|Aces, Deuces, and the Suicide King
Author: lorcan PM
In which House devises a game around a diagnosis and the team must manage with only the hand dealt to them. Complete. No new team.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 7 - Words: 9,043 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 08-05-08 - Published: 06-24-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4347461
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
House paid out the remainder of his money with poor grace and Foreman, slumped in his chair, wore a very similar expression. Cuddy had already filed away all shades of offences in her mental rolodex for future use and looked relaxed and delighted, but after all, she was having a good evening: a fundraiser going smashingly, the pleasant warmth of self-confidence in her veins, her maverick doctor humbled and her maverick doctor's patient mending. She tucked her roll of bills away and moved from the doorway, a sign the little gathering was over.
House she wouldn't expect to return downstairs; he'd probably reached his limit of acceptable behavior for one evening, but the other four doctors knew their cue when they saw it. Time for Foreman to resume his pensive seat below, Cameron to illuminate her special smile, Chase to put on the extra Aussie; time again to sing for their proverbial suppers. All this because it was these games with false rules, played with ceremony at tables with fifty-two cards or fifteen balls or a red and black wheel, that people understood, and not the games that doctors played more clumsily but more frequently with chemicals and hypodermic needles and giant magnets.
To men like House, who appreciate the irony of a public interest in invented games and a total ignorance of the real gamble of life, to those of an abstract, metaphorical bent, people are very much like games of chance. Given the scenario that night, men were in fact like poker hands. Foreman, like Cuddy, like Wilson, is a virtual guarantee of a win. Such a win is too easy for House, however; it lacks the finesse of skill, of daring. Gained from luck of the cards dealt, it is in life the fortune of having a good brain and a workoholic's drive, rather than the higher panache of bluffing or cheating. Cameron and Chase, are less predictable because their compasses can point so many directions, and slightly more skill is needed. They are partially luck, too, the luck of being intelligent, attractive people, but can only help win if played strategically in the right combination with other cards. Because they are wild, there are choices about how best to arrange them; within the person this equates to choices about how to allocate mental and emotional resources, choices about which path to take – some will be victory; others, a weak hand and an empty pocket. And, of course, there is House himself, the only one of his kind in the deck. A bit of tradition and a bit of triumph for him, requiring equal measures luck and skill to wield.
The games played at tables had ended for a time, though never those played in diagnostic departments. Sometimes even a promising hand can lose, because Death has superior timing or a better hand still, but sometimes the ingenuity of a player can result in a surprising conclusion. No matter the player, there will be times when they take all with a wide grin, and times when they are left with nothing, and always, always at the end of the game, there will be debts to settle. So it would be no different for the aces, the deuces, and the Suicide King.
AN: Sorry I left this end dangling so long, went out of town and forgot I hadn't posted the last chapter. Probably could have just left it as it was at chapter six but thought it needed more closure. Thanks to my readers! Might be a little while before another story because I need some new material but I'm not gone for good.