Disclaimer: I don't own 'House M.D.' or any of its regular characters. So there is no copyright infringement intended, nor do I intend to tick anyone off – so please don't sue me, I'm poor enough already! But I do own the story itself and the characters of Monty/Jess, Mac, Molly and other Non House characters…. :O)
I started watching this brilliant show just recently and thought it would be nice to do a story where Dr. Greg House actually has someone that makes him happy….appears to anyway. It's going to be fairly humorous (as he is!) and hope you like it. That is if I go on with the story – if no one wants me to I'll leave it as a one shot…..
Do not fret, if I do continue, this will be written in tandem with my other KA fics (for those that prefer those stories- and they will be given precedence).
WARNING: POSSIBLE BAD LANGUAGE, SO READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL.
All reviews, and constructive criticism, gratefully received – but no flaming please; and I will try to update regularly.
'—' signifies thoughts.
"—" signifies speech.
Chapter One – Old Friends
House looked round as the slim, red headed woman entered his office, unannounced and without knocking - the others waited for the sarcastic comments or for her to be soundly ordered out…..but he merely rolled his eyes.
They all looked as she quirked an eyebrow, speaking in a clipped English tone "Listen, I have left my 7 year old daughter in the not so tender care of my gay cousin; the same gay cousin who thinks that all kids have an undeniable right to chocolate on demand.
I am probably going to return to said child hyped up on sugar, doing a wall of death around my living room; so, whatever this is, House, it had better be good!"
"And you always said you would never leave him in charge of an ant….am I to assume she is less than an ant, Monty?" was all House asked mildly.
"No….but you are – and it is 11pm at night; 'needs must, when the devil drives' and all that; oops sorry, that's you. What do you want, House?"
She looked round the assembled team, like she had just noticed them "ooh, fresh meat! Can I scare them, or have they been with you long enough to know that Satan sent you?"
Wilson smirked as House merely grimaced, though his eyes glittered with mirth. It would seem these two knew each other from old.
"No, they already know…" he smirked, before adding proudly "I come with a government health warning now…."
"Really! Wow – you have gone up in the world, House; you must have really worked hard for that rare privilege…I am so proud!" she replied in mock delight. "Shame about the crying though" she pouted "I used to enjoy making the new ones sob with horror stories of you...…though I suppose you've done that too?"
"Always….it what helps me sleep at night…"
"Ah…just like the old days; hours sleep relates to how many tears staff shed….Good to know nothing changes round here. How's the bitch?"
"My voodoo doll didn't work then?"
"Ah well, back to the drawing board…" she shrugged. Wilson had the odd feeling that maybe they weren't joking – and wondered who they were speaking about; though he had his suspicions…..Cuddy.
Cameron, for her part, realised that in some ways they had just stumbled on the unthinkable – a female version of House.
"So…." the woman now apparently called Monty continued "I suppose I'm here to do more than trade insults with you and…." She stopped "Do they actually talk, or have you decided that cutting their tongues out now makes it easier to manage them?"
"I………I……we talk…" said Cameron finally.
"Never stammer – never hesitate…he's like a dog, he can always sense fear." Monty nodded at House, who merely smiled laconically.
"Actually dogs are less intimidating than me….."
"To who? You never intimidated me….and didn't it drive you mad? Now are you going to tell me who they are? Unfortunately my 'dead zone' is, actually, dead…so telepathy is no longer an option…."
House quickly pointed to the respective individuals "Wilson, Cameron, Chase and Foreman."
"I bet you wonder why your mothers bothered with first names?" she rolled her eyes at them.
"So do I…" House added "complete waste of time."
Monty ignored him "I am Jessica Montgomery – Jess to everyone who wishes to continue breathing in this life. Only my mother calls me Jessica and only when I am trouble; which with her is, granted, most of the time. Only he gets to call me Monty" she pointed to House "any of you do it, and the next thing you'll be saying is 'bloody hell St. Peter how did I get here – get it?"
"Got it…" Wilson felt she wanted an answer.
"Good… because I do so hate repeating myself….." she smiled at him, it wasn't pleasant. House smirked. "Right, well to stave off you lot going on a treasure hunt for info on me – I used to work here, immunologist and a rising star!" she grinned; Cameron felt slightly threatened but couldn't explain why.
"I was destined for great things according to local legend; however an old boyfriend with a grudge put paid to that……..after 5½ months in hospital, and 2 weeks on the outside, I decided to kill myself.
Unfortunately for me he, as before, saved me – found me, as he did before, in a pool of blood…." she indicated House "brought me in here and made sure I was stitched up; and so I lived to tell the tale once again, or whatever stupid platitude you wish to come out with. Though God only knows why…
I am now a counsellor – mainly domestic abuse, but also general issues; though I still deal with immunology queries when he needs me to, amongst other things. Alright?"
They nodded. House spoke sardonically "I saved you Monty because I would have missed our close and loving relationship….."
"Yeah, right – and what reality are we talking about there House? 'Coz it sure ain't this one…" she smiled though, and the others got the feeling there was more to House's statement. These two were very close friends, even if neither one was prepared to admit it.
"Umm…..why not stick with the immunology?" Cameron's curiosity got the better of her.
House glared "She's not a patient; we don't need to cross examine her…"
"See, you hesitated and showed fear; he's straight in for the kill….." Jess tutted "you kids never learn…"
"Hey, we're not that much younger than you!" Foreman bridled.
"Not in years maybe….." Jess smirked "you got a live one there House…..anything like me?"
"There will never be another you Monty..…never….." There was something almost heartfelt in the reply, and the woman smiled.
"Glad to hear it…I have a rep to protect here."
"You do?" Cameron couldn't help herself.
"Yeah…she was the only one who made Cuddy cry; as well as two other senior doctors…." House told them with some pride.
Yup….and I didn't even have to hit her…." Grinned Jess.
Just then Cuddy herself entered and, on seeing Jess, blanched "Jessica….Jessica Montgomery" She emphasised the name, knowing how it irritated the other woman, as she strode forward.
"How good to see you again…." She held out her hand "How's the whole counselling thing going?" she said it like it was a dirty word "Still dabbling in immunology I see? Still, it's nice that Dr House brings you in occasionally…."
She almost made it sound like it was a pity thing – the assembled doctors knew enough already to know that neither Jess nor House would accept that.
'This should be good' thought Foreman. It was obvious the two women had no time for each other, and that was putting it nicely.
Jess ignored the offered limb, and the caustic comments by the other woman "Hey….Cudster! How they hanging?" She nodded her head to the woman's not inconsiderable chest "Not had the uplift yet I see….you should, if they hang too far you'll start to fall over them soon….and one doc with a cane is enough." She smiled brightly, as if talking to her best friend in the world.
House pretended to choke, as Wilson merely decided the wall behind him needed urgent inspection – though his silently shaking shoulders just made House cough all the more. Foreman, Chase and Cameron stood looking at the floor; though all were smirking.
Cuddy flinched – oh, how she this woman irritated her! When her and House got together chaos generally reigned; not that it didn't when House was around anyway, but with her it was worse – it was like they egged each other on or something.
"Umm….well…I…." she stammered. Cameron's head shot up as Jess' eyes glittered – oh, the showing fear thing…..not good; not good at all. It wasn't, Jess was in for the kill in seconds.
"Oh…does the boyfriend like big boobs – even saggy ones?" she asked in an almost conspiratorial voice.; before slapping her forehead like she had just remembered something "oh, but that's right….you don't have a boyfriend, do you?
Or has that changed recently? I heard you've started running a clinic for the blind and partially sighted now…..I bet that's boosted your dating options!" another falsely bright smile as if it were all a great joke, both women knowing it was nothing of the sort.
'But then Cuddy had started it' House thought 'if she hadn't mentioned Monty's counselling like it was a cuss word it may've been alright'. But he was thinking that this would be entertaining – Cuddy had never got the upper hand with Monty, and he doubted this time would be any different.
Cameron could see what Monty – no, it was Jess; because there was no way she was ever going to tick this woman off - meant about going in for the kill. She made House look like a cake walk!
Cuddy blanched "I…I think that's a little…..umm…." she was unsure what to say - Jessica's words were so harsh.
"Honest and truthful? Well, they say it's what on the inside that counts – at least that's what my Mum's always telling me - it's just that when there are deeper puddles, there's not much to go on…." She shrugged as if already bored with baiting the woman before her. But her stance and the hard glitter in her eyes spoke differently – House knew she was just warming up.
Cuddy stiffened, her eyes glittering with moisture……
House felt this was the moment to exit – he grabbed Jess by the shoulders and steered her outside, whilst trying desperately not to laugh "well, we must be getting on Monty…thanks for stopping by Dr Cuddy…."
Once outside the office Monty looked at him with an evil smile "Missed me much?"
"I hadn't realised just how much until right then!" he grinned.
"Maybe I should stop by more often….we could go 'Bitch Baiting' like the old days!"
The others all stared; they could imagine these two were a nightmare together.
"Maybe…" he smiled.
"Now about why I'm here…as fun as that was, I doubt that was the reason…" she nodded back to his office where Cuddy was standing wiping her eyes "Hey – I got her, four for four! My rep is protected!" She crowed in delight.
"She'll have a pop at him now…." Cameron indicated House; her voice taking on a protective air.
"No, she won't…" Jess shook her head.
"Monty's right, she won't…..that particular needle is between her and my evil counterpart here…." nodded House in agreement with the woman beside him.
Wilson noticed that House had made genuine facial expressions akin to smiles, grins and smirks at least a dozen times since Jess had arrived.
It was nothing short of a miracle let alone intriguing, and he made a mental to note to himself to find out more about her; he knew a lot about House, but 'Monty' was a new wrinkle.
He wondered if she knew Stacy Warner had been back – whether she was friend or foe to Jess? Something told him she was foe; Jess seemed to like House an awful lot - they certainly had a similar way with them and a kindred sense of humour - and doubted she would take kindly to someone hurting him.
And hurt him Stacy had….something told him that what had just transpired with Cuddy, was nothing to what would happen with Warner should she be spotted by the woman in front of him.
She and House were definitely kindred spirits – Wilson decided he was going to like her…….a lot.
"Oooh - you faded out there! He does that, doesn't he? His voice just becomes white noise after a while….." Jess turned to Wilson with a smirk, making him realise that she hadn't missed his wandering mind.
He nodded, picking up the tone "Yeah, you know he can go on for hours sometimes….."
"It's better when he's on the phone…like tonight? I went and made coffee and then came back…he never even noticed I'd left…."
"And I would notice your absence why? It's not like you make any sense when you're there anyway…."
That's because you rarely let me get a word in edgeways…"
"Why would I? You talk utter garbage most of the time…"
"Yeah, right – so why am I here?" She raised an eyebrow.
"Because I thought you needed to get out more…."
She smirked, but merely stood looking at him expectantly.
He sighed "We have a patient we're at the end of our rope with. She is obviously seriously ill, possibly dying. She won't let us run tests on her, and says she wants to die.
Cameron here found her husband threatening her, and then pushing their children around in the hall."
"Ah, so you feel that I should speak to her because……?"
"Because she obviously is a victim of abuse and that's why she wants to die – but if she does that, she will leave the kids with a violent man…."
"Don't tell me you actually…." She lowered her voice to a whisper "care!" she said in mock horror.
He rolled his eyes "I'm hurt!"
"No House…" she smiled "If you were hurt you'd have to have to have a heart and we know that's not true!"
"Ah, got me again. No, I don't care, and I am shocked that you would suggest such nonsense - but neither do I want damaged kids ending up in that bloody clinic I have to help in…. and also leave me without a diagnosis - I'm really looking out for myself." He dismissed her accusation.
"I'll believe you, thousands wouldn't." She smiled "Okay, I'll talk to her – but I can't guarantee it'll do any good. Most domestic victims have to want to be helped."
"Why are you here then?" Foreman asked belligerently.
"He asked, I came…that's the agreement." She spoke quietly, but there was an edge to her voice that made Wilson think he wouldn't want to see her angry.
"What 'agreement'?" Foreman wasn't giving in, and sounded demanding.
"House and I have an understanding - if he needs my help, I come. That's it." She looked at Foreman "You know, I'm more easy-going than him; but don't upset me, you wouldn't like it." She spoke lightly and matter of factly, even smiled a bit - but the tone was still there.
Foreman sucked his teeth in derision, and suddenly Jess was in his face "I am not a nice person when I'm ticked Foreman, trust me…..I am not bluffing, nor am I threatening; I am merely telling you – mess with me and you will regret it." Her voice was dangerously low and there was a definite hint of menace in it. Her English accent sounding even more clipped than before.
She was shorter than Foreman, but there was something imposing about her. The black man stepped back, as her quiet anger washed over him – House smirked "You haven't lost your touch I see…."
"Nor do I intend to…." she did not even look at him, holding Foreman's stare until he was the first to look away. "Never try and stare me down again – did no one tell you it's a bad thing to do to a dog, and he'll tell you what a bitch I am." She gestured to House who nodded.
"Yup, she's a bitch…."
"Dumb pup!" Jess smiled suddenly at the black man, then turned to House "Come on, let's go and see this damn patient….hopefully I can get back to my daughter before she's climbing the walls!"
They left Cameron, Chase and a quieter Foreman pouring over the medical notes, trying to fathom what might be wrong with the woman from the scant information they had.
They walked along the halls to Abigail's room and Jess entered. Outside Wilson turned to House "Well?"
Wilson rolled his eyes and looked pointedly at Jess through the window.
"Oh her…. What about her?"
"Who is she and how do you know her so well?"
"She told you – she used to work here and I saved her life…"
"Stop hedging - there's more to it than that….tell me."
House sighed "If I tell you, she will kill me – and I don't mean the jokey around type of kill me, I mean literally take my life."
"I don't believe you…"
House merely shrugged "Don't believe me….…"
Wilson decided to try another tack "Cuddy doesn't like her…"
"The feeling is completely mutual…."
"I saw that……why?"
"Why don't they like each other? History - Cuddy made sure the entire hospital knew about Monty's problems after she was released from hospital….she felt she had to force Monty's hand to resign.
Even though her problems wouldn't have stopped her doing her job she would have done so anyway, she would not have risked her patients well being." There was a certain pride in House's voice. "But she never really forgave Cuddy for making it look like she'd been hiding something."
"Was Cuddy jealous of her?" it was something that had just occurred to Wilson.
"No, not jealous – more….threatened; Monty was one seriously good doctor – she wasn't kidding when she said she was a rising star. But shit happens, and to her it did. Cuddy saw her problems as manna from Heaven and used it to her advantage." The bitterness in his voice was unmistakeable "She now has the position that was destined to go to Monty….."
"Ah….and she worries every time she sees Jess that she might try and muscle back in? After all a desk job is not the same as this, right?" Wilson indicated them.
House nodded "The irony is that Monty would never have took it – she hates people who she calls 'pen pushing bean counters' and would rather have leapt from the roof than turn into one…."
"Like you, right?"
House nodded "Yup, like me…."
"Cuddy must know that Jess wouldn't want her job though?"
"Nope….she judges all of us as she does herself……therefore Monty must want her job."
"I never said it was normal…..but the situation is what it is. Monty accepted it long ago…."
"How long have you known her?"
House thought for a moment "20 years…..this August 21st."
"Since before Stacy?"
"Don't mention her around Monty – she can't stand her after what she did to me…" he grinned "she bumped into Stacy once in an Italian restaurant with the guy she's now married to – Monty tipped her Spaghetti Bolognaise all over her head, and then tried to hit around the head with the plate!"
"Wow, she really has got a temper!"
"Oh yeah; I'm the only one whose safe…I think…"
"You don't sound sure…"
"The only predictable thing about Monty is she's unpredictable…" he smiled as if remembering something.
"So were you her boss?"
"Yeah I was - and I think I was the most upset when she left. In her I lost an ally….we thought alike, spoke alike and acted alike. It was us against the establishment – patient care came before protocols, but when she left it was just me on my own…" he sounded thoughtful again.
"What happened to her?"
"That ex-boyfriend I mentioned? He shot me and my fiancé, I lived – Mac died……" Jess walked up seemingly unconcerned that she was the topic of conversation "House found us after I failed to turn up for work - workaholic that I was he came looking for me when I never arrived, and found us in a pool of blood." She looked at the older doctor and smiled "if it hadn't been for him I'd have died too."
She sighed "I loved Mac a lot, and when he died I wanted to die too. Of course I couldn't - he wouldn't let me…" she nodded at House.
"Why should I? You were a useful ally to me; anyway, who would help me bait Cuddy?"
Jess smiled and nodded "true….but I never thanked you for it, House."
"No you damn well didn't – you cussed me out every time you saw me….until I brought in Molly." He grimaced.
"Mac?" Wilson broke in.
"My fiancé and the father of my daughter. She was a month old and, thankfully, staying with my parents when it happened – otherwise I dread to think." She stopped, shook her head and then continued "Anyway, his punishment for saving me was becoming Molly's Godfather." she smiled mischievously at House, who grimaced once more.
"Yeah, and I regret it every time the little ankle biter clamps herself to me in what she laughingly calls a 'hug'…"
"She's a tall 7 year old now House, hardly an 'ankle biter'."
"She is still little…." He said the word with distaste, but there was also a certain warmth in his eyes. Wilson got the feeling that a lot of his dislike for the child was put on, and the kid probably knew it.
"Why shoot you - and is that to do with what Cuddy was talking about?" Wilson pressed.
House glared at him, but Jess seemed happy to talk about it for once. "I'd ditched him when I met Mac, I'd only gone on a couple of dates with him. They weren't even that really, just a group of us getting together for a drink….." she seemed to be thinking back, and then shook her head.
"But it turned out he was violent; he didn't take rejection well I suppose you could say. Yeah, what the Cudster was talking about was the aftermath of the shooting. I'm mildly brain damaged and have some physical infirmities…."
"Never would've stopped you doing your damn job…." Muttered House; and Wilson suddenly realised this was probably the main cause of strife between he and Cuddy.
"It did…in a way…." She patted his arm and then turned to Wilson "I get slurred speech and a bit clumsy when I get tired, and the shifts I would pull here….well, you know…." She nodded to Wilson who agreed "you couldn't have me talking to a patient and looking and sounding as if I were drunk!
A desk job was the only alternative….but that was the job Cuddy wanted, I was offered it…." House looked startled "Ah see - didn't know that did you? Thought I might be offered it later, but no I was offered it then! Still, I turned it down……" she smirked.
"Decided to go into counselling….." Wilson added.
"That's right, and talking of which - Abigail is it? - has decided that maybe she will let you do your tests." She grinned in triumph.
"How did you do it?" House asked in irritation that she had succeeded where he'd failed.
"I didn't bark at her and I didn't order her - things you are not completely comfortable with not doing, House. There's a difference between being 'clinically detached' and trying to bully them into submission…" she smiled.
"I do not bully….." he was indignant.
"Alright….you forcibly try and make them…." She casually waved away his protests "I need to get something to eat before I go home and face the 'ankle biter'!" She wandered off towards the staff canteen with a laugh.
The two men watched her go "It's good to have her back….." sighed House.
"You miss her…" a statement more than a question from Wilson.
"I don't miss anyone!" House protested hotly.
"Well, why the 'its' good to have her back' then?"
"Because she's an asset…." He limped after her "so much so that I think we'll get her to give us a hand on this patient. I can see her being a pain and I can't be bothered to deal with her, Monty's much better able to put up with it."
"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that…." Wilson smiled and retorted quietly to House's retreating back.
"You think he likes her?" Cameron spoke next to him.
"Yeah….their friendship goes way back. He says he's known her for almost 20 years….."
"They certainly seem to be comfortable with each other…"
"Yeah and how many people do you see him like that with?"
"Before today? Only you." she sighed.
"You really like him." Wilson sounded sympathetic.
"Whatever….." Cameron walked away.
Not sure about continuing with this….if you like it let me know and I'll go on; otherwise I'll leave it as a one shot.