Disclaimer: No I still haven't got anything invested in House. Sue if you feel like wasting time.

Notes: Just the old idea of House torturing Chase after the Voglar thing. Will eventually be slash.

In Tatters

Part One

Prologue

Fractured

I'm in tatters

Shattered

Chase pounded down the pavement, the bitumen slick from issuant rain. The dark clouds overhead still threatening to spill evermore. Silence and mist blanketed the air and Chase pushed himself harder, fighting to stay upright while going down a slippery road. His car sat at the bottom of the sharp three-mile incline. Sweat poured and beaded on his body, cooling quickly in the chill, rain splashing up from puddles to soak and freeze his legs.

Shattered

Chase glanced down at his watch and forced himself forward faster trying to keep his breath perfectly under control. 6.25. Which meant he had just over 30 minutes to get back to his car and to the gym…

Love and hope and sex and dreams

By 6.55 he was pounding one of the gym's boxing bags… Elbows, shoulders… Chase tried to keep the moves perfect, technique was everything. He should have gloves on he realised… Because he's taped his hands and there's nothing wrong with that from a boxing stand point, but his knuckles will be bruised later… The thought makes him swing hard, the leather of the bag stinging his hands exquisitely… Bruised is good, bruised is something… Shoulders, elbows, technique, perfect. His thoughts roll and ramble… His hands ache, his shoulders protest…

Are still surviving on the street

He's in the showers by 7.35… Let's the water carry off the grime, sweat, pain… Right now its minimal, endorphin's still flooding his system. Chase is a doctor though, knows that by lunch he'll wince when trying to lift his arms above his head, it was good it was something…

And look at me,

I'm in tatters!

He's at work by 7.55, dressed impeccably in a suite that seems too tailored, too well fitting. Its smoke black, on cerulean green… Very Italian, a point which the tailor seemed adamant on… To Chase it looks like a suite… Nothing more, nothing less. He can't stop pulling at it, thinking that perhaps it hides less than his sport clothes which cling even before there damp with sweat… he feels naked… All that expensive cloth and stitching and he still feels naked…

I'm shattered

Shattered

Chapter One

Well Obviously

Lisa: Is that dad?

Bart: That or Batman's really let himself slide.

Cameron wasn't surprise when she arrived at 8.15 to Chase sitting finishing off breakfast in the breakroom. Since House had found out it was indeed Chase who had played spy for Vogalar he'd had the intensivous working almost around the clock. Cameron wasn't sure of the exact hours since she hadn't taken to staking the other and Chase simply refused to talk about it. The gossip was though that he hadn't had a day off in almost a month or since House had become certain of the betrayal.

Chase though for the most part seemed to be holding up fine. He was still eating… Actually if anything he was eating more and although he looked worn, he didn't look exhausted. Cameron looked at the almost empty bowl, it looked like fruit and yogurt, muesli too maybe… Cameron rumpled her nose slightly, she'd never been a fan of yogurt. Muesli either for that matter. A massive cup of juice accompanied the meal, Cameron hadn't seen the other with a cup of coffee in over… a month…two?

"How's it going Chase?" She asked carefully.

"I'm fine thanks. Yourself?" It was the kind of polite question, said in the polite tone that you would usually receive from a sales assistant. Allison frowned but let it pass. Foreman barging threw the door a moment later.

"House here yet?" He inquired quickly. She shook her head, chase stayed focused firmly on whatever it was he happened to be reading.

"See there is a god!" Foreman sighed flopping down into one of the chairs.

"Why what's wrong?" Allison asked.

"Nothing I just don't start shift for another 10 minutes… I don't wanna see House any earlier than I have too." Foreman scoffed.

"Well aren't you unlucky then." Chase fought the wince that rose at the voice.

"House when I say things like that you know I mean them in the worse way possible." Foreman smirked, comfortable in the knowledge that there was almost nothing he could do to piss the other off as badly as Chase had and while the other was still there all of House frustration's seemed to be taken out on the blonde.

"Cute!" house snapped, he seemed particularly snippish today, maybe someone had misplaced his Vicodin. Or maybe he was just more like himself then usual.

"Chase, why are you even still here…" House snarled and the blonde rose quickly and darted out of the room.

"What was that about?" foreman asked brazenly.

"Chase has a fun filled day of logging samples, wanna help…" House grumbled shooting Foreman a particularly nasty look. Sample logins was possibly the most boring, mind-numbingly experience ever. So no Foreman didn't have the burning urge to volunteer for it. It was the equivalent of being a medical delivery boy. They logged the patient samples taken by doctors and delivered them to the lab… it was usually a job given to rather untalented College interns. Giving that kind of task to someone like Chase was… Insulting to say the least…

"As for the two of you it's a fun filled day of clinic duty, clinic duty and oh guess what more clinic duty…" House glared flinging folders at them both and stomping off, or as much so as he was capable.

"Does he seem off his med's to you?" Foreman frowned getting up. Cameron sighed and pursed her lips.

Chapter Two

Cruel and Unusual

Come on you've already broken me, do ya really have to get cruel and unusual.

Vin Diesel, Xander Cage, XXX

Friends are so alarming

Sample logging, Chase contented himself with the fact that it could have been worse, with House it always could. However by the time 12 o'clock rolled around it became a small consolation. Logging although no effort or talent was required was also as boring as arse.

"So how long do I have you for?" Kelly Petersen questioned looking chase up and down.

"I don't know." Chase admitted, scrawling over the login forms. Kelly looked at him oddly, bitting her bottom lip.

"What?" He asked after a moment, thinking that perhaps he'd forgotten to do something important with the medial job… It wouldn't surprise him.

"Sorry I just don't usually…" She said to blush and chase wasn't getting it. He probably usually would have…

"I was just wondering if maybe you'd like to grab dinner tonight…" She offered uncertainly.

"I would," Chase stumbled, he should have expected it…

"But I'm a little busy right at the moment." Chase said half apologetic.

"Right! House…" She mumbled and turned away.

"What?" Chase stared at her.

"Nothing… its just going around the hospital that House has you working almost 24-7… Because you… Pissed him off."

"Yeah right." Chase said glad that his pager had started to trill.

My lover's is never charming

Chase had just missed the elevator and instead of waiting for the next, took to jogging up four flights of steps. He was panting by the time he reached House's office, a thin sweat breaking out all across his body.

"What took you so long?" house snapped as he entered the room. Chase glared panting a little. House looked him up and down.

"What have I told you about molesting nurses in closets while your supposed to be working." He drawled in thick layers of sarcasm.

"Did you actually want something?" Chase almost cursed glaring at the older man.

"Did I?" House teased, looking about the room as though the answer could be found on one of the walls.

"You paged me." Chase almost accused having retrieved most of his breath. House pursed his lips for a moment.

"Nope can't think of a thing!" House sighed. Chase glared.

"Shouldn't you be in the clinic." He snapped suddenly. House looked amused to say the least.

"Actually that was what I wanted!" House smirked.

"What?" Chase griped.

"You go do my clinic duty… Cuddy'll never know." House chuckled.

"Just attempt to be competent… You'll do fine." House sniped.

"Great…" Chase grumbled as he headed back for the door, over the last month he'd had more clinic hours then the other two put together, now he was taking House's as well…

Life is just a cocktail party on the street

"You aren't House!" Milly said tersely, when Chase tried to sign in for his clinic duty.

"Thank god." Chase grumbled, Milly raised an eyebrow in agreement. She was a dark skinned woman in her late forties, with sharp eyes and a big built. From what Chase had gleaned from their brief conversations she was devoiced with two teenaged kids and a fox terrier. He also surmised that she knew more about medicine than most of the doctors there.

"Cuddy though assigned me his hours for today." Chase lied and his stomach squirmed because he was already in enough trouble without adding to it.

The big apple, people dressed in plastic bags

Milly looked him up and down, holding the patient folders, taping them against the counter.

"That's funny," She breezed and Chase knew he was in trouble.

"'Cos Cuddy just called me to make sure House was in the clinic at some point today for his hours." Milly frowned. Oh, what were the chances. Chase held back a sigh.

"She didn't mention anything about you." The frown deepened.

"Guess she's confused on the day!" Milly breathed handing over the files and fanning her face.

"Thankyou." Chase said putting some real meaning behind it.

Directing traffic

She shrugged.

Some kind of fashion

"Just remember who your friends are." She drawled turning away from the counter.

Shattered

"Okay," Chase said swallowing, biting his lip.

"So what possessed you to get… that pieced?" Chase questioned a little stiffly because it was still far too early to be deal with stuff like this.

"My girlfriend thinks it looks hot." Chase winced and counted his lucky stars that the girlfriend wasn't present.

"Right." Chase frowned.

"Would you like to see it again." He offered and chase felt his stomach give a violent flip.

"No…" He said raising his hands and the guy started to undo his pants once more. Chase started to scribble out a prescription.

"Its just infected, getting that area pieced is always a little dicey." Chase almost choked.

"Rub that into the… area twice a day… It'll clear it up." Chase said giving the guy a wide birth as he got up to leave.

Laughter joy and loneliness

Chase looked at the nasty looking bite on the girl's shoulder.

"So what is it?" She breathed with apprehension.

"Infected." Chase said stepping way and starting to scribble out a script.

"That's it?" she questioned.

"Yep, some antibiotics and you'll be fine." Chase said.

"Great." The guy supposedly her brother said, as he took the script from Chase. Chase shot him a look.

"Actually I did want to speak to you for just a second…" Chase scowled.

"Go wait outside." He directed, the girl looking somewhat apprehensive.

"So what's the story?" Chase asked after she'd gone.

"Nothing…" The guy said looking puzzled.

"You're not her brother…" Chase pressed, feeling the beginnings of a headache creeping in.

"Your right! I'm just a friend, she just didn't want to go in by herself." He tried to cover.

"She's only fifteen." Chase scowled feeling a bad mood rolling in.

"And I'm just a friend." He snapped back as Chase got up in his face.

"Make sure I don't find out otherwise…" He threatened.

And sex, and sex, and sex, and SEX

"So what's wrong with my eyes." She asked in a pleading voice. Chase couldn't blame her. Her eyes were swollen to the point where it looked like she'd been crying hysterically for hours.

"Nothing." Chase said firmly.

"Nothing? But look at me." Chase was and he found it very strange, eyes aside. The girl had her face painted white and her eyes lacquered black. Chase didn't get it. He'd never been very fond of make-up even in small amounts.

"Your allergic to the allium that's in your eyeliner." Chase explained, as he finished scribbling out a prescription.

"I'm giving you drops to help clear out your eyes. Other than that stop using the brand and you'll be fine." He added dampening some cotton. She jumped a mile as he went to wipe away the offending colours.

"The sooner it comes off the better." Chase explained, she sat stiffly, but let him remove it, when Chase was done he realised why.

"How did that happen?" He questions, because pretending not to notice would have been worse.

"Car accident when I was ten." She croaked.

"I'm sorry." Chase said sincerely and realised that he had nothing else to offer… He had fixed her eyes, but couldn't even start on the emotion scars she was carrying from having a scratched up face.

And look at me!

By four o'clock, Chase felt like shit, his knee ached causing him to limp slightly and his head felt about ready to fall off his shoulders. His stomach protested violently at not having been fed yet and his shoulders felt stiff. So far he hadn't had a single break all day. By the looks of how packed the clinic was he wasn't going to get one either.

I'm in tatters

"Chase what are you doing down here?" Wilson questioned too brightly.

"House's clinic duty." Chase spilled, knowing that Wilson would bite his tongue before spilling it to Cuddy. Chase's stomach rumbled loudly.

"Chase," Wilson frowned.

"Have you had something for dinner yet?" He questioned knowing how House was abusing the little duckling, though puzzled as to why Chase was taking so much of it in stride.

"Dinner…? I haven't even had lunch yet." Chase groaned.

"Go now." Wilson pressed.

"I can't the clinics packed." Chase explained…

"You go and I'll fill in." James offered. Chase stared at him.

"Hey if you can pretend to be House then so can I." He smirked, right then Chase could have kissed him…

I'm shattered Shattered

Chapter Two

Enough

As my seafaring pappy use to say; 'When you find yourself a good stiff one… Hoist your sails and thank god for the ride…'

"Are you sure you don't need longer?" Wilson questioned as Chase reappeared in record time.

"I'm fine." Chase mumbled, not entirely making eye contact with Wilson, then slumping off to see the next patient. Wilson watched after him with apprehension… The sad tilt of his shoulders and the painful look of his walk. Wilson realised that he had to talk to House, maybe Cuddy too…

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter 'bout

Chase rubbed his eyes and pulled himself together, turning to face a mother and twelve-year-old daughter.

"So what can I do for you?" he questioned gently. Trying to be polite even though he could see the little girl was fevered and swearing.

"It's probably just the flu or something but I thought I'd better bring her in anyway…" She stumbled.

"How long has she had the fever for?" Chase asked, smiling at the redhead as he stuck a thermometer in her ear. She smiled back faintly.

"This morning I think… Maybe late last night…" Her mother supplied.

"Can you open up for me." Chase asked tongue depressor in hand. She dropped open her mouth and stuck out her tongue. The pink muscle squirming slightly when he pressed the stick down onto it. Her throat was red and irritated and… Chase shined a penlight down into the cavern… Small pustules where raised right at the back… Odd…

"Miss Pamella, has your daughter swallowed any chemicals recently… detergents, that kind of thing?" Chase asked in wonder.

"No, why would she?" The brunette asked, looking sharply at him. Chase looked at it again and then removed the stick.

"Miss if you wouldn't mind I would really like to keep your daughter overnight." Chase tried to say flatly, make it seem as unimportant as possible.

"Why?" She acted up anyway.

"Its nothing serious," Chase said and she seemed to settle a little almost immediately.

"Its just she does have a reasonably high temperature and with the humid wether it's easy for children to dehydrate… Almost I would like just to run a few tests on the abrasions at the back of her throat..." Chase explained.

"If you think it'll be better for her." The mother conceded.

"I do. " Chase nodded.

"Who's Jessica Pamella?" House demanded as he barged into the breakroom, throwing a file down onto the table where Chase was currently having dinner and reading.

"A patient." Chase bit back because his headache was lingering and he really was in the mood for House at the moment.

"Yes one that I was suppose to have admitted, so it would be good if I could actually know about it." House smirked glaring at Chase. He sighed tiredly as the hour hand on the clock started to slowly crawl passed the 6.

"I put in a report on your desk." He explained.

Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta --

"I don't read reports." House scoffed.

"Then it's not my fault." Chase scoffed back, the other really starting to get under his skin.

"So why did you admit her?" House snapped, deciding the fight, although satisfying would get them no where.

"Just some strange chemical burns on the back palate of her mouth… Nothing really." Chase mumbled.

"Great now I'm gonna look like an idiot in front of Cuddy." House sniped.

"Nothing unusual then." Chase jabbed. House scowled at him and the other realised then that by the way House had walked in, by the way that he was holding himself now… He hadn't had any pills for a while. Great.

I can't give it away on Seventh Avenue

"Chase go home." House grumbled and chase almost fell off his seat. House was letting him go before nightshift… unlikely. Chase looked at his food, maybe House had poisoned it and didn't'' want him dying in the hospital.

"You're sending me home now?" Chase questioned sceptically.

"Actually I'm sending you home no because I want you back for nightshift." House said blithely. Chase frown, he should have guessed.

"I'll see you back here at eight."

This town is the reason we're in tatters

House didn't even try to hold back the smirk as Chase sighed quiet audibly and pulled himself up out of the chair. Intent upon being away from the hospital for as long as possible.

Shattered

Chase headed out into the damning night air, knowing that there was only one thing that could possibly keep him from strangling House…

Shattered

Chapter Three

Just My Luck

I'd say that god watches over even his most wayward children… But that might seem a bit disingenuous.

Gabriel, Constantine

Work and work and love and sex

Chase hit the gym once more, at 6 o'clock it was packed and he once more felt at home in his sweaty unwashed sport clothes… He must have smelt incredibly unappealing, though in the grand scheme of things he didn't suppose it mattered really.

Ain't you hungry for success

He went back to the boxing bag once more, still loving the feel of the material scraping over abused skin. He was once again going bare knuckled, which was perhaps an even worse idea. His hand were already looking pretty badly bruised… and he still had night shift to get through… Thanks to House. Well thanks to himself really because really he had gone running to Voglar in the first place… He'd dobbed like some five-year-old because he was upset about House leaving them in the dark. Now he was in the dark constantly… Not to mention things had gotten a whole lot colder…

Success, success, success

He didn't get it? Since when did House even care? Distracted Chase miss-threw a punch and didn't come anywhere close to the bag, he winced slightly as his shoulder protested at being forced to such an odd angle. He bit his lip and didn't even pause. Going back to his controlled swings. Forgetting about everything else, or making a marked effort anyway.

Doesn't matter

It was in the shower that he first really noticed it… druing stretching he'd passed it off as just the normal ache. But now… Chase pulled on his shoulders, stretching the muscles out. His left was fine, but his right… It panged terribly now that the adrenaline in his system was staring to clear out. Chase gasped as he pushed it halfway above his head and had to let it drop back the pain violent and stinging making his arm go numb.

I'm shattered

Great! He thought miserably. Shaking his head and twisting the water off. This was the last thing he needed while House was trying to work him into the ground. Par for the course, he supposed. Chase took it in stride and dressed as quickly as possible. Realising that his arm didn't ache as long as he didn't jerk it sharply and didn't become unbearable as long as he didn't try to stretch it above his head.

Doesn't matter

Okay so he could do this… It was twelve hours… more like ten really without breaks and then he could go home… Twelve hours, that was all and House wasn't even gonna be there…

Shattered Chapter Four Midnight Rush

It was quiet for most of the night, which Chase supposed he should be thankful for, because he more than anyone knows that things no matter how bad can always be worse. The other doctor doing rounds of the floor with him was Alexander Gillian a tall redhead, who what she lacked in looks she made up for in confidence, character and skill. Chase was about two seconds from preposing when at 1 o'clock she looked at him, frowned and snapped at him to go get some sleep and she'd cover his rounds. Chase crashed in one of the breakrooms, the dark interior the most beautiful thing he'd seen as of late…

"When I told you to go sleep I meant for more than twenty minutes…" Gillian frowned upon Chase's re-arrival. Chase shrugged rubbing the sleep from his eyes. It was one of those cruel twists of fate. He'd been working such long hours lately and had exercised so much today that all the left over chemicals in his system barely above notice usually refused to allow him to sleep more than a few minutes… Chase had tossed and turned after about ten minutes of actual sleep before giving up the ghost and coming back down.

"Life's cruel." He mumbled and looked at the chart Gillian had over her shoulder.

"What's this?" Chase asked.

"10 year old boy admitted just before you went, fever, vomiting, convulsions. He's stable and sedated now. I took blood samples…" She explained.

"Matt's doing the work up now…" She said clicking her tongue.

"Mind if I have a look?" Chase questioned. She shook her head, following him in to list vital stats on his chart.

Chase looked over the small boy… He looked normal enough even if was sweating profusely. Beats of liquid dotting his head. Chase shined a pen light beneath his lids watching the pupils expend and contract normally. His dark skin looked a little ashen and dehydrated though that was to be expected with the vomiting. Beside the IV would take care of it. Chase sniffed audibly.

"What?" Gillian question peering at him. Chase frowned a second, trying to place it…It was sickly, kind of copperish but completely unlike blood… it was strange and yet Chase thought it was familiar…Some occurred to him out of the blue. He opened the boy slack mouth and shined in the light, small pustules decorated the back of his throat.

"Take a look at that…" Chase, said as Gillian came around the bed, she took the light and peered in.

"So?" She queried.

"Its chemical burn Chase… You can get it anywhere, eating too much sherbet… for instance…" She frowned peering in once more.

"Though his looks pretty bad… maybe he swallow some pool water…" She offered.

"Yeah, maybe." Chase conceded.

"But I admitted a girl just a few hours ago with the some sort of burns, a fever and that same smell…"

Chase rubbed the back of his neck, kneading the knotted muscles…

"So how many is that now…?" Chase frowned.

"Eight including your girl who is the only one who hasn't spilled her guts or fallen into a coma yet." Gillian informed rubbing her eyes.

"God these night shifts are killing me." She commented.

"Look who I'm talking to though." She grumbled.

"What's that mean?" Chase mumbled.

"Nothing. Just everyone's talking about how House has got you working almost 24-7." She shrugged sheepishly.

"Fabulous." Chase sighed and made the mistake of bringing his right hand up to rub his eyes. He sucked in a breath violently.

"What's wrong?" She questioned.

"My arms killing me." Chase frowned rubbing it gingerly.

"What happened?" Gillian asked moving behind him, to worry at his back. Chase stiffened slightly when her hands were first placed on aching flesh.

"Pulled it boxing." Chase mumbled flinching as she felt along hi shoulder blade.

"Chase this feels pretty bad." She frowned letting go of him.

"How bad?"

"Well your not going to keel over or anything, but you probably shouldn't be working like this." She offered.

"Tell that to House." Chase mumbled, meaning it as a throwaway comment, Gillian took it to heart.

"I could if that would help…"

"That's just what I need, for House to think I've been whining to everyone." Chase winced stretching out his arm slowly and slightly.

"Not like that." Gillian said.

"I could just say that I worked with you and am worried… It's not like its not the truth."

"Thanks, but no." She moved her nose twitchingly as though she wanted to continue grilling him about it.

"So how's Matt coming with the chemical work ups?" Chase questioned.

"Still looking." She mumbled.

"Do want the last family or have I got it?" Chase asked as the clock ticked away the last minutes till 5. Gillian bit her lip.

"I've got it." Chase said.

"Thanks." Gillian said, not wanting to give Chase anymore work than he already had but she hated dealing with families and she'd already done three of the five.

"Go sleep." Gillian ordered as they all leaned around the table in the lab.

"No I'm fine." Chase said rubbing eyes that felt like sandpaper.

"You look awful." Matt said, standing close to Gillian, though it was no secret that the two were in quite a serious relationship.

"I've gotta do rounds." Chase mumbled trying to pull himself together around the aching in his arm.

"Besides I'm off in about… half an hour." Chase said looking at the 7.20 shown on his watch.

"I'll do your rounds go get some sleep." Gillian ordered pointing to the door. Chase sighed too tired to argue and slumped off upstairs.

"He looks rotten." Matt commented.

"You're telling me." Gillian said grabbing a quick kiss and heading off after Chase.

Chase leaned heavily on the elevator wall after the doors had closed, hoping that each time he closed his eyes he'd open them and feel better… Not, likely.

He ambled to the breakroom, found it full of people getting ready for morning shift and decided to go elsewhere. Somehow Wilson's office was where he wound up, the inside warm and inviting, the overstuffed couch was something he'd have to kiss the other for having later. He flopped down almost completely missing the ache that flared worse in his shoulder when he did and turned off like a light…

Chapter Five

Don't Do This!

It was 8.05 when Wilson arrived startled by the collapsed chase in his office. He looked quite peaceful laying half off of the couch, a thin string of drool damping the corner of his mouth. Wilson had no clue as to how long the boy had been there, but resolve to let him sleep a little longer… That was, until House turned up, it was rare to find the other in before at least 9, however fate really did just seem to be out to torture the littlest duckling.

"Oh, isn't that sweet." House mock simpered as he ambled into Wilson's office.

"House…" Wilson started to threaten as the other picked up the tome they called a medical journal and slammed it down on the table.

Chase toppled off the chair with start and a small little cry, landing heavily on his right side.

"That's what you get for sleeping on the job, twit. Now get moving…" House snapped. It seemed to take an extremely long time for Chase to pick himself up off the floor and Wilson almost flinched at the pained look on the boy's face, his arm held stiffly at his side. He shot House a look and disappeared outside.

"Greg you're going straight to hell." Wilson threatened, shocked by how deep the other sadistic streak seemed to be running lately. House smirk didn't falter.

"Please I'm going to hell for a lot worse things." He lathered and Wilson shook his head. He followed House to the breakroom where the ducklings were assembled. Cameron and Foreman looking fresh and crisp as always… Chase though looked tire and worn and rumpled. He was slumped against the table, purposely keeping weight off of his right arm. Wilson wondered how he'd managed to hurt it so badly in that slight fall.

"House is this really so important. Wilson nagged.

"Absolutely." House smirked and pushed open the door and their conversation got put on hold.

"Bright good morning." House smothered and Wilson rolled his eyes, knowing that the other would draw this out as long as possible before he sent Chase home. He was still shock though when House made the boy explain in detail the chemical burn cases that had come in last night.

Chase for the most part managed to keep it together, hiding the hurt limb rather well. Wilson saw he'd punch the other when House made Chase list every test they'd preformed on the patients so far. All of this could easily be found in the charts…

"Okay…" House said finally…

"Foreman go down to the lab check in with Matt, see if our illustrious Mr. Chase here has forgotten anything." House jabbed and Wilson rolled his eyes. Chase for the most part though didn't seem in on the conversation, he attention was subtly focused on his now throbbing arm.

"Cameron, go do stats on the patients… Chase go home." House mumbled. Thank god. Chase barely kept in and headed promptly for the door before anyone else had even gotten up.

"I want you back at 9.30." Chase froze along with everyone else.

"Why?" He choked.

"Because I said so…" House scowled and Chase looked about ready to drop there, he sighed, nodded and disappeared out the door.

Cameron looked like she desperately wanted to say something… But she swallowed whatever it was and left too. Foreman though looked outraged and he wasn't swallowing anything.

"House what are you doing?" He snapped. He wasn't a fan of Chase, he sure as hell wasn't anything close to a friend and he really didn't agree with what Chase had done but…

"This is ridiculous…" He spat.

"What I find is ridiculous is you fighting with your boss." House scowled.

"So what your just gonna push until… he slips up and loses his licence…" Foreman demanded.

"Well that's an idea yes." House smirked. Foreman's mouth dropped open as though he wanted to say to much at once to know actually what to start with.

"You're being an arse House." Foreman accused.

"I usually am." He agreed.

"Look just fire the guy already…"

"I gave you a job now do it!" House ordered. Foreman's voice dropped out and like Cameron he swallowed whatever else he had to say and slammed out of the room. The door banging shut behind him.

"Don't!" House snapped as Wilson rose. He scowled at the other doctor as his pager went off placing another hold on their conversation.

Chapter Six

Coming Undone

Religion I feel is a farce, they tell you suicide is a sin, that god would never give anyone a trial they could not bare upon their shoulders… I refuse to believe that a single entity, no matter how grand could trivialise millions of peoples suffering, while still remaining wholly justice and fair…

Evan Petersen

Look at me

Chase very seriously doubted the sleep he could get in an hour… so he ran instead… he changed into his gym clothes which really were becoming disgusting and jogged from the hospital across town, winding up in a park about three blocks away.

I'm shattered

It probably wasn't something he should be doing… He probably shouldn't be exercising at all. Boxing was definitely out for a while with his arm, even now the jolt of running was making it numb and tingle.

I'm shattered

But he had to do something… If he hung around the hospital he was liable to strangle House and there was no way he was driving home simply to come straight back to work.

Look at me

Besides the cool sir was helping clear his had the endorphin's from running were helping to cover the pain in his arm, the ache that was steadily building in his legs as well… He pushed it away. He wouldn't be in pain if he hadn't been so stupid in the first place.

I'm shattered

If he hadn't pissed off House he wouldn't be working such long hours and if he hadn't missed that ridiculous boxing bag his arm wouldn't be giving him so much trouble. Stupid, stupid, stupid… This was his fault at east he could take it like a man.

Shattered

Chase pushed himself harder as he turned around and headed back to the hospital, sweat dampening already dirty clothes.

Shattered

Chapter Seven

Everything And More

All she wants is everything and more…

Pride and joy and greed and sex

It was only nine! That was what Chase couldn't get over. He was on break and House still couldn't leave him alone. This fact was punctuated when house brought a bunch of trainee interns into stare at him while he showered.

"House!" Chase shouted eyeing the man.

"What?" House questioned casually, smirking to show he knew exactly what he was doing.

"Cuddy's forcing me to show the interns about." Chase hazarded a glance at the girls and indeed they didn't look old enough to sign a contract let-alone practise medicine. They were all giggling and blushing and chatting amongst themselves and god only knew what house had told them about him.

That's what makes our town the best

Chase fought the urge to sigh further behind the wall. They couldn't see anything from where they were standing and Chase wouldn't give House the satisfaction.

"As you all can see this is the male shower's." House explained and Chase tensed as he stepped up to the gap in the shower wall. He looked Chase over coolly, in the way he would have if the other were clothed.

Pride and joy and dirty dreams are still surviving on the street

"Ha, Foreman owes me money. Though I was starting to doubts, he though you were definitely bleach blonde. Are you?" House smirked cruelly. The gaggled broke out into hysterical giggles and were blushing deeper than Chase. It was accompanied by another slow look. Chase felt like he could die. How could House do this to him. It front of all tease people he could have to supervise later… He wouldn't bully Cameron or Foreman this way… he'd be fired for doing to Cameron… But Chase was just this sad in-between that no one cared about.

"House!" Chase cried and the smirk he constantly wore widened.

I've been battered,

"Alright girls push off to the lab." House said casually and Chase wondered if it were possible for him to drown the older man in the shower. He turned the water off to remove temptation.

"I want you in the clinic first up and on call for the chemical burn patients." House breezed coolly.

"Why am I even still here?" Chase groaned in frustration. Made the mistake of groaning.

"I want you as the primary doctor on this case." House explained coolly.

"Cameron or Foreman are…"

"You admitted the first patient-s, you took the first test samples…" House with a certain finally, which Chase was pretty sure meant Hudini couldn't wriggle out of this.

"Which means…" House prompted.

"I work full days, no rostered days off." Chase mumbled.

"No actually it means you don't go home all until you find out how to treat them…" House ordered.

What does it matter

"What?" Chase choked.

"House I've worked almost 30 straight hours already and I…" Chase whined thinking of all the other days off he hadn't had, all the clinic duty he'd gotten stuck with.

"Explain the part where that's my problem." House cut. Chase's mouth fell open… He went to push past the other, forgetting in his anger that he was completely stark. A fact that represented itself in a violent flare of blushing when House grabbed his bare shoulder.

Does it matter, uh-huh

"I don't want Cameron or Foreman giving the patients so much as a tissue without your knowledge and say so." House informed. Hand still on Chase's bared flesh.

"House?" Chase whimpered. He rubbed his head against House's shoulder wetting the cool fabric.

"I can't do this." He whimpered. He was tired and sore and mostly he wanted to be anywhere that wasn't here. It was fatigue Chase had already established, soon he'd be fighting not to laugh hysterically. Right now though he was choking on tears, trying not bawl like a baby.

"Hey," House said tilting up Chase's chin with his thumb. He studied the boy's face for a moment.

Does it matter, uh-huh,

"Just remember…" He paused a moment thinking that perhaps he was being too hard on the boy.

"The first rule of leadership is; everything is your fault." Probably not… Chase's eyes were sad and pleading for a second then with ridged shoulders he pushed past House and disappeared into the maze of lockers. House stood a moment in thought, then popped two Vicodin and went back to his previous wonderings.

I'm a shattered

Chapter Eight

Not Very Popular

Chase felt like snapping at Cameron as lunchtime rolled around and she asked the ever-insipid question.

"Are you all right?" He'd mumbled a yes and went back to largely ignoring her. The test result infront of him, were blurring slightly and Chase had to force himself to focus. It was indeed so much more pleasant to just let the dark scrawl floats infront of his eyes. Let them bob up and down like the waves over the Great Barrier Reef. Bright yellow sand, clear sky, big cold drinks that…

"Chase how are the tox screens?" Foreman asked and Chase jolted back to the world. He looked over them quickly.

"Clean like the last lot." He muttered, trying to hide that he was brushing sleep from his eyes as he tried to figure out how much of the conversation he'd tuned out on.

"Chase go home!" Foreman grumbled huffily.

"I can't." Chase mumbled, picking himself up to go start checking patients vitals.

"Just go… hand House your resignation." Foreman almost ordered. Chase usually only hated his pushiness… now it was really becoming a drag.

"I tried…" Chase breathed.

"Almost a week ago… he laughed and threw it in my face… Quite literally he tore it up and tossed the pieces at me." Chase sighed remembering the fluttering bits of paper. Stumbling out of the lab. He pushed in the hall outside, pressing his head against the wall. Get it together. He gritted. Breathing in deeply and straightening himself.

"You are not helping." Cameron snapped after Chase had made his less than graceful exit.

"Chase can't stay…" Foreman sneered.

"He can barely stand." Foreman observed.

"You know what House is doing to him." She shot back.

"Look I feel for the guy… But its not like I sent him running to Voglar." Foreman sighed, filing through reports.

"Your unbelievable." Cameron glared.

"He is going to hurt someone." Foreman scowled.

"Like you care!" Cameron shouted.

"You're just pissed because Chase is in charge of this case." Cameron accused.

"Chase is in charge because he's in the dog house." Foreman shouted back.

"Are your still jealous!"

"House I think you need to start considering the consequences of your actions." Wilson frowned as they moved steadily down the lunch line.

"I do." House defended.

"I consider them all the time. I considered them just this morning." House teased and Wilson frowned deeper.

"House!" Wilson scowled.

"Oh, what has your panties in a bunch now." House said looking carefully over the rolls, sandwiches and burgers that were on display.

"You." James snipped as house finally made up his mind and stuck James with the bill once more. He followed the other outside and sat down across the table from him.

"If this is about the left side of the bed… really you can have it, if it upsets you that much." House offered, grinning sarcastically. It was a little known fact, that himself and House had a somewhat relationship. Somewhat in the compacity that no one could really have a relationship with Gregory House and Wilson should know he'd given it a few honest tries. Had heard upon the grapevine that Cameron had given getting him into a relationship a few honest tries. Wilson didn't like her chances, dating House, hell even just having a friendship with occasional sex required a grain of assault that Wilson didn't think the woman had. Even Cuddy hadn't been able to stand it for long and she had patients the size of the French canal.

"You and Chase…" Wilson clarified or tried to because House was still dodging.

"Oh, come one that's low… I wouldn't accuse you of sleeping with Foreman…" House smirked.

"And you shouting at me…" James ploughed on.

"Greg you can't work people like this…" He continued.

"That left side of the bed thing though that doesn't bother you right." House lulled. James rolled his eyes and snatched up his lunch.

"Your impossible House." He breathed, standing to move back inside.

"Where are you going?" House asked.

"Away from you." He snapped slightly.

"And you say I'm the reason we don't spend enough time together…" House snorted still joking and that got up Wilson's nose a little. Because as far as House was concerned the world began, ended and revolved around just him… Or at least so it seemed.

"You are…" He snapped quietly.

"Oh," House mock simpered and James flinch because House didn't usually do that, not to him.

"Two things house." James snarled.

"When something goes wrong, and it will. Expect an I told you so from me and two you should know that every nurse in the hospital is starting to hate your guts for what your doing to Chase… There already was an I hate Gergory House fan club, now its just got more members." James snipped and then turned on his heal and walked away. House watching after him and catching a good look at almost every nurse in the lunch room shooting him glares and whispering to the one next to them. House couldn't help but shift slightly in his chair…

Chapter Nine

Clueless

I like totally paused…

Alicia Silverstone, Clueless

Don't you know the crime rate is going up, up, up, up, up

"Do you even know what you're talking about!" Nina Pamella screeched as Chase focused on taking yet another blood sample from Jessica. No, he thought ruefully. He couldn't even remember what he'd just said let-alone what it meant. Luckily Gillian was there in a pinch.

"Miss Pamella I know it looks like we're doing nothing but…"

"You've stuck my daughter with every needle imaginable… and you still can't even tell me what's wrong with her." She snapped and Gillian looked about ready to snap herself.

"I know it seem extraneous." She tried.

"But we're doing everything we can." She offered.

"Which isn't very much." She snapped, looking decidedly at Chase., as though he'd made her daughter sick by admitting her.

To live in this town you must be tough, tough, tough, tough, tough!

"Nina your tired, you haven't slept in almost two days…" Gillian offered.

"I'm not leaving my daughter…" She said flinging up painted hands.

"No, no of course not. But there's a lounge upstairs, you could grab a quick nap up there now." Gillian offered and the mother grudgingly excepted.

You got rats on the West Side Bed bugs uptown

"She's pretty great your mum." Chase clicked his tongue between his teeth.

"Yeah." Jessica sighed, her voice tear tinted from the needle.

"Sorry, nurses are usually better at this." Chase conceded, pulling out the needle and placing gauze over, Jessica bending her arm without being asked.

"Your pretty good." She licked dry lips.

"Had a lot of blood tests?" He asked.

"Only since I got here."

"I'm sorry about that. Its just easier for us find out…"

"Its okay Chase I get it." She smiled and chase was reminded of his mouth… before his father left, before the drinking, when she was happy. It's the eyes maybe, that kind of quiet grace, which he had never had.

"So what about your father?" Chase asked trying to change the subject as he checked her breathing.

"He use to be in the army… He died over in Iraq last year." Chase winced at the silent defeat in her voice, he really sucked at this…

"Sorry." He said again, knowing that it didn't even begin to make it better.

"That's what everyone says…" She frowned.

"People who didn't even know him…" She murmured in confusion… Chase's beeper began to trill, he glance down at it and his heart kicked up a notch as he realised someone was coding three rooms down.

What a mess this town's in tatters I've been shattered

"What's happening?" Chase asked as he burst in the door, Nina Pamella standing outside.

"I was going past when his mother grabbed me…" Gillian spluttered, as Jason Priar, a seven-year-old African-American kid convulsed on the bed. He was choking and coughing, bringing up bile and disgusting stringy mucus that Chase hadn't seen before.

My brain's been battered,

"Gonna have to intravent…" Chase said hopping into action. He grabbed for the tubing as Gillian tried to restrain the writhing mass and open his mouth. Chase pressed the tube down into his throat, trying to still the frantic beating of his heart. Jason shuddered and reached, blood bubbling and spewing from his mouth, it splattered across Gillian's clothes and Chase's face…

Splattered all over Manhattan

Silence was thick in the breakroom, Chase sat staring at House's blank diagnostic broad, usually by this point it would be covered in the other's untidy scrawl. But this wasn't House's case… It was his… and he'd just held a seven-year-old while he coughed up his last breaths.

Uh-huh, this town's full of money grabbers

The boy's blood was still on his shirt… was dried on his face and Chase realised that he should wash it off… Just couldn't get around to doing it. He licked his lips and pulled himself up, his hands were shaking… he picked up the whiteboard marker and started to write.

He scrawled up everything, anything he could think of… Nothing… Because none of it mattered. None of the tests showed anything. He couldn't work it out… House probably could have, Cameron, Foreman, but he wasn't smart enough… he couldn't do it by himself…

Chapter Ten

What the hell Is This?

Sorry I had a lot of sugar today.

Ryan Reynolds, Hannibal King, Blade Trinity

"The kids organ's were almost liquid…" Chase said with almost a detached kind of happy note, striding into the lab hours later. Gillian's eyes were red and puffy, his brain noted sluggishly and Matt's shirt looked wet… He could understand that… But he didn't get the luxury of crying…

"What?" She sniffled.

"Autopsy." Chase said brandishing a file.

"Nothing much to suggest a cause, but the kids organ's were almost liquid. Liver, heart, lungs, kidney's." Chase was talking louder than he usually would have and Gillian wasn't sure that it was a good sign.

"Speaking of odd things…" Matt interrupted, forgetting in Gillian's pain until now.

"I looked at a sample of blood under the microscope and found something really bazaar." Matt frowned.

"I don't know how the tests missed it… or me for that matter." He huffed and gesture from Chase to have a look. Chase rubbed tired eyes and then looked down through the scope. Plasma with red blood cells bobbing appeared before his eyes… Everything looked normal to him. He went to pull back.

"Keep watching…" Matt ordered and that was when Chase caught it, a tiny spec of white attached to one side of the red platelet. He checked over all of them for sever long minutes, only counting two out of the millions of cells.

"What is that?" He asked as he stepped aside for Gillian.

"I don't know." Matt offered quite freely, whereas most doctors would rather swallow their own tongue.

"I've never seen anything like it and it doesn't scan up on any of the machines." Matt licked his lips.

"Right now I'm trying to separate it from the blood, so I can test a pure sample…"

"Good." Chase said, breathing deeply, considering.

"I'm gonna go do the rounds…" he said turning on his heel.

"Ooh, he starting to slip." Matt said, after Chase was gone.

"Where are you going…?" He called as Gillian followed.

"To speak to the coroner." She called back.

"Wasn't me." Annely Katlin pouted as Gillian asked her about the specifics of the autopsy.

"What'd you mean it wasn't you? What the body autopsied itself?" Gillian snapped.

"No I mean I'm back logged and Chase wanted the autopsy done ASAP, so I told him want it done right…" She was a short greying women, who always rubbed Gillian the wrong way.

"He did it himself?" Gillian spluttered.

"One of my guys assisted." She croaked chewing a piece of gum noisily. That was Gillian's biggest problem with the woman, she had no respect for the dead. Eating her lunch and such while cataloguing bodies… That couldn't be sanitary.

"Thanks?" She snapped and left at high speed.

"Chase what the hell are you doing?" Gillian snapped as Chase placed his hand on Jessica's door.

"Rounds." Chase said thickly.

"You autopsied Jason Priar…" Gillian managed to screech while keeping her voice low.

"Its okay I had an assistant, its fine." Chase explained thinking of hospital protocol.

"No it's not!" Gillian growled thinking of Chase.

"Chase you were there when that boy died, you shouldn't be doing his autopsy…" Gillian gasped.

"And we shouldn't be having this conversation right now." Chase offered. Gillian opened her mouth as Alex Parsons came bursting out of his son's room…

"Hey Chase…" Jessica yawned as the doctor finally came in to finish the rounds. His face spoke doom and gloom, even to her.

"Sorry, did I wake you." He nodded slowly, thinking that his neck had never felt so knotted.

"No, I can't sleep properly when I'm not in my bed…" She mumbled sitting up after Chase had finished checking her IV. It would have to be changed soon, but not yet and he certainly was jumping for the job… Chase noted it on her chart. She let go of a string of coughs and Chase frowned noticing that her temperature had risen two degrees… Everyone's had… though Jessica seemed to be best off.

"Would you like a drink…" He offered.

"Actually I would like my milk." She said.

"Excuse me." Chase asked thinking he must have misheard somehow.

"It's in my school bag." She pointed at the piece of black in the corner. Chase picked it up slowly and ruffled around inside from a moment before finding a carton of milk. It was cool, not cold though and Chase was suspicious.

"I don't think its still good, Jessica, its not eve cold… How long has it been in your bag for."

"A few days." Chase frowned.

"Its okay though its one of those foil packets though… That's why the school uses them…" Chase looked over the carton claiming all natural ingredients. Unlikely, but he couldn't see anything wrong with it… Beside f it was the milk more people would be sick… and she looked so hopeful…

"All right." He sighed and she snatched it happily. The clock ticked over to 7.15.

Chapter Eleven A…B…C…D…

My girl when Rameses destroyed Seiren… That was an accident… You are a catastrophe…

The Mummy

Foreman's missing… Chase noted through tired eyes. It was himself, house and Cameron in the breakroom.

"So what have we learnt so far?" House questioned.

"Nothing." Chase admitted, too tired to play smart.

"Eight patients originally, three were comatose when omitted, almost twenty-four hours later they convulsed and died, their organs almost slush." Chase drowned and Cameron winced at the quiet bitterness there.

"Well doctor Chase don't make any attempt to help save them." House dug and Allison noted that his shoulders slumped a little lower, one held at an odd angle. She realised right in that moment that she really didn't like House anymore…

"Two more fell into coma's this morning at 7.30 and 7.55… Two more are definitely heading that way and Jessica looks to be slowly sliding there too." Chase stared blankly at the desk.

"Actually Jessica's there." Foreman informed as he came through the door.

"Where the hell were you?" House snapped.

"Helping to sedate Jessica Pamella." Foreman glared at him.

"What?" Chase asked and it was the first time this morning that he'd actually looked alive.

"That's not right her temperature and breathing…"

"Now match the comatose ones." Foreman informed.

"That's not…" Chase looked like a lost puppy, he sighed and put his head in his hands.

"Chase work with it…" House ordered, sticking the straw into a popper and sucking loudly.

"What does this tell us…" house asked finally, because it looked like the littlest duckling was about to breakdown.

"Nothing." Chase shouted.

"Nothing tells us anything… Nothing makes sense… the only thing that could have caused this is the fact that they share the same school and Foreman checked that out yesterday." Chase's voice quieted as the sentence wore on. He looked at the whiteboard through half closed lids.

"And the alphabet." He mumbled barely realising it.

"What?" Allison asked.

"Their last names are alphabetical." Chase mumble as he rose and left the room tired of listening to House's slurps.

House re-arranged the names that Chase had scrawled out on the board.

Justin Paeltrick- Dead

Jessica Pamella- Coma

Nicolas Parsons- Dead

Ryan Peters-Crit

Susan Poultry-Coma

Liva Pouvlem-Coma

Jason Priar- Dead

Michelle Pwiar-Crit

It did look a little odd.

"Is Chase going home?" Allison asked, even though she already knew the answer.

"No." House said heading for the door, a little curious of the patients.

"House if want my opinion." Allison stared.

"Not really." House said pausing half out the door. She ploughed on anyway.

"There are other ways to discipline Chase… Or just except his resignation so he can…"

"Doctor Cameron!" House demanded.

"When I want anything other than a medical opinion I'll… Well I'm never gonna want your opinion." House snarked as he headed out the door.

Cameron sighed, actually stomped her foot and then fished a packet of chips out of one of the cupboard's and began feeding her face.

"Nervous eater?" Foreman questioned stiffly, because neither was entirely over their fight from yesterday.

"No, House is just an arse." She said between chips… Foreman found himself liking her more now that she had started liking House less.

"The way he's treating pour Chase…" She frowned.

"I know you don't like him and yes Chase is a big boy, but…"

"Its excessive." Foreman agreed.

"This is what I don't get though," Foreman offered.

"When I wanted to quite House couldn't agree fast enough… and I'd be offended but consider the source… Then you threatened to go and he didn't even bat an eyelid… But Chase… I mean you saw him flip and yesterday with me…" Foreman breathed.

"I mean what's the attachment?" He scoffed.

"Simple." Allison sucked chips out of her teeth.

"He wants to torture him." She finished, Foreman looked less than convinced.

"You think its something else?" She asked.

"I don't pretend… Scratch that. I wouldn't want to pretend to know how House thinks." He sniffed and Allison bit back a smile.

Chase was back out on the pavement, pushing himself as fast as he could… Sweat was pouring off of him in rivulets and he was pretty sure it was because he hadn't had enough water lately, all the poison's building up in his body. He pushed harder, navigating the crumbling walk with a certain stiff weariness.

How the hell had Jessica fallen sick so quickly, what the hell had he done wrong… Chase shook his head, trying to clear it of House wet slurping which for some reason seemed to play and replay… God, he slurped just like a… the though poured in from the back of his brain and Chase couldn't believe he'd been so stupid…

"House sucks just like a ten year old girl!" Chase spouted as he burst in on Foreman.

"Shit!" He cried as it dawned on him that Foreman was in the middle of clinic duty and therefore with a patient.

Foreman stood dumbstruck as Chase limped out of the room. Foreman blinked… collected himself and then excused himself, closing the door behind him. Chase was pacing in the hall outside.

"It's the milk…" Chase was pacing frantically, rather funny considering he was walking like House.

"Chase what happened?" Foreman questioned as he took in Chase's sweaty, grotty appearance. His flushed face and jumpy, tired eyes. Chase looked down at himself like he didn't get the question.

"Oh, I tripped into a fence after my big epiphany." Chase muttered.

"Right…" Foreman trilled, worried about the other man for the first time ever.

"But that's not important, it's the milk… These kids all went to the same school… Their all in this milk thin that the school does, I called the school and everyone admitted to here falls in one nice little group on the list of kids names that are in the, the… thing…" Chase snapped losing patients with himself. Why couldn't he think of the word. Its like his brain had trickled out of his ears and he was having trouble focusing on the world… He had already gone back to wearing his glasses, having contacts in for three days straight making his eyes red and puffy.

"Chase I don't get…" Foreman started and Chase grabbed his lapels.

"We have to go talk to the company!" Chase shouted and pulled away from the other, foreman to shocked to do anything.

"Chase…" Foreman watched the other crumble before his eyes.

"Don't you get it…" Chase cried…

"I gave her the milk… That's why she got so sick all of a sudden… I gave it to her, it was House's damn sucking on that popper that reminded me." Chase sobbed.

"All right Chase, all right… I'll go talk to the company… you stay here and get cleaned up…" The other looked at Foreman with haunted eyes and nodded turning away as barely held back tears fell.

I'm a shattered Chapter Twelve Never Charmed

Leo: You all lead charmed lives…

Prue: Hardly…

Go ahead,

Once the tears started Chase couldn't stop them, they toppled down his face as he retreated once more to the showers. He sat on the tile with the shower pouring over his curled up legs and sobbed dryly. The salty drops fell like bead of shower water, cascading over pale legs and thighs. Over bruised arms and an aching back. Chase's injured leg stung at the angle it was forced to and his shoulder felt like it was on fire.

Bite the Big Apple,

Eventually though even the tears stopped coming and Chase was left with what he'd always been most afraid of… Nothing. His best wasn't good enough. His incompetence was unbelievable.

His father was right, as a doctor he was woefully inadequate.

Don't mind the maggots, huh I'm a shattered Shattered! I cannot take this anymore

The arms around his waist were a shock, Chase trying to blink the fuzz from his eyes after leaving the shower dressed once more.

"Miss Pamella." Chase hazarded from behind his glasses.

"Doctor Chase I'm so sorry about what I said to you, I can't…" Her eyes were worse than his and tears were still collecting even now.

"I lost her father over in Iraq and my parent's died in a car crash when she was 7… Jessica is the only family I have left and I just can't…" Sobs spilled fourth and Chase patted her back softly. Feeling something starting a hole in his stomach.

I'm saying everything I've said before

"I can't loose my baby…" She wailed and Chase swallowed the sobs that were collecting at the back of his throat. He wanted to let them fall out into the air, to fall down onto his knees and apologise for what he'd done to Jessica because his time its wasn't some common medical slip up that had occurred but just plain stupidity.

All these words they make no sense

But he couldn't, he couldn't do anything because to say that would may the hospital liable. Chase felt trapped beneath plastic, the world was tilting in and out in front of his face and he couldn't breath at all.

I find bliss in ignorance

"I'm sorry for our lack of progress Miss Pamela, but myself and everyone else is doing all they came." Chase offered… and that was all he had to offer, some stupid useless insincerity. He wanted to scream. She nodded slowly and stumbled down the hall, realising that he had nothing else to give…

Less I hear the less you'll say But you'll find that out anyway Just like before…

Chase practically collapsed in the lab when he reached it.

"You look like hell." Matt said looking over-worked himself.

"I feel worse." Chase breathed.

"Well I've something that may make you happy." Matt offered.

"The white substance insecticide… Foreman gave me a call, the company as it turned out tried out a new insecticide for the grass pens which the cows feed on. Worked perfectly, grass was nice and healthy, cows were fabulous, producing lots of milk… Unfortunately the stuff was lethal for humans." Matt puffed.

"A case accidentally got shipped out." Matt scowled.

"What!" Chase frowned.

"Yeah I know." Matt offered.

"Anyway Foreman beat the info out of one of the excuse… Go figure…" Chase was speechless for a second because suddenly it was over, they knew what it was… It was fixable now.

"So what? So how do we fix it?" Chase questioned.

"We can't." Matt puffed out.

"I mean we can stop it from killing them, from doing more damage, I've had all of their fluid intakes tripled… But like you said the organs are liquid, all we can do is flush out the toxins and take a toll of the damage… Replace kidney's and lungs were we can…" Matt sighed deadly…

"Damn!" House grumped as he knocked over a stack of dominoes that he been working on at Chase's knock and ingress.

"This had better be you telling me Cuddy's let me off of clinic duty." House threatened. Chase was too tired to care.

Everything you say to me

"Actually the case I was heading, turned out to be insecticide poisoning… Patient are having it flushed out of there systems now. It's designer so that's why it didn't show up on any of the tox tests. Any that survive will probably need new organ of some variety…" Chase droned tossing files down onto House's desk. He rubbed an eye behind wire-framed glasses that House had never seen before.

"Also I feel I should inform you that the reason for Jessica's sudden deterioration was because she hadn't had the same does of chemical as the other patients… I accidentally gave it to her…" Chase's voice was cold and flat.

"Cameron is currently reporting the company and Foreman's informing the parents." Chase turned to go.

"Wait." House said, holding up a hand, flicking over the files briefly. Chase leaned in the doorway.

"Let me get this straight doctor Chase you gave a patient some questionable drink from outside the hospital, with no way of knowing the inner contents." House frowned.

"Yes." Chase's shoulders were slumped.

"This will be brought before the disciplinary broad." House poked wondering over the reaction. Chase simply nodded and House pushed harder, closing the file.

"Well maybe you didn't."

"What?"

"Well you were supervising Foreman and Cameron. Matt and Gillian… maybe one of them…" House smirked.

Takes me one step closer to the edge

"House I just told you that…"

"Well you're a selfish guy Chase…" House teased.

"What…" Chase didn't know wether it was the sleep depravation getting to him or if House just wasn't making any sense

"Though not very smart… Buy a clue Robert… Pick one of them and save yourself…"

And I'm about to break

Chapter thirteen Noble…? No Not really…

You see things; and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say 'Why not?'

George Bernard Shaw, Back To Methuselah, 1912

"Doctor Chase is there anything you would like to add to this report…" Cuddy asked. Chase drifted somewhere between sleep and wake… his eyes were open, but he wasn't really there…

I need a little room to breathe

"No," Chase said shaking his head. It wasn't really that bad anyway. The review broad members, twenty in all were largely silent. He'd been ambling through clinic duty all morning. Going numbly and unthinkingly from on because to the next. Unable to remember one patient after he'd handed back their file…

It wasn't so bad… Cuddy and Wilson he knew, the other's he didn't… Not really. But no on was screaming at him and no one was expecting…

'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge

"Well, doctor Chase you… acted negligibly, went against hospital procedure. Allowed a patient in your care to consume something from outside the hospital. You had no way of knowing the contents… It could have been smack for Christ sake… But since you probably have already gone through his yourself…" Cuddy ended the tirade, biting her lip.

"You can go Chase… I'll deliver the board decision by the end of the day." Cuddy pursed. Chase rose only really hearing the part where he could leave.

And I'm about to break

"So House what do you have to say about this?" Cuddy snapped at the sidelined doctor.

"Chase is an idiot." House shrugged.

"I've tried beating it out of him but damn never can manage it." House smirked.

"Cute." Cuddy snapped.

"But do you think he should be fired!" She bit, feeling spread too thin these days.

"If I thought that I would have done it on the spot…" House frowned.

"Duly noted." Cuddy scribbled.

"You can go…" She said not looking up…

"House…" he turned at the door.

"Is Chase… Is he okay?" She questioned.

"As far as I know…" House shrugged.

Chase had fallen asleep filling out paperwork on the poisoning. Cuddy shook him awake gently…

"Chase, Chase…" He started a bit… thoughts shockingly clear…

"Cuddy… I…" Chase didn't have an ending for that.

"I came to tell you that the broad's decided not to take any disciplinary action. Everything I said was true… There was no way for you to know that a program run school wide was what was making them sick… I do wish you would take more care in the future though…" Cuddy smiled.

"Thanks…" Chase managed thickly, wincing as he shifted his sore leg.

"Now go home." Cuddy said firmly.

"House…"

"I said." Cuddy pushed firmly. Chase nodded.

"Doctor Cameron please sit down…" Cuddy said as Cameron venture into the breakroom. Cuddy was standing in front of House's famous diagnostic broad. Chase scrawl still on it.

"You're the last to arrive." Cuddy smiled. Wilson, House, Foreman, Gillian and Matt were all currently sprawled throughout the dim room.

"As you all may or may not know, Doctor Chase went before the disciplinary board this afternoon… What about is frankly not relevant and not anyone's business…" Cuddy was fuming, anger was coming off in washes.

"I'm always pissed when we have to meet to discuss negligible actions… It means I am obvious not managing properly…" Cuddy snapped and James decided she was several levels passed pissed.

"That what you are all doing in here… I'm human I make mistakes like everyone… I consent to have pushy billionaires as directors… I hire the wrong people…" That last part was definitely snapped at House…

"So you are all here because in my hectic day something has been escaping my notice for quite some time." Cuddy pursed her lips.

"Doctor House, explain a doctors standard week to me." Cuddy snapped, standing largely in the one spot, pacing a little.

"A seven to ten hour day, on call four more in case of an emergency… one rostered day off a week… Don't I get a cookie now, or maybe on eof those little sparkle-y stars." Even House was muted under the apparent fury in Cuddy.

"Good so you know what you should be doing… So why is it that Doctor Chase hasn't had a day off in over a month and has work over three days straight." Cuddy cut frostily.

"All right who finked on me?" House demanded of the room.

"House… These rule are set so that doctor aren't over worked, because when their over worked… They make mistakes and we get sued and if Chase should get sued I' holding you personally responsible…" Cuddy growled.

"As for the rest of you, you all knew, without a doubt what was going on, none of you came to me, told me. Not a single one of you worried about Chase or is metal state. I would like you all to bare in mind that you could all be held accountable for what its twit was doing." Cuddy simmered. She seemed to b settling down slowly.

"I've sent Chase home… Now all of you get back to work…" She snapped.

Chapter Fourteen

The Faults-Mine

Abstainer n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

Cuddy had told him to go home, well home didn't seem too appealing at the moment… Jessica's mother had caught up with him in the hall and had started to scream at him. Having found out that it essential his fault that her daughter was where she was… Chase had almost thrown up right there in the hall with the woman screaming at him… Almost… she was currently sedated upstairs after having had a full-blown meltdown in the corridor.

He took a seat beside Jessica's bed… Opening the book he'd brought. The cover in large silver letters proclaimed The Wild… It was a book Chase was sad never made it to sit beside Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

"In the dark forest… At the edge of the earth…" Chase's voice shook slightly.

"Beyond the cities of man and the forests of beasts…" Chase's voice was growing steadier with each word, his eyes still protesting slightly. Shiver's creeping up his arm. Chase tried to focus.

"There was the wild, some thought it was a dark place… other's just an empty void, a place where all the water in the world rushed to and disappeared." Chase yawned the soft beeping on machines rhythmic and stilling.

"But no one had ever seen it to know for sure…"

Cuddy had said she'd sent him home and House isn't entirely shock when he finds Chase reading to Jessica on his rounds. House doesn't know the book, but he stays to listen anyway.

Stays to hear the gently sigh that is Chase's voice. Feels the anger at the other betraying him, evaporate. He thinks that maybe he should go in… Say something because its obvious to even him that the ducklings falling to bits. But to coddle a duckling would be to spoil it and he's may such progress with Chase…

House stays in the doorway, unnoticed, watching Chase keep himself together somehow, the voice growing quieter all the time. Watches as the other falls asleep in the chair. The book falling against his knees barely clasped in limp fingers.

House presses into the room gently, takes the book slowly from unprotesting fingers, he closes it and drops it onto the table. Slips the glasses from the others nose and places them on top and then looking down at Chase's soft bruised form he has the urge to kiss the others head, brush aside an arrant piece of blonde silk… Maybe Wilson's right and Cameron has rubbed off on him minutely. Yuck he's caught her girlie cooties and lets face it that's terminal… House smiles at his own line of thought and hobbles out closing the door behind him.

Epilogue

It Never Ends…

Their relationship consisted

Of discussing if it existed.

Thom Gunn, Jamesian, 1991

It was close to midnight when Cameron doing late rounds, stubbled on Chase and sent him home… And it just after nine the next day as Wilson and House sat about the breakroom discussing some of Cuddy finer assets that she mad a second big appearance…

When Cameron barged threw the door panting.

"Where the fire?" Wilson asked.

"Chase…" She panted… Wilson and House looked at each other.

"Chase shouldn't even be here, now he's on fire as well… Oh, he is in such trouble if Cuddy finds out." Wilson rolled is eyes at House.

"Chase has been taken…" Cameron choked.

"Taken… who'd want him." House continued joking.

"House!" Wilson frowned having the beginnings of the wiggins.

"There's cops everywhere down stairs… They think its that guy that's in the paper's…" Cameron cried, tear gathering.

"What!"

"R.D.K…" Wilson coughed…

"Rape, Disfigure and Kill… that's who they think has Chase…" Wilson stuttered and then the rest was silence…