Outpatient


AUTHOR: Nicola Simpson
EMAIL: nicola.simpson@ualberta.ca
DATE: June 22, 1995
CATEGORY: Crossover (X-Files) Ensemble
RATING: G
SPOILERS: None
DISCLAIMER: Insert standard disclaimers here. No copyright infringement intended of characters created by Chris Carter and Michael Crichton, property of FBC and NBC.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: We all knew sooner or later, in their travels, that Mulder would end up in an emergency room in Chicago, right? But-as ER is such a high-paced visual show, I found it difficult to stretch this out into a real plot. I've also never done a crossover before, so bear with me.
SUMMARY: Mulder makes several trips to the ER, as usual.



Cook County General Hospital
Chicago, IL
Tuesday, November 11
2:30 pm

"Scully, I really don't think this is necessary," the lanky man insisted as his petite partner propelled him through the swinging doors leading to the Emergency Room.

She pursed her lips and frowned up at him. "Mulder, don't be a baby. We have to get it checked, okay?"

"Why can't you just do it?" Oh god, he was starting to whine. Scully felt her patience start to drip away like an errant intravenous unit.

Sighing in exasperation, she explained yet again, "Because I don't have all the right equipment with me here, Mulder." Their progress down the short hall was quick, but long enough for Scully to breathe in the familiar odor of disinfectant and the slight tang of blood. She was in her element here, and her confidence leading Mulder through the small maze of equipment and trauma rooms was obvious.

They stopped at a large curved counter, covered in papers and file folders. Now Mulder was in *his* element, in the frenetic chaos of the Admitting station. People in white coats whirled past him, gurneys on slightly squeaky castors rolled behind him. The flourescent lights above bathed them in an uncomfortably bright haze. Mulder felt confused all of a sudden, like he had been dropped into Oz. He looked over at his partner, who was talking with a woman in a pink sweater, and realized that she was maybe more comfortable here than he had ever seen her.

The woman in the pink sweater turned to him. He almost started at the luminosity of her face, her eyes bright in the creamy glow, and her dark hair curled around her shoulders. Mulder looked at her white lucite nametag: Carol Hathaway, R.N.

She smiled at him. "So, what seems to be the problem-" she glanced down briefly at the papers that Scully had already filled out, "Mr. Mulder?"

He looked over at Scully, who was rummaging through her pockets for something, her brow furrowed in concentration, then he turned back to Hathaway and held up his left hand.

Sheepishly, he admitted, "Ferret bite."

Her dark eyes didn't even shift. She didn't move a muscle, not even to raise an eyebrow at an injury that even Mulder found embarrassing. "Ferret," she repeated matter-of-factly. He nodded.

"Aha!" Scully fairly shouted in triumph, startling both Mulder and Hathaway. She produced a long object to Hathaway. "Your pen," she explained, "Sorry I stole it." She tossed her auburn head at Mulder. "He always loses ours, so I guess I've taken to compulsive kleptomania in defense." Hathaway grinned as she took the proferred writing instrument and placed it behind the desk. Mulder was still staring at Scully in amused amazement while Hathaway called out to a tall man in greens approaching the counter.

"Mark?" The man looked up from the file in his hand, the flourescent lights reflecting in his wire-rimmed glasses. "Can you take this?"

"Sure." He scrawled something quickly in the chart, then handed it to Hathaway. He crossed his arms over his chest, then let his gaze travel up and down the pair.

"You're not police." His eyes took in the dark suits and expressions that both of them wore. "FBI," he stated.

Scully reached in her pocket for her ID, as did Mulder.

"I'm Agent Dana Scully, and this is Agent Fox Mulder."

"Mark Green." He shook hands briefly with Scully, then offered it to her partner. Mulder shook it, then held up his other hand, blood dripping slowly down his wrist.

Dr. Green shook his head. "You shouldn't do that, you'll wreck your shirt cuffs," he advised, smiling. Mulder swore softly and rapidly lowered his hand.

Scully peered at the red-tinged white shirt under his suit jacket, and grinned. "Too bad, Mulder." She shrugged. "Well, it was only silk." Green smiled again, then turned to Hathaway.

"Exam Room Three available?"

She nodded, then suddenly dashed towards the door as a gurney and surrounding paramedics burst in. Mulder watched the frantic ballet silently in amazement until he realized that Green and Scully were halfway down the hall.

Scully looked back and rolled her eyes. "Mulder!"

"I'm coming, Scully." He caught up with them as they swung into a small room filled with sterile metal things and a small table and chair. Glass and metal cabinets lined the walls, filled with bandages, and small packages of things. Dr. Green motioned him to a chair, which Mulder immediately sat in, much to Scully's relief. He was much easier to deal with when he was at a lower level than her, she had realized a long time ago. When he was standing next to her, his presence was just too powerful sometimes, and it was hard for her to feel in control.

Mulder's gaze travelled to the tray on the table holding an assortment of scalpels, lined up according to size. The bright light overhead gleamed on them, accentuating the sharp edges. Mulder felt his sphicter contract involuntarily in the hard plastic seat beneath him, and a light sweat break out on his brow.

Scully put her hand on his shoulder and gently said, "Dr. Green is just going to clean the wound and probably take some blood to make sure that there's no rabies or infection, okay Mulder?" She directed the last part of her explanation to both Mulder and Green, who nodded.

"You a doctor, Agent Scully?" Green asked lightly as he sat in the chair opposite Mulder and turned his hand in the light.

"Yes, I am," she confirmed. "Are you going to give him a shot of penicillin too?" They entered a small discussion of different antibiotics, until they heard Mulder's voice.

"Shot?" he croaked, interrupting.

Scully patted him on the shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry, Mulder. It's a small needle."

Green turned his attention back to the wound, which was about two inches across on the back of Mulder's left hand. "How did you get this?"

He winced as Green dabbed antiseptic in the break of the skin. "We were interrogating someone and their pet ferret didn't like the questions I asked."

Mark didn't even look up. "Must have been some pretty soul- searching questions."

Scully turned as someone entered the room. The man standing there-no, the *boy* standing there was wearing clothing almost identical to Green, but with a white coat overtop.

"Ah, Carter." Green looked up briefly. "Want to see a ferret bite?" Scully surmised that this must be a medical student, as he leaned over the table and quickly examined Mulder's lean hand. He smiled at Scully, who wondered to herself if she ever looked that young in med school. Probably.

Satisfied that the wound was clean, Green quickly drew some blood and asked Carter to bandage the hand. Mulder was looking more relaxed now, but Scully could still see wariness in his eyes as he took in Carter'a attempts to find the right bandage in a nearby cupboard.

Dr. Green addressed Scully briefly. "Stick around for a bit until I have the blood test back, just to make sure."

Scully nodded, then thanked him for his help.

Half an hour later, the blood tests were back-negative, and the tinge of khaki had almost faded completely from Mulder's face.


Tuesday, November 11
11:26 pm.

"Mulder, I just don't believe you sometimes."

"I don't need a lecture, Scully. My head is pounding enough as it is, okay?"

She frowned and held the door open to the Emergency Room for the second time that day. "Anyone who decides to go for a late night run along Michigan Avenue deserves to be hit by a car."

Mulder winced, then corrected her. "Brushed. *Brushed* by a car." Scully waved a ringless hand at him as if to say "whatever" and led him to the Admitting Desk. The woman with the long black hair wasn't there, but a friendly African-American woman seemed eager to help them.

Scully explained, embarrassed at her partner's antics for what seemed like the thousandth time. "Can we see Dr. Green?"

The nurse apologized, "Sorry, Dr. Green has gone home. What's the problem?

Mulder piped in wearily. "I was brushed by a car."

"*Hit* by a car, actually," his partner corrected.

He had to give the nurse some credit, she didn't even smile. "Okay, I think Dr. Lewis is available?" She looked expectantly at Scully as though she expected a problem, but Scully just returned a blank nod of her sleep-mussed head.

They were ushered into an exam room, a different one than before, but outfitted about the same. Mulder perched himself up on the exam table, a white sheet of thin paper bunching and crackling under his sweats. He sighed heavily, then experimentally rotated his right wrist. He watched Scully, who was assessing the contents of the glass cabinets with a practiced, and very beautiful eye. Damn, he felt guilty for getting her out of bed. Actually, it was the police that called her after they came on the hit-and-run scene. Oh, sorry, *brush*-and-run. He could just imagine her shock and fear when she awoke to a phone call from the CPD about him. His dark head dropped against his chest in embarrassment and exhaustion and he tried to ignore the throbbing pain in his left knee, ribs, head, just about everywhere, it seemed.

"Hi, I'm Dr. Lewis." Mulder's head snapped up, and his jaw dropped at the figure striding into the room. Lewis's attention was on Mulder first, then she turned and nodded at Scully, who was staring at Lewis. She only saw her own auburn hair, pulled back tightly in a ponytail, but Mulder saw something more.

The slightness and strength of Lewis radiated from her starched coat, now limp from hours of use, her tired face still naturally glowing, her confident and professional attitude-it was like meeting Scully's twin. Mulder choked, almost laughing at the possibilities.

After the second bout of poking and prodding that day, Mulder was given several bandages, an anti-inflammatory and pain-killer, and a stern lecture about running into traffic on Michigan Avenue. Mulder protested vehemently, much to the amusement of the two women doctors. Scully was merely given instructions to take him back to the hotel and sit on him for a day. Not too hard though, Lewis warned, it might reinjure his ribs.

Scully thanked Susan Lewis and dragged her grumbling partner, now nearing the drop point thanks to the quick response to the medication he had just been given. They started towards the hall to the outer doors, but by the time they got there, Mulder had started to sing a medley from the Wizard of Oz. Scully felt her face flame, and hoped that nobody thought they were just visiting the psychiatric ward.

"Hey, Scully!" Mulder shouted against the cold wind, and pointed in a wide circle. "A basketball court!" The man dribbling the ball on the concrete fifteen feet away from them looked up, startled. Mulder started to strip off his coat, dragging Scully up to him at the same time. His voice was excited, but there was a definite undertone of exhaustion in it. "C'mon, let's shoot some hoops."

Now *she* was losing it. She tugged at him, scolding, "Mulder, put your jacket back on, it's only 40 degrees out." He shrugged and slid his arms back in the sleeves, just in time to shake hands with the other player on the crude court, who walked up to them.

"Doug Ross." He smiled broadly at Scully, who returned it tiredly. She was very distracted by Mulder, whose pupils were dilating by the minute.

"Dana Scully," she introduced herself. "That's Fox Mulder. Are you a doctor?"

"Pediatrician." Ross rolled the ball between his hands to warm them and spoke to Mulder, never taking his eyes off Scully.

"First one to 21?"

Scully restrained her partner slightly. "Mulder..."

He laughed at her, almost wildly. "C'mon Dr. Scully, I wanna play with the other kids!" He batted ineffectively at her hand on his arm, like a limpet.

Ross interrupted, "You're a doctor?" His obvious admiration for her grew by leaps and bounds, until he saw the menacing glare in Mulder's hazel eyes.

Scully never noticed the silent territorial battle being fought. "Yes, but I don't practice now. We're with the FBI." Ross looked like he wanted to ask more, but when he saw the way that Mulder looked at her, then him, he decided to clamp up.

Mulder and Ross had played fiercely for about ten minutes, when Mulder turned to Scully and asked her if she would go get him a cup of coffee or something. She was reluctant to leave him, but realized that they hadn't eaten or drank anything in hours. When she returned from the vending machines armed with two cans of orange juice and some cookies, Mulder was leading by three points, and had taken the opportunity to take off his coat again.

She made the best time-out signal that she could with her hands full and stormed onto the court.

"Stop!" Ross hugged the ball to his chest and waited. Scully wheeled on Mulder, stuffing his protesting limbs back into the jacket. "For heaven's sake, Mulder, you're worse than a four year-old." He stood there complacently, not helping as her fingers brushed over the gooseflesh on his arms. She peered up at him, assessing his physical state. "Okay, Mulder, time to go home."

Mulder scuffed his sneaker along the rough pavement, then bit his lip at a sharp pain in his ankle. He started to grumble, but knew there was no point.

Scully was already ten feet away, heading towards a cab stand. She called out behind her, "Say goodbye to your little friend, Mulder."

Mulder grinned at Ross, who made a whipping gesture with his hand, then scurried after his partner.


Wednesday, November 12
6:29 pm

The white curtain was dragged open by Carol Hathaway. Drs. Susan Lewis, Mark Green, Doug Ross, and John Carter stood on the other side, trying to contain smiles that threatened to crack the sides of their mouths.

But they couldn't laugh at someone else's misfortune, even if it was Mulder's.

Scully stood up wearily from the chair beside the bed, and motioned them outside.

Dr. Green raised an eyebrow, finally. "Well, Dr. Scully?"

She sighed. "I think the fever is breaking, so it doesn't look like pneumonia." She was silent for a minute, remembering her similar vigil in Alaska several months before. She shook her limp- haired head. "No, I think it's just a really nasty cold now." Scully glared at Ross, who laughed.

"Hey, *he's* the one who took his jacket off, not me!"

After Dr. Lewis confirmed Scully's diagnosis, they joked for a few more minutes, then left Scully with Mulder, who was dead asleep. He didn't even stir when Scully lay down on the bed next to him.

Only the grey walls heard her sigh, "I hate Chicago."


The End.

Personally, I *love* Chicago. Jeez, crossovers are hard. Think I'll quit while I'm behind...




Sequel: Impatient
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