Mulder had been unusually quiet all day. At first, Scully thought he might be up to something, but when he refused lunch, very unlike him, she started to get a little worried. She started to pay closer attention to him and noticed how listless he was.
“What’s going on with you, Mulder?” she asked.
“Nothing.” Even his shrug was slow and heavy.
Suspicious, she walked up to his desk and put the back of her hand to his forehead. His eyes drooped and he didn’t even try to pull away.
“You have a fever,” she said.
“Not a very scientific is it, Dr. Scully?”
“I can pull out a thermometer if you’d like, just to tell me what we both already know.”
Mulder sighed and finally ducked away from her hand. She didn’t let him get away that easily though, she put three fingers on each side of his neck and felt the area just behind and below his ears. He grimaced.
“Your glands are swollen,” she said, leaning back against his desk and folding her arms across her chest. “What other symptoms do you have.”
“What are you doing here if you have the flu?”
“I don’t have the flu.”
Scully raised her right eyebrow.
“Maybe just a little flu,” he admitted.
“Mulder, there is no such thing as a little flu. You need to go home, drink lots of fluids, and get into bed.”
“But, I don’t wanna.”
Scully shrugged and leaned over to pick up his desk phone.
“What’re you doing?” he asked.
Quickly, Mulder jammed his thumb into the hook switch to hang up the phone. “We don’t need to do that,” he said.
“Then you need to go home.”
“I’ll get bored.”
“You’ll be sleeping.”
“Are you bluffing? Will you really call Skinner?”
She raised her brow again. The phone was still in her hand and Mulder’s thumb was still on the switch. Yes, she was bluffing, but he didn’t need to know that. He sighed and his shoulders slumped. His hand fell from the phone and she put it back in the cradle.
“Come on,” she said, pulling him to his feet. “Let’s go.”
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“Taking you home and making sure you stay in bed.”
“How do you think you’re going to do that?”
“I have my ways, Agent Mulder. I have my ways.”
If she didn’t know better, she’d say there was a little bit of a spring in his step and less drag as she pushed him out the door.