Housian Dynamics

A House fic by Merrie

Disclaimer: They are mine! All mine! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA is carted off by nice men in white coats with butterfly nets

Summary: Dr. Gregory House is a genius when it comes to diagnosing mysterious ailments and illnesses. But what happens when he falls ill with an unexplainable disease himself? Will his team be able to prove their worth by working together without him in time to save him?

Characters: House, Cam, Chase, Foreman, Wilson, Cuddy, Vogler, etc. etc. If they're on House regularly, they'll at least be mentioned in this fic.

Spoilers: As I started writing this after watching Heavy-yeah I know I'm slow-that's where this fic takes place but it will be AU after that.

Pairings: I'm a House/Cameron fanatic, so undoubtedly there will be aspects of that. I'm also a House/Wilson friendship fan so look for that as well.

Author's Note: While this isn't my first fanfic by any means, it is only my second attempt at writing for House. Also, I am not a doctor; I never have been nor ever will be a doctor. While all of the medical ailments are real-as far as the Internet informs me-I have tinkered with time and the seriousness of symptoms occasionally to make the story more dramatic. I hope you won't hold it against me.

Rating: Um, let's say PG-13 for naughty language, icky medical stuff, and much Vicodin taking. That's probably safe. Or...um, T? Is that how they're working this new-fangled rating system these days? In any case, this fic should be suitable for teenagers and above.

Chapter One

Gregory House felt like shit. There was no getting around it. He couldn't lie to himself and say that he was fine-that he was hung-over or just tired-because for one he hadn't had anything but his normal glass of single-malt scotch last night, and two he had actually gotten a decent amount of sleep. Looking at himself in the mirror made it even harder to deny; his complexion had all but turned the shade of rice paper save the two flushed cherries marking probably fever on his cheeks, his eyes looked dull and glassy even as he blinked them, and all around he looked about as well as he felt: like shit.

"Cuddy'd probably give me the day off if I called in," he mused to himself as he hung his cane on the towel rack and cupped his hands under the running faucet to bring cool relief to his feverish skin. He didn't dare take his temperature; there was only so much he could admit even to himself. He felt like shit. He was not, nor ever would be, sick. He didn't get sick. He got food poisoning, migraines and hangovers like everyone else, but he did not get sick. Therefore, if he wasn't sick, he couldn't call in claiming he was sick. Well, he could but that wouldn't be very nice, now would it? Not with the scores of unwashed waiting for their healer to arrive, he thought dryly. And those ducklings of mine wouldn't know what to do with themselves without me. Not to mention that turncoat Chase wouldn't have anyone to tattle to daddy on. House wanted to be upset with the young Australian doctor, but it took too much energy right now.

"I should just stay home," he mused again, half trying to convince himself. He had had to drag himself out of bed this morning as it was anyway. What difference would it make if he just crawled back between the sheets and let this godforsaken day go to hell? Because I'm not sick. I'm just in a bad mood. And what's more fun than inflicting your bad moods on unsuspecting coworkers and friends? His rational mind didn't have such an easy answer for that one.

ooo

"And you're here why, exactly?" James Wilson asked incredulously as he listened again to House's rationalisation of why he had come into work today. "Have you even seen yourself? You look half-dead. Face it Greg. You're sick. Just go home."

House grunted. "Go be a doctor somewhere else. I'm fine."

Wilson rolled his eyes. "You would say that if you had a dagger sticking out of your back."

House moved his hand to his back to feel along his shirt. "Well I certainly don't feel any daggers so therefore I must be fine. If you want to put one there later I won't tell. Now if you'll excuse me, my victims await," he said with a somewhat subdued-for him-mischievous grin and hobbled into his office, leaving Wilson to stand stunned in his wake, slowly shaking his head.

House moved into the conference room attached to his office without acknowledging any of his trio of young doctors as he headed straight for his red coffee mug and the coffee pot that Cameron had no doubt filled first thing. He stopped in front of it, very nearly poured himself a cup, debated on whether or not he wanted tea instead, and opted for neither. He didn't really feel like drinking anything right now anyway. Not because he wasn't feeling well-he didn't get sick-but because he simply wasn't thirsty. Or, that's what he told himself at least.

"Good morning, Dr. House."

Now wasn't that odd? It hadn't been Cameron's smooth tones that had greeted him but Foreman's deeper voice, inexplicably lacking the air of condescending that usually filled his words. Oh that's right. Foreman was the only one that wasn't mad at him at the moment. Chase was upset because he had been found out that he was tattling and Cameron…well Cameron had her reasons for being upset with him. He remained silent for a minute longer, seeing that Foreman wasn't really waiting for a response. He grunted a good morning back anyway and took a seat at the table with Foreman on his right and Cameron on his left. He leaned back in his chair and stretched his leg out in front of him, telling himself that he was sitting down to take the weight off of it, not that he felt dizzy all of a sudden. "So, nothing? Not a single case that requires my unique talents and skills?"

The trio shook their heads near simultaneously, Chase answering further. "We haven't had a new case in a week. Not since the fat girl."

Foreman snorted at this, clearly irritated by Chase's choice of words.

Chase shrugged and amended. "The heavy girl then."

"Who's not so heavy anymore," Cameron spoke up.

House would have rolled his eyes at their banter, but he found himself lacking the energy. "The girl, whether she could be called fat, heavy, jumbo-sized or big boned doesn't matter because she's not here. We discharged her, remember now or do you all need further reminders?" When his staff declined to answer, he went on. "Girl came in, heart conditi—"

"We remember, Dr. House," Cameron interrupted his tirade gracefully. "We honestly don't have any new cases."

"I thought you would be happy about that?" Foreman asked with a puzzled frown. "You can just sit around in your office all day playing your video games and watching your television."

"Without a new case to solve he gets bored," Chase offered as an explanation. "You should try crossword puzzles."

"Too easy," House murmured, leaning back in his chair with a sigh. Chase was right. He was bored. For almost a year he had gotten by with doing as little as possible. Sure he had had his days of boredom, but it was nothing like this. He had gotten used to sinking his teeth into interesting cases again. He had grown to anticipate the first rush of exhilaration when he found something to tax himself with. It was irritating to find that he missed it; that he wouldn't willingly go back to the way things had been before.

"You could always go work in the clinic for a few hours. I'm just saying," Foreman rationalized after being confronted by a deathglare from House.

"Gee and here I was thinking about how much I'd rather have my eyes plucked out than work in the clinic today. Would you like to do the plucking?" House asked Foreman grimly.

Foreman just rolled his eyes at House's response, determined not to rise to the bait.

House in return just grunted, unconsciously bringing his hands up the throbbing headache he was trying to deny away, forgetting that he was currently the center of attention.

"Dr. House? Are you feeling alright?" Cameron's quietly concerned voice slipped in between the hammer-on-anvil-blows of his headache.

He looked up at her, silently cursing that he'd been spotted. "I'm fine," he growled, hoping she'd get the message and leave him be.

No such luck. "I could get you an aspirin if you like," she offered gently.

He scowled. When would she get it through her head that she didn't need to look after everyone? He wasn't some snotty-nosed brat that she could huddle under her wing to take care of. "I'm fine," he bit out. "Go mother someone else."

Her jaw clenched, but she held her ground. That was good. Once upon a time she might have turned on a heel and stormed off. That wasn't so now. She was learning. "Forget I said anything. Clearly you're perfectly fine in every way."

Chase and Foreman shared an awkward look, neither of them liking to be caught in the middle of this. It was too like mommy and daddy were fighting in front of their kids for either of their minds to cope with. It was disturbing and both of them felt a strong desire to go elsewhere for a few hours.

Instead of responding with a characteristically biting comment to such a response from her House simply grunted and shook his head. "Call me when some poor moron needs my help. Until then I'll be in my office." He rubbed his sweaty palm on his pant leg and then grabbed his cane from where it hung on the edge of the table. He had been about to rise to his feet when Cameron decided to go on.

"You're a stubborn son of a bitch, do you know that?" Clearly she no longer cared for pretenses. Chase coughed discreetly to remind her of his presence and Foreman just sat back to watch the show. She went on irregardless. "It's no wonder you're miserable. You don't care about anyone but yourself and even then you don't care about yourself much. And if anyone is foolish enough to even consider worrying about you, you just treat their concerns as idiot and their worries as trivial."

"You mean your worries, don't you? You're angry with me because I don't take you seriously," House answered her tirade calmly. "That my heart doesn't go aflutter with worry just because Cameron notices my colour's off."

"You're a bastard," she mused sourly. "One day something is going to be really wrong and no one will say anything to you or even care because we're tired of your bullshit."

"First I'm a son of a bitch and now I'm a bastard. Have you been speaking with my mother lately?" House asked dryly. He didn't have time for this. Well…actually he did. What the hell else was he going to do all day with no new cases? The day he went down to the clinic to stave off boredom was the day he handed his resignation in to Vogler.

Cameron didn't answer that. And from the look on House's face it was clear he wasn't really searching for a response. She was slowly beginning to see the difference between the snide remarks designed for notice and response and the comments that he just spit back as a sort of automatic defense mechanism. That didn't make those comments any less painful to bear. At first she had been hurt, she had even cried once-once-after a particularly harsh comment about a shirt she had been wearing that day that she had never forgotten. She had never worn the shirt again after that either. Instead she found herself unwillingly playing his game; learning to speak up for herself. She would never be aggressive, she just wasn't that kind of person, but she wasn't going to just let him walk all over her like she was nothing either. Manipulation hadn't worked. That was fine. She hadn't really expected the ideas given in the books she had read to work on someone like House, but she couldn't help but try.

Not for the first time she wished that she had never met him; that she didn't like him. Chase had been right. House didn't like anyone. He couldn't like anyone. Knowing this didn't make his refusal any easier to bear. But she had had to ask. She had to know if she was wasting her time in liking him. She had to know if he would ever be able to like her back. It was clear that he didn't, that he would never like her in the same way she liked him. And yet…he had hesitated. She warned herself not to delve too deeply into something as mundane as a few second long hesitation, but couldn't help it. Her heart had latched onto that hesitation as if it were a lifeline. And the fact that he said it without so much as a mild frown gave her pause as well; he who had a face of a thousand expressions. That had to mean something, didn't it? She wanted to think so. Her head knew that she would abandon this foolish crush before she got hurt worse than she already had been, but her heart wasn't listening. It occurred to her then that House wasn't listening either; or saying a word for that matter. He was sitting at the table in utter uncharacteristic silence. It made her want to ask if he was alright again but she held her tongue.

Chase asked for her. Bless him. "Dr. House? Are you alright?" He eyed House warily, looking as if he were about to stand up and move to his side to check on him further. Good. Then Cameron wasn't the only one who noticed that he looked half dead and beaten this morning. More so than usual anyway.

House turned his head slowly and blinked at him, looking as if he didn't understand the question. His mind caught up quickly and he answered that he was fine, but the hesitation was enough to draw Foreman's attention as well.

"If you're sick why did you even bother coming in? You know Cuddy will send you home anyway if she finds out," Foreman pointed out with a confused frown.

"I'm not sick," House insisted heatedly. It was more than time to retreat to his office and lock these nosy ducklings of his out behind him. Only he didn't quite feel up to standing and walking over there right now so he was stuck.

"Sure you're not," Foreman said with a raised eyebrow and an incredulous look. "If you're not sick then why aren't you roaming the halls making life miserable for everyone you come across?"

"Because it's much more fun for me to stay here and make your life miserable instead," House responded blithely.

"Right," Foreman snorted. "You can't get up to walk to your office, can you? What? Are you afraid you'll get dizzy and fall down and go boom?"

If looks could kill, Chase and Cameron would be collateral damage in Foreman's fiery ball of agony. "Are you deaf as well as ignorant? I said I'm fine," House growled when Foreman didn't go up in flames as he had hoped.

Cameron was the first to let out a snort of irritation but she wasn't the only one. Clearly his staff needed to be reminded who was boss again. Maybe a sound cane thwapping upside the head would do the trick. But later. When he didn't feel like sleeping the week away and then some. Why had he come into work? Oh right. Because he wasn't sick.

"Prove it," Cameron challenged. "I don't see what the problem is. If you're sick you get a day off on a day without a new case to solve anyway. If you're not then we'll stop bothering you about it."

"No you won't," House muttered. "You worry. You nag. That's what you do."

"Then I'm nagging," Cameron shot back. "You're not fooling anyone, Dr. House. Would you like one of us to call Cuddy? I'm sure she'd be more than willing to send you home whether you like it or not. Or how about Vogler? He'd love to see you out of the office seeing as he sees this entire department as a waste of money. If the head of the department's not here then theoretically money won't be wasted, correct? He'd have you sent home even before the word fully reached his ears."

"You play dirty. I like it," House admitted grudgingly.

"Does that mean you're answering the challenge?" Cameron asked, ignoring the heavy-handed compliment.

"Sounds like fun. What is the challenge again?" House asked with a forced grin, not liking the trickle of cold sweat that made its way down his collar or the way his cane trembled with the slight shaking of his hand. Maybe he really was sick…

"Prove to us that you're not sick," she answered. "I'll make a deal with you. If I'm right and you've got a temperature of over 100 then you have to take a week off."

"A week now? I thought you were asking for just a day? What's the matter? Do you want to get rid of me?" House asked with a smirk.

"Do we have a deal or not? Foreman and Chase will be witnesses."

"Or on the other hand, they can sit around and do nothing because there's no deal. I'm not going home and I'm not sick," House asserted, taking hold of his cane once more and rising to his feet. "I'll be in my office if you feel the need to argue about this further," he muttered, taking a step in that direction. That's funny. The wall's crooked. Maybe I should have maintenance up here to check on that…

House's three young doctors watched in a mixture of irritated amusement and horror as their boss and colleague suddenly dropped to the ground like a marionette that had just had its strings cut.

"Stubborn," Cameron muttered, not rising from her place at the table to help House to his feet again even though she wanted to. He wouldn't accept her help anyway. "Are you still claiming that you're not sick, Dr. House? Or let me guess. You tripped."

House neither responded nor moved from his heap in the middle of the floor. His face was tilted to the side on the carpet so only his profile was visible. Cameron frowned and got up from her chair to check on him, swearing that if he was faking she wouldn't be held accountable for her actions.

"Come on, Dr. House. You fooled us. Nice job," Chase called over good-naturedly, thinking that House was faking.

Cameron was beginning to think otherwise as she approached him. "Dr. House?" she called softly, crouching down beside him and reaching a hand out to feel his forehead. "Oh god. He's burning up. We've got to get him into the ICU."

Chase and Foreman were at her side within seconds. "He's not faking?" Chase asked incredulously. In all his time at Princeton-Plainsboro he had never known House to be sick before.

"Not unless he's learned how to fake a fever," Cameron answered with a shake of her head.

Chase's brow furrowed and he reached out to feel Houses' brow for himself, not fully believing it. "Damn. I didn't think House ever got sick," he muttered as the three of them gently rolled House over onto his back. "Dr. House? Can you hear me?" Chase asked in an insistent voice, even going to far as to slap House lightly on the cheek in an attempt to wake him.

"He's unresponsive," Foreman announced with the frown before yelling for a nurse. His voice carried well through the glass walls of the office and down to a nearby nurses' station. Mere seconds later a nurse was hurrying through the office door, taking in the scene before her with a calculating stare. She didn't even bother to ask what was wrong. She just turned and went to get a stretcher. The team as a whole silently respected her for that. "What could have caused this?" Foreman asked as they waited for the nurse and the stretcher. "He was fine a minute ago."

"I don't know but we're going to find out. We have to find out," Cameron stated firmly, worry clearly apparent in her voice.

"We will," Chase answered her.

ooo

House moaned softly, not wanting to come back into the land of the living but seemingly without a choice in that matter. He still felt like shit. Every part of him ached, his head and throat most of all. His head felt like someone large was sitting on it-he actually slowly raised an arm to make sure this wasn't the case-and his throat felt as if it had been lined with sandpaper. And not the soft friendly kind of sandpaper either.

"You've got the flu, Dr. House," Cameron's gentle voice interjected into his consciousness. He felt a cup of ice chips pressed against his lips and figured that she must have put them there. He might have refused; might have denied her help as he didn't want it, but he was too thirsty to argue now. He took a few of the ice chips into his mouth and chewed them up. It hurt too much to suck on them. She continued once she had pulled the cup away and set it on a table next to him. "Do you remember what happened?"

"It looks like you win the bet," he muttered hoarsely. He had no delusions that his fever hadn't been over 100. He could feel that it had been.

"You're temperature was 104 when we admitted you, so yes I win the bet." She didn't sound as happy about this as she probably should have. "You shouldn't have even come into work today. What the hell were you thinking?"

"Oh great, here comes the mothering," he muttered to himself. "I came into work looking for some sympathy. And it looks as if I've found it. Are you going to make me some chicken noodle soup now or do I have to ask Foreman or Chase? Maybe Cuddy would. She's always seemed like the nurturing type, don't you think?"

"You really don't give a damn about what happened in there, do you? You really don't care how seeing you like that affected all of us. You collapsed in the middle of your office, House! We didn't know what was wrong with you!"

House rolled his eyes. "If you haven't gotten used to situations like that by now then clearly I'm paying you too much because you haven't been paying attention. I'm fine. You said it yourself. I've got the flu. I'm sure they'll pump me full of fluids and send me home for bed rest and chicken noodle soup like the sick little boy that I am."

"You're insufferable," Cameron said through gritted teeth. "What if something had really been wrong with you?"

"Oh I'm sure the three supposedly brilliant doctors I was forced to hire could figure something out. Now granted, without my clearly superior expertise leading the way I'd probably be worm food by now, but luckily for me all I need is a week off clinic duty and some good old-fashioned TLC. Are you volunteering? Or should I ask Cuddy? Personally, I'm willing to bet you have a more enjoyable bedside manner than she does, but hell I could be wrong. It's not likely, but there you go. Maybe you could both come. That's actually close to one of my current fantasies. But I'm a misanthrope and a misogynist, right? I just sit around and decry the faults of humanity to the walls. I couldn't possibly spend my time doing anything else."

"You're a misanthrope. Not a misogynist," Cameron muttered under her breath.

"Oh so I hate mankind, but not womankind. I get it," House said wryly. "Does that make me a ladies man?"

Cameron ignored the question. "I didn't say you hated everyone. I don't think you do. But you don't trust anyone. You don't let anyone in. You don't take any risks regarding people because you know-whether that knowing is correct or not doesn't seem to matter-that they'll let you down somehow; they'll hurt you."

"You know what? You've got me all figured out. Congratulations. I don't trust anyone. I know they'll hurt me because one time I trusted the world to end and it didn't. I tried mistrusting the world, but people are far easier to avoid."

"Fine. Be glib. Spit back some sarcastic little comment to hide what of a coward you are. I don't care anymore. I'm tired of it, House. I'm tired of your manipulations and misdirection. I'm tired of you treating us like we're your personal lab rats and getting annoyed when we try and find out what makes you do a turn on the wheel instead."

"Nice metaphor, but don't forget who brings in the Gouda around here."

"A big rat," Cameron answered him with a glower. Not waiting to hear his retort, she spun on a heel and strode angrily out of his room, managing to somehow slam the sliding glass door behind her.

"A big rat," House repeated with a slight smirk. "Nice. Where's my cheese?" He looked around the room he was holed up in for the first time, Cameron's presence haven't prevented it earlier. He was silently grateful that it was private, he didn't think he could deal with some nosy roommate. Hold on. Where the hell are my clothes? House lifted up the sheet after noticing that he wasn't wearing his regular layered t-shirt, dress shirt and suit coat. Or pants for that matter. Damn nurses. He was wearing the clearly unflattering Princeton-Plainsboro special: bluish-white cotton robe that covered just enough to show everything. At least they let me keep my boxers, he muttered to himself. But where the hell is my Vicodin? After a brief search, he located the familiar brown bottle on the small table next to the bed, thinking that one of the nurses must have thoughtfully left it. Oh come on. It's more likely that Cameron did it. The nurses couldn't remember to do something like making sure a chronic pain sufferer's pain medication was within easy reach if their lives depended on it. He didn't like labeling himself in such terms, but he wasn't in denial over his condition. He was a sufferer of chronic pain and a cripple. That's what he was. There was no use denying rationality.

He took a moment to evaluate the level of pain he was currently feeling before tapping out two pills into his hand. He wince as they clawed at his sore throat on the way down, cursing the clinic for the sudden case of the flu he apparently had. He did his best to keep himself healthy but when he was forced to deal with idiots who didn't even wash their hands after coughing all over them these things happened. Damn Cuddy. Damn clinic, he growled to himself for what must have been the millionth time by now, impatiently waiting for the pills to dissolve into his system and steal his pain away if only for a little while.

ooo

Wilson was walking from a patient's room with tension and emphatic grief written in every line of his young face when he literally bumped into Cuddy as she strode purposefully across the hall. "Oh, Dr. Wilson. Have you seen Dr. House?" she asked him pointedly.

He had had a rough morning. First House had to be a stubborn son a bitch as always and give him cause to worry, and on top of that he had lost two patients he had foolishly become fond of. He had his own version of House's unique "Everybody lies," concept. His was, "Everybody dies." He had been warned against specializing in oncology; his parents especially had raised concerns at how he would be able to deal with that much pain and suffering and grief surrounding him, but he had persevered. He had always cared for people, and he had always wanted to be a doctor. It really wasn't so hard to believe that he would want to work with cancer patients. Sure, he was looking for a cure as much as any other doctor with his particular specializations would be, but he enjoyed giving people comfort. He took comfort from their comfort. His thoughts were interrupted by a very unladylike clearing of a throat from Cuddy and he realised he didn't answer her question. "No, I haven't seen him since this morning. Maybe he decided to follow my advice for a change instead of just pretending to listen to it and went home. He looked like shit."

"Why would he go home? He has clinic duty today," Cuddy pointed out then paused at how that sounded. Of course House would fake an illness to get out of clinic duty.

"I doubt he actually went home. I'll help you find him if you like," Wilson offered. He needed to get out of the oncology department for awhile to clear his head and this seemed like a worthy enough distraction. I'm going House-hunting with Cuddy. Something about that caused him to giggle inappropriately and Cuddy sent him a look. He shook his head and held out a hand for her to lead the way. "I'll assume you've checked his office. Have you asked one of his staff? Or perhaps Vogler?"

"Vogler's the one who sent me looking for him, and his office was the first place I looked," Cuddy answered, her heels clacking sharply on the tile as she strode purposefully towards the elevators.

As luck would have it, they bumped into Dr. Foreman in the elevator going down. "Have you guys heard?" he asked without preamble.

Cuddy and Wilson sent each other a confused glance before simultaneously shaking their heads. "Heard what?" Cuddy asked.

"House is in the ICU. He collapsed in his office this morning," Foreman answered with a frown.

"God damn it," Wilson cursed angrily. "I told him he shouldn't have come in today. Is he alright?"

Foreman nodded. "We think it's just a nasty case of the flu. With the way the nurses are already complaining about him, it wouldn't surprise me to learn he's being sent home soon."

Wilson shook his head and snorted softly at that. He couldn't-and didn't want to-imagine having House as a patient. Doctors typically made the worst kinds of patients and House was the worst of the worst. "What room is in he in?"

"I'll check on him later. I've got to go call off the search party," Cuddy murmured with an almost imperceptible frown of what might have been worry on her face before she turned sharply and walked back the way she had come.

"I'll take you to him, Dr. Wilson," Foreman offered with a shrug. "It seems that today would have been slow anyway even if House hadn't gotten sick."

"Is that a thinly veiled complaint that you're bored, Dr. Foreman?" Wilson asked with a small smile.

"Oh I didn't mean for it to be thinly veiled. I meant for it to be blunt and bordering on whining. I'm bored out of my skull," Foreman answered with a laugh as they rode up the elevator. "I was getting ready to head up to House's room anyway just for a few minutes of entertainment value and bragging rights," he murmured as they exited the elevator and moved down the hall to House's room.

"Let me guess. You all told him to go home as well and he didn't listen to you either? Of course he didn't. I swear, I'm going to strangle him one of these days," Wilson grunted in frustration.

"You'll probably receive a medal for service to the community when you do," Foreman responded with a smirk. "Here it is. 326. We didn't even bother not getting him a private room."

"That was probably wise," Wilson said as he slid open the glass door to House's room, frowning as he saw his friend lying on the hospital bed, seemingly asleep. He looked even worse than he had this morning and that was saying a lot. "House?" Wilson asked softly, moving into the room and hearing Foreman slide the door shut behind him. He probably shouldn't wake House, but he had to make sure that he was alright and that meant talking to him. He had been expecting irritation and snide comments from House as he woke and so he was completely unprepared from the violent start and shudder in the bed as House slid into consciousness, nor the startled look in his blue eyes. "House? It's me. How are you feeling?"

Inexplicably, House started again at the sound of Wilson's voice, and he and Foreman shared a concerned look. "I want to get out of here," House said matter-of-factly. He actually moved to get out of bed and nearly made it before Foreman and Wilson rushed over to stop him. What worried the two doctors even further was the way House fought their help; like they were somehow trying to hurt him. "Let me go!" he yelled, trying to throw their grabbing hands off by thrashing on the bed.

"Greg!" Wilson shouted, grabbing the sides of House's face and forcing him to look at him. "You're alright, do you hear me? Now calm down or we're going to have to call a nurse," he said evenly. He didn't know what was wrong with House to make him freak out like this, but he knew that if they couldn't get him calmed they would be forced to restrain him because they couldn't give him any sedatives until his body was purged of Vicodin and that was not an option at the moment.

"James?" House blinked up at him, going blessedly still on the bed although Foreman still held his shoulders just in case.

"That's it, Greg. You're alright. We're not trying to hurt you, we just want to get you better," Wilson said in his best soothing doctor voice. "Do you want to tell me what happened?"

House gave him a puzzled look. "I don't know what happened, Wilson. And you can let go of me now, Foreman. I'm not going to bolt," he said dryly, sending a pointed look at the young doctor who was still holding him down.

"It didn't look that way a few minutes ago," Foreman pointed out with a frown but did let House go.

"Well that was then. I'm all better now, I promise," House said glibly.

"I don't believe you. Now are you going to tell us what happened or do you want me to restrain you again?" Foreman asked in a tone that told House to cut through the bullshit.

House rolled his eyes but cleared his sore throat and began to speak. "You…startled me, alright? And then I just wanted to get out of this godforsaken place."

"And that's it? That's your story?" Wilson asked incredulously a mere second before Foreman could ask much the same. "House, you looked about ready to crawl out of your own skin."

"Well thank God you two were here to prevent that," House snapped coldly.

"Stop being such an ass to the people trying to help you, House," Wilson ordered coolly. "Now be a good boy and let me take your temperature and maybe you'll get a sucker later."

House glared but opened his mouth after muttering, "It had better be cherry."

"It'll be whatever flavour I get and you'll eat it anyway," Wilson murmured before wandering briefly away to grab a sterile thermometer from the nurses' station and putting it under House's tongue. After a minute, Wilson removed the thermometer and looked at with a frown. "You're still topping 100. No wonder you're so delightful today."

"You want delightful?" House asked sweetly. "How about you stick that thermometer up your—" House didn't get to finish his snide remark because he was suddenly arching up off the bed in what looked like unimaginable pain, every muscle ridged and screaming all at once. Hey, I know this, a distant part of his brain whispered. This is like what happened withmy leg. I can't say I missed this. House just screamed.

TBC

A/N: Well that was fun, wasn't it? Angsty fun. ;-) It's always a grand idea to start a fic off with a bang, right? Heh. Don't hate me for cliffhangers. I can say with authority that there will be more than a few in this fic. O:-) The new chappy will hopefully be up soon, but it's got to wait its turn in the now three story queue.

Oh and I must thank all those of you who reviewed Second Chances, my other House fic. You all brought a smile to my face and definitely made my day. Thank you:-D

Merrie