Ahem. Hello again all. In one month, this fic will be one year old. I'd like to think that both my writing and I have improved some in that time (but I honestly don't know. God forbid I go back and read my earlier chapters.)

As a one year anniversary present, I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to you for being so slow to update and would also like to give you the opportunity to throw virtual objects at me…virtually.

Or, better yet, here's an update.

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House was on the ventilator again. During the seizure his O2 sats had dropped at a scary rate, and then failed to come up again at a fast enough rate after said affliction was over. House wore a scowl underneath the mask, and stayed begrudgingly silent as the diagnostics team mulled about in his room, checking his vitals over and over again, murmuring to each other. Justas House was about to implode himself (just to annoy them), Foreman spoke up.

"All right, House," he said, his hands behind his back. "That last seizure was pretty serious, so Cuddy's making sure that you get that MRI this afternoon. In the meantime, we'll keep you on the oxygen for a few more hours and get a lumbar puncture, in case it's an infection we missed. Until then, you should try to rest."

They turned to leave. "Hey!" House said, his voice muffled by the mask. Foreman turned around and said, "You probably shouldn't try to talk, Dr. House," in his best patronizing tone.

House rolled his eyes, resisting the urge to make a rude gesture with his hand, and instead signaled for them to turn out the light.

Foreman flicked the switch, so that only the emergency light flickered dimly in the corner, and then stepped out, with Cameron and Chase in tow, sliding the door shut behind them.

"Respiratory distress," Chase said. "That's another symptom of cirrhosis."

"We should get him on the transplant list," Cameron said matter-of-factly. "If we wait, it could be too long; he might not get the liver in time."

"We haven't even confirmed—" Foreman began. Chase interrupted.

"What good is that going to do?" he asked, addressing Cameron, who stared at him.

"The cirrhosis is obviously pretty far advanced, Chase. Even if it does turn out that this is something else, we should at least get him on the list as a precautionary—"

"That's not what I meant," Chase interrupted again. "It might sound awful to say it, but do you honestly think that the committee is going to put House on the top of the transplant list? I mean, it's not as if the whole hospital doesn't know that he's a drug addict."

"Chase, I hardly think that the transplant committee will overlook the fact that Dr. House has done so much for the hospital, and if we act now--."

"Yeah, right," Chase said, scoffing. "The board is practically ready to name a wing after him. He's only lost the hospital a hundred million dollars, tortures his patients, tortures us—Hey, I'm not complaining," he added, noticing his colleagues looks. "I like my job, and I respect House, but I'm trying to be realistic here. It doesn't mater what I think of him though. The fact of the matter is, House is a jerk, and the whole hospital knows it."

"Are you placing values on someone's life based on personality traits, Chase?" Cameron asked coldly, folding her arms over her chest.

"What? No!" Chase objected. "But that's what the transplant committee is paid to do—and what they're going to do, especially considering the patient is House. I don't think we should waste our time trying to convince—"

"You think that saving House's life is a waste of time?" Cameron nearly shouted. Foreman, who had been attempting to look pensive and uninterested, noted Cameron's stance and decided that it was time to intervene.

"Hey Cameron." He placed a hand on her shoulder and she turned to face him, exhaling steam. "Let it go. This is just the way that cowards deal with their emotions."

"I'm not—"

"What Chase doesn't realize, however," Foreman continued, his voice slightly louder, "is that if we don't try, it's not just House that's going to be in a hole." He threw Chase a withering version of his best "you are an idiot" face. Case responded by rolling his eyes.

"You can't honestly think that Cuddy would cut a whole department just because House wasn't there," he said.

"Is that all you think about?" Foreman burst. "Your Goddamn job? That's also not what I meant! Don't you ever think, just for a second, that if House died you might be adversely affected maybe the tiniest bit? This isn't about your job, it's about a patient. Who's dying."

And then, just as the two looked ready to pounce, a voice from inside the ward made them all turn.

"Hey! Kids!" House had pulled the mask away from his face and leaned forward to shout at them through the glass. "Stop fighting and do your homework or I'll take away the MRI machine for a week, do you hear me?"

"Pt your mask back on, House!" Foreman shouted back, regaining his composure.

"Then get out of here!" House replied. "It's hard enough to sleep around here without you three arguing like a bunch of prepubescent middle schoolers."

Foreman leaned over and tapped sharply on the glass. "Go to sleep!" he said loudly. House stuck out his tongue and snapped the mask back on, closing his eyes

Foreman took a deep breath and turned back to face Chase and Cameron. "Okay," he said, calmer now. "House is right. Cameron, you come with me to check up on the MRI and see how much longer the maternity overflow is going to have the ultrasound machines. Chase, you go prep for the LP."

Chase looked almost disbelieving for a moment, then he sighed irritably and said, "Yeah."

Both Cameron and Foreman turned to leave. Chase watched them go expressionlessly, then shrugged, turned on his heel and headed off in the opposite direction to find a nurse.

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"Good afternoon, Dr. House," Chase said, as cheerfully as he could manage, as he walked into House's room a half an hour later, two nurses in tow. House cracked a bleary eye, reached up, and took the mask off.

"Dr. House, I don't think you should—" Chase began.

"Yeah, I'm going to let you tell me to wear a mask the whole time just so that you don't have to listen to me through this. Believe me, a little shortness of breath is well worth the fun."

Chase's lips tightened slightly as he moved around the bed and began setting up for the procedure, but he didn't say anything in response. He sat down next to the bed, paused, then said "Can you roll onto your side, or do you need the nurses to help you?"

A nurse threw Chase a dirty look.

"Haha," House said, rolling over to face away from Chase. "I take it you're bitter because you 'drew the short straw.'"

Chase finished swabbing the injection port and jabbed the anesthetic needle into House's back more roughly than was necessary. House jumped, hissing, and then relaxed, trying to glare at Chase over his shoulder.

"You know, if I were to take that as an indicator to your sexual life, I'd say you were awful in bed."

"Take a deep breath," Chase instructed. He readied the needle, House inhaled, and the needle went in. House winced, but didn't make any noise.

"Are you performing a Lumbar Puncture or basting a turkey?" he asked, trying not to squirm.

"You tell me," Chase muttered.

"What happened to you? Somebody insult your mummy?"

"My mother's—"

"Dead," House finished for him. "Yeah, we know, you don't have to flaunt it like you're all proud. Just because your mother's dead doesn't mean people don't insult her."

House twisted his neck in time to see Chase scowl. "Aw, come on now Mr. grumpy face," he simpered. "Did Foreman give you a time out?"

"How come you listen to Foreman more than you listen to me?" Chase asked. House exhaled, trying to relax the tension in his back and arms that came with having a foot-long needle stuck into his spine.

"Union rules," he said. "Gotta go with the black guy before we go with the wussy Brit."

"I don't enjoy being treated like an idiot," Chase said coldly.

"Then you should stop acting like one," House suggested. Chase's hand slipped slightly. House yelped. "Ow! Hey! Eyes on your work young man!"

"You don't take me seriously," Chase said. "I'm a good doctor."

"Oh no!" House said, feigning concern. "Somebody call the waahmbulance!"

"All right, I'm done," Chase said, capping off the sample and handing it to the nurse. House rolled onto his back and Chase stood up.

"You'll want to lie still for a while, Dr. House. The procedure can make you feel a bit dizzy," he said stiffly.

"Wow," House said, smiling in a way that might have suggested he was impressed, had it not been for the fact that he was…House. "You really know your stuff, Dr. Chase!"

"You don't have to patronize me," Chase said dully.

"Me? Patronize you? You don't know me at all, Dr. Chase!" House said, in the same patronizing voice.

"I'm going to get this sample to the lab," Chase said, turning to leave.

"Do you want me to kiss it and make it all better before you leave?" House called after him. Chase closed the door without answering. House smiled slightly at his retreating back. "And that is why I don't take you seriously, he said softly, closing his eyes. His headache had gone from pounding to throbbing, but it felt like there was a slightly less weighty anvil sitting on his face. On the other hand, his back was sore. Opting, however, to ignore the pain, he scratched at his IV catheter absently, and within moments, he had fallen asleep.

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Well, it was a little short. I cut out a scene because it didn't fit with some of the things that have happened recently in the show. But you don't need to know that! In fact, you don't need to know anything I say after the chapters are finished, but here I am…who's up for another randomosity?

So I ate about twenty Popsicles while I wrote this chapter. It is friggin HOT out here! What does this have to do with House? Nothing. But Popsicles are good.

Oh, and one more thing before I leave:

v. e·jac·u·lat·ed, e·jac·u·lat·ing, e·jac·u·lates: To utter suddenly and passionately; exclaim.

GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER, PEOPLE! Please think in LITTERARY terms while you read this! PLEASE!

Although your comments were pretty funny.