uncomfortably and stood in front of Tyler.

"Can you hold the gown up around your waist and spread your legs a littlemore?"

Mulder shot him a look of disgust, but did as he was told. Dr. Tyler liftedhis penis andbegan to examine where the stitches had been.

"Everything looks good here. The swelling has gone down and the lacerationsare almosthealed. You've still got some bruising, but it'll fade in a couple of days.How's the painhere?"

"Not too bad."

Tyler looked into his urethra and grabbed a swab off the tray. "This isgonna hurt for asecond." Tyler said just before he pushed the oversized Q-tip into thesmallhole.

"Shit! You weren't kidding!" Mulder was struggling to stand still, but thepain went awayas fast as it had come.

Tyler placed the swab into a tube and gently grasped Mulder's testicles.

"You've still got quite a bit of swelling here," he said as he looked up atMulder's face.He quickly noticed that Mulder was grimacing, not to mention getting ratherpale. He letgo and pushed Mulder towards the bed.

"I'm alright. They just really ache."

Dr.Tyler had figured that out. Mulder had broken into a sweat already. "Ican finish whileyou sit. Sit on the edge of the bed before you pass out."

Mulder scowled at him, but sat. Tyler resumed his exam and ran a fingeralong where thestitches had been. He quickly checked for a hernia by asking Mulder tocough. "Besidesthe swelling, these cuts are almost healed as well. I haven't talked to youabout this yet,but I think that once the swelling goes down, we should check your spermcount. That'sthe only true way to tell if something internal was damaged that we didn'tpick up on."He saw the worried look on Mulder's face. "I don't think that there are anyproblems, butwe just want to be sure."

Mulder nodded and let out a sigh as Tyler let go of his testicles.

"If they hurt that bad, Mulder, you might want to wear an athleticsupporteror regularunderwear."

Once again Mulder shot him a dirty look, but he didn't comment.

"We're almost done. I need you to lay on your side with your rear close tothe edge ofthe bed."

Mulder gritted his teeth and got into the position. Damn, he couldn't waitto get out ofhere. He just kept telling himself that he only had to wait a little whilelonger. Mulderwas slightly worried about the fact that he was starting to not even thinktwice aboutshowing Tyler his ass. He tensed as he felt Tyler place a gloved hand oneach buttock andhe waited for the pain to come. It didn't come. He relaxed a little andlistened to Tylertalk behind him.

"Your anus looks very good considering. You've got some fissures here."Tyler said ashe pushed on the perineum. "I'm going to do a rectal exam now."

This was the part Mulder dreaded. He wasn't going to get upset about ittoday though.He had promised himself that. He heard Tyler squirt the lubricant on hisfingers andsuddenly the cold gel was being spread around his anus. He couldn't stopthe flinch thatwracked his body.

"Relax and it won't hurt as much. I want you to bear down and I'm going toslip myfinger in." Mulder did and winced as Tyler's index finger slid into him.It definitely wasnot a picnic, but it didn't hurt half as bad as it had a couple of daysearlier.

"You doing alright, Mulder?"

"Yeah, I'm fine."

He could feel Tyler rubbing the fissures on the inside. When he hit onethat wasparticularly sore, Mulder yelped.

"Sorry. I'm almost done with this." Tyler finished his exam and pulled hisfinger outslowly.

"Everything feels okay. I'm going to look in real quick with the speculum.That's goingto hurt a little more. I'd like to give you a suppository that's a topicalanesthetic to curbthe pain while I do it, but its up to you."

Mulder didn't reply immediately, but finally nodded his head. Tyler had toadmit that hewas in shock. Was Fox Mulder becoming less stubborn and pig-headed? Hedidn't thinkabout it too long and quickly slipped the suppository in and began tolubricate thespeculum. It didn't take long for the little capsule to melt. He waited acouple moreminutes and then warned Mulder that he was inserting the instrument.Luckily, it slid ineasily and Tyler was able to open it without causing Mulder too much pain.He could seeall the fissures and lacerations still, but they looked a hundred percentbetter.

"Everything looks so much better here. Its still going to be painful, butyou'rerecuperating very quickly." He shut the speculum and pulled it out gently.He then wipedup the excess lubricant and lowered Mulder's gown. "All done. I've includedsome ofthose suppositories in your bag. You can use them every 6 hours if you needto."

Mulder nodded and climbed off the bed to put his boxers on. He was movingrigidly, butnot wasting any time. He was already pulling his warm-up pants on.

"We need to go over a couple things, Mulder."

"I know the rules. No running, no doing anything strenuous, sleep a lot,take all mymedicines. Blah, blah, blah." Mulder was now done getting dressed and hadsat himself inthe chair next to the bed.

"All that's true, Mulder, but with injuries like yours, you have to be evenmore careful.Check for blood when you go to the bathroom. There will be a little, but ifthere seems tobe a lot, get yourself in here. I also want you to watch closely for afever. You wererunning one and we don't know why, so be careful. No sleeping on the coucheither. Iwant you to get a good night's sleep in your bed. I included some sleepingpills to if youneed them. There's a schedule of all your appointments in the bag and inthe prescriptionbag, it tells you when to take everything and how close together you cantake anything. Ialso gave you my card with my pager and cell phone number on it. Becareful, Mulderand don't be afraid to call if you need anything. I don't need you messingup any of mygood work." He grinned as he shook Mulder's hand.

"Sorry for all the trouble I caused." Mulder said sheepishly.

"Keeps me on my toes. Take care of yourself."

"Thanks." Mulder smiled and watched him walk out the door. Almostimmediately, Scullyentered with a wheelchair.

"You ready? All your papers are signed and your stuff is packed up." Thoughshe wasworried about him, the huge grin that came across his face as he got in thewheelchairsoothed some of her fears.

"Home, driver!" he said as he pointed towards the door. Damn, it was goodto get out ofhere.

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