Yay! I finally got around to writing a fan fiction! After my last one sort of failed (I didn't like it, so I deleted it) I wasn't sue if I'd do it again, but here you have it. My love of torturing my favorite characters comes out. Hope you enjoy it. Please review! But don't be too mean… Ha, ha, just kidding.
Disclaimer: House does not belong to me. Sorry. If it did…I'd be too rich to care about writing fan fiction. Ha! As if…
Rated for my naughty language. blushes
Beedle deedle deet! Clack, clack, clack.
House furrowed his brow, scrunching himself into a ball underneath his comforter and forcing his head deeper into his pillow.
Beedle deedle deet! Clack, clack, clack…
House groaned. Who the hell left their cell phone on ring and vibrate at the same time, and then left it on a hard surface? Oh, yeah. He did. Rapidly, his mind switched tack. Who the hell called him at this hour? Who the hell called him at all? Except maybe Wilson. If it was Wilson, House would have to wring his neck later. Unless he was calling to say that the hospital had blown up. Then maybe House could forgive him…He had a killer headache, and his stomach felt like somebody had poured liquid metal down his throat.
The phone stopped ringing. Groaning and grumbling, House finally reached over and snatched it off of his nightstand. The little screen read "FIVE MISSED CALLS"
Before he could hit the button that would let him listen to his messages, the phone vibrated again, pumping out Beethoven's Fifth at the top of its tiny speakers. The screen lit up, making House wince and his head throb, and "Cuddy" flashed onto the screen.
Oops. Bad. Or House assumed that it must be bad. At a guess, Cuddy wasn't calling to excuse him from clinic duty for the rest of his life. It was much more likely that she was calling to exile him to it.
But it was either answer the phone or let it continue to ring. House didn't think his head would appreciate the latter. He flipped the phone open.
"What?" he snapped, not stopping to think about using his manners. That was all right, though, because neither did the voice on the other end of the line.
"Where are you?" Cuddy demanded, her voice unusually sharp.
"You're supposed to ask me what I'm wearing," House said. "Where I am is so much less sexy."
"You were supposed to be at work half an hour ago, House." Cuddy continued as if she hadn't heard him.
House looked up at his alarm clock, which, apparently, he had forgotten to set. The big, bad, bright red letters told him that it was 9:32 am. Oops again.
"I'm sick today," House grumbled. It was probably the truth. Usually, perfectly healthy people didn't feel as much like shit as House did. "So stop calling me."
He flipped the phone shut and threw it down on the bed, rolling over and squeezing his eyes shut, hoping that his headache would allow him to get a few more hours of sleep.
Beedle deedle deet! Whirrrrrrrr…
House soon found out that the whirring noise his phone made while lying on the comforter was just as annoying as the one it made on the nightstand. Heaving an irritated sigh, he rolled back over and grabbed the cell phone.
"What?" he growled.
"Don't think you're fooling me, Doctor House," Cuddy's voice said menacingly. "I don't care what you say to try and get out of it, you are coming down here and making your speech to the board, or so help me I will come down there and get you myself."
"Huh?" House said intelligently. What was Cuddy going on about? House searched his brain for a moment. Oh yeah. The hospital had a potential investor who was going to fund the hospital in Vogler's place, but he wanted a full inspection of the hospital, and was planning on cutting one of the departments. House had to make a speech to the inspector's board about why the should keep his department, and get rid of some other poor saps job. What had he said when Cuddy had told him about the speech? "I think I'll be sick that day."
The irony was killing him.
"Tell the old bastards I can't make it," House said. "I'm dying of a rare disease."
House smiled a little. It was a sorry excuse, but it would give Cuddy a nice speech to make to the Board.
"The head of the diagnostics board is dying of an unidentifiable disease. If you cut his department, you'll kill him."
Yeah. That would get 'em for sure. Unfortunately, Cuddy didn't think it was very funny.
"House," she said. "I don't care how hung over you are. Take some Tylenol and haul your ass down here, or I'm coming to get you myself! I expect to see you here by ten!"
She hung up. House sighed again, and rolled over, considering going back to sleep, and to hell with his department. He decided against it, partly because he believed Cuddy would come and haul his ass into work, and partly because he had to get up anyway and hobble to the bathroom to avoid puking on his rug.
Forty minutes later, a very pale, unhappy House dragged himself through the front doors of the hospital, intending to sneak up to his office and go back to sleep on his couch, only to find that Cuddy was waiting for him by the doors. She looked him up and down, raised her eyebrows, and glanced down at her watch.
"Eleven fifteen," she said. "You're late."
"Sorry," House said, grinning sheepishly. "My hooker wouldn't let me-"
"You have a patient," said Cuddy briskly. "Your staff is waiting for you upstairs. And your speech is at one thirty in the student briefing room. Don't be late."
She shot him a glare that said quite clearly "Or else." Then she turned on her heel and stalked off in the direction of the clinic. House raised an eyebrow, popped a Vicodin (his first that day. He was using them sparingly-he only had three left. He would have to go to the pharmacy later, but at the moment, he-or more specifically, his headache-didn't feel like it at the moment), and had nearly reached the elevator when it suddenly opened and Wilson stumbled out of it, his arms full of a stack of files that obscured his face. A few slipped off of the top of the pile as he stepped out of the elevator, and fell to the floor at House's feet.
"Hey, could you-oh, it's you." He noticed who he was talking to and bent down to retrieve the files himself.
"Getting rid of your criminal records before the Board comes to inspect your department?" House asked, plucking one of the files from the top of the huge stack and examining it with distaste. "I'd always wondered where you hid these."
"Oh, you actually know about the Board coming?" Wilson collected the last of the files and got to his feet, looking vaguely interested. "You're usually the last one to know-or care- about these things. I'm having one of the nurses organize my files I'm taking them downstairs for her. I was just about to come looking for you, where have you been?"
"Puking my guts out," House said flatly. Everybody lied, including him, but not to Wilson. His only friend was too observant- he'd figure it out eventually anyway. It was best to be blunt.
Wilson looked over his papers at House. "Whoa," he said. "Just how hung over are you?"
"Very, according to Cuddy," House said. "I'd probably believe her, except for the fact that, you know, I didn't drink anything last night. That might present a little problem in her brilliant theory."
It was true. House had stayed at work until nearly midnight working on one of his two-now three- patients. When he'd gotten home, he'd been so tired he'd gone straight to bed. It was unusual, because House rarely got tired, or slept a whole night through. Most nights he went home and didn't sleep at all, but last night, he hadn't even thought about anything but getting to bed. Maybe there was something wrong with him…
Wilson was giving House his "concerned look" over his files.
"Where are you going now?" he asked.
"Upstairs. My ducklings can't function without me, I'm going to their rescue."
"Here. I'll come with you," Wilson said. "Hey, you! He called over to a timid-looking intern who looked rather lost. "Come take these files down to oncology and give them to nurse Miles, will you? Thanks."
He dumped the files into the arms of the lost intern, who nearly toppled over because of the weight, and then escorted House into the elevator. House followed him, trying to ignore the fact that his hands were shaking and his cane was slippery with sweat. He was just feeling weak from his empty stomach, that was all…
"I don't know what you're so worried about," House commented as Wilson pressed the "up" button. "You could have your files incinerated and they'd still keep your department. No one in their right mind would get rid of oncology."
"Yeah, but they might get rid of me," Wilson pointed out. "Greg, you really look like shit."
House had leaned his head back onto the side of the elevator and closed his eyes. "I'd bet anything you've got a fever," Wilson said. "You shouldn't have come into work today."
"I was threatened," House said. His stomach twisted uncomfortably, and House was suddenly glad he had nothing left to throw up.
"By who?" Wilson asked.
"Oh," said Wilson. The door of the elevator slid open, and they both stepped out and made their way towards House's office.
"Can you tell the ducklings to get over here?" House asked. "I think we'll be able to discuss this better in my office."
"There's a couch in my office," House said to Wilson's retreating back. "And bring the whiteboard!"
He stumped into his office and was about to collapse onto the couch when he thought better of it. As long as he had to be at work, he might as well pretend to be all right. If the duckling saw him weakening, they'd be all over him. Especially Cameron, with her "Heal-All" complex. Her concern was not something he wanted to deal with right now, so instead he took a seat in front of his desk and stuck his leg out in front of him.
A minute later, the three ducklings and Wilson entered the room, Chase dragging the whiteboard behind him. Wilson looked at House and then looked pointedly at the couch as if to say, "You should lie down," But House ignored him.
"What d'you got?" House asked, turning his attention to his team. Cameron and Foreman were looking at him curiously, but the ever-observant Chase got right into the explanation.
"We've got twin girls, twelve years old, one lives with the father, the other with the mother, neither have met each other before today, they live five miles apart, go to different schools, both got sick at the same time and both have the same symptoms. Both of them are here now."
"What are their symptoms?" House asked, leaning forward and pulling the whiteboard toward him. He plucked up a marker with shaking hands and wrote "Twins."
"Uh…" Cameron turned her attention from House and onto the clipboard she was holding. "High fevers, onset about three hours ago, fainting spells onset two days ago, mood swings onset four hours ago, and nausea and Vomiting onset about one hour ago. I think that we should run MRIs and CATs on both of them, but-"
"Test the parents."
"I said, test the parents. Do you want a recording?" House's headache was growing despite the Vicodin, and his hands' shaking was making him more irritable than usual. "These kids have nothing in common except their parents, then it has to be something they contracted from them. Test for anything you think could be a possibility, and then cure it."
"Well, which tests-"
"Whichever you think they need."
"Well, don't you want to see-"
"Give me their file."
Cameron tossed him the file.
"But shouldn't you come-?"
"Listen, are you doctors or aren't you?" House snapped, losing his patience. "Figure it out yourselves." They didn't move. "Go!"
The three of the exchanged nervous glances, then looked at Wilson, who shrugged and held the door open for them. The three of them returned his shrug and ambled out of the room.
:O :O :O :O
"Did House seem particularly mean to any of you just now?" Chase asked as soon as they were out of earshot of House's office.
"He was here late last night, I think," said Foreman. "Did anyone else notice how much better Mrs. Beal looked today?"
"But then why wasn't he boasting about it today? Chase asked. "All he did was tell us to get on with our next case."
"Yeah, that is weird," Foreman said thoughtfully. "That seems like the sort of thing he'd want to rub our faces in. We worked for a week on that case and he solved it in one night. Now it's just, get a move on, and do it yourselves."
"He's sick," Cameron said suddenly. Both of the men looked at her.
"What?" said Chase.
"Didn't you see how pale he was?" Cameron said matter-of-factly. "Or his hands shaking? I think he's probably got the flu."
"Yeah, that or he's hung over," scoffed Forman. "Come on, let's go."
They had reached the little girls' room. They could hear the parents bickering on the outside without even opening the door.
"I came here because this is the best hospital in New Jersey, and I want the best for my kid!"
"Your kid? Both of them are our kids! They both deserve the best care!"
"Not with you around. All you're good for is causing stress!"
"Oh, for the love of-If that isn't the dumbest e-"
Cameron's voice made both of the parents look up from their argument. The mother stood up.
"Do you know what's wrong with my daughters?" she asked.
"We're going to need to run some tests," said Foreman quickly. "And we're going to need to draw some blood from the both of you in order to do them. We have reason to believe that this could have been contracted genetically."
"Oh, God," said the father, standing up. "You mean I could have this too?'
The mother looked ready to slug her husband. Chase jumped in.
"No, probably not," he said. "But you could be a carrier. We're going to need to take some blood samples down to the lab."
"I don't like needles…" The father squirmed uncomfortably.
"Oh, my God!" the mother cried exasperatedly. "This is the reason I divorced you.," she snapped, rolling up her sleeve. She held her arm out to the doctors. "Here," she said. "Take as much as you need."
"Maybe I should talk to Cuddy."
Wilson had been watching House's dry heaves over the trashcan for a full three minutes, and he was sure, now, that this was no hangover.
"Don't," House said between heaves.
"Well, then maybe we should go down to the lab and run a few tests," Wilson suggested.
"It's just the Flu," House said, spitting into the trashcan.
"Well, then let's go and get the tests to be sure!" Wilson said. "We should-"
"Aghh…" House made a noise that was somewhere between a cry of pain and a moan and sat up in his chair, clutching his head. "Ow…" he moaned. "It's just…the flu…"
Wilson shut his mouth. For some reason, he had the feeling that House was trying to convince himself more than he was his friend. The two of them were silent for a moment. Then-
"What time is it?"
Wilson looked at his watch. "One fifteen," he said.
House heaved himself to his feet, swaying.
"Where are you going?" Wilson asked, standing up.
"I have to go make a speech," House said. "About something…"
"And now you're acting delirious," Wilson said. "Come on, if you don't want the tests at least let me take you home. Admit it, House, you look half dead."
"Then I'm at least one half alive," House said, moving towards the door. "And I might as well go down to the auditorium. If I don't, Cuddy'll be on my ass before you can say 'MRI.' Care to come with?"
Wilson shook his head. "I have to check up on my files. I'll be there in a few minutes."
House shrugged. "See you," he said, and he limped out into the hall.
As he reached the elevator, for the second time that day, the door slid open before he could even touch the button. Only this time, it wasn't Wilson. It was Cuddy.
"Are you on your way down?" she asked. "I was just coming to get you."
"Your faith in me is overwhelming," House said, moving into the elevator and hitting the 'down' button.
House stayed silent during the ride down He could feel Cuddy's eyes boring into him, but he didn't look at her. He was trying his best to keep his sweaty palms from slipping on his cane.
Bing. The elevator door hissed open and Cuddy and House stepped out. Cuddy opened her mouth. House closed his eyes. He'd wondered when she was going to comment.
"Just how many drinks did you have last night?" she asked.
House opened his eyes, bristling. Did she still think that he was hung over? He did admit it; he got drunk altogether too often. But not now. He really was sick, and Cuddy didn't see it. She refused to see it.
Quite frankly, that pissed him off.
"Listen, just do this for me and you can take the rest of the day off," Cuddy said as the came to the auditorium door. "And if you have to vomit…" she paused. "Just swallow it."
"She slid through the door. House stood still for a moment, massaging his leg, wondering whether he should take another Vicodin. He could hear her introducing him and he sighed. Nobody could have a hangover this bad.
He heard polite clapping on the other side of the door and took it as his cue to enter. He pushed the door open and limped onto the stage. As he came in, he noticed that all of the Board members were wearing lab coats. Wilson wasn't there yet. As he came up to the podium, Cuddy hissed at him "Don't blow this." On her way to her seat. House dragged his bum leg painfully up the last step onto the stage, watched Cuddy sit down, and took a breath.
"Hi," he said. "I notice that you're all wearing lab coats. That's very nice; it makes you look real official. Well, I guess you're all expecting me to talk about why you should keep my department. But guess what? I'm too damn hung over to tell you about it. Isn't that right, Dr. Cuddy?"
Cuddy looked ready to kill him. All she had to do was find a suitable weapon. House allowed himself a smirk, swallowed a stomach convulsion, and went on.
"My little speech today is also supposed to tell you about Dr. Cuddy's character, right? Well, I guess the only way she could redeem herself now is by firing my sorry ass as soon as I'm done talking. I wouldn't mind At least then I could go home and 'sleep it off.' Now, if you'll all excuse me, I believe I have a desk to be cleaning out."
He turned sharply and limped slowly and painfully off of the stage. He stumped out of the auditorium and then half-ran, half-limped to the nearest bathroom. He ran into the stall closest to the door, slumped on the floor, and threw up into the porcelain. Funny. He hadn't thought he'd had anything left to throw up…
Seconds later, he heard the bathroom door bang open. He winced. His head… But the bang wasn't nearly as loud as the sound that reached his ears seconds later.
"What the hell was that?"
House wiped his mouth on the back of a shaky hand. When he caught sight of the hand as he drew it away, he noticed that the vomit left an odd colored streak on the back of his hand. Not like anything he'd eaten recently.
"I couldn't swallow it," he muttered.
"I really should fire you, you know!" Cuddy went on. "I was counting on you in there, House! What are they going to think of this hospital now? What are they going to think of me? I don't give a damn if you're on your deathbed, if it means saving this hospital, you are going to get back out there and explain your behavior, and your excuse had better be a damn good one!"
"You aren't supposed to be in here," House mumbled. "This is the little boys' room."
He heard Cuddy stamp her foot. "Get. Out. Here. Now," she said in her most dangerous voice.
House leaned over the toilet and threw up again. "You see, I would," he said shakily. "But I'm trying to remember what I've eaten I don't remember it being quite so red…"
Cuddy was silent for a moment.
"What are you talking about?"
House heard the stall door swing open, but the sound was muted, distant. He heard Cuddy hiss, and then the sharp tap of her heels on the tile floor.
"Somebody get me a stretcher and some help!" she shouted into the hall. "And will someone find Dr. Wilson?"