Chapter 4

House was doing his minimum clinic rounds after much browbeating and bartering by Cuddy. Just outside the door to his next victim he heard the strangest thing.


"That was weak. This is how you do it." -BURP-

-giggle- -BURP- "Hey!"

"Now keep that in."

House opened the door to find a five-year-old boy with a sulky expression and a thermometer in his mouth. Angel was taking his pulse and looked extremely satisfied.

"Was that you?"

She blinked at him for a second. -burp- " Pardon me."

"Yeah. You haven't changed. Let me guess, he's got a cold."

Angel pulled the thermometer out when it beeped and charted the temperature. "Hey, it worked. And you're the doctor, not me."

And with that, she handed over the chart and left him grumbling at her receding back.

After he informed the panicky mother that her son simply had a mild case of strep, he was stopped in the hallway by a strangely happy Cuddy.

"You look like you just had a quickie in your office."

"No. This is good but not that good. Your first review board meeting is today."

"Well then, I won't see you there." He started to walk away.

"Yes, I will. Especially if you want these back."

House slowly turned to find her holding up a familiar looking iPod and Gameboy. His mouth opened in protest as she pocketed them in her skirt and confidently walked away without saying another word.

He growled softly and stumped to his office to get his discarded suit jacket. There he found Allison sitting at his desk typing up a report. He ripped the jacket off the back of her chair and was so mad he didn't realize he'd put it on inside-out until he was halfway to the door. He sighed and jerked it off.

Allison shook her head and went to help him. "What's your problem?"

"I have to go to a review board meeting."

She chuckled as she took the jacket from him and turned it right side-out. "Cuddy finally conned you into going to one. I'm impressed."

House let out a huff and Allison laughed again. "Oh, quit grumbling you big baby. Hold still, your collar's all funky."

She untwisted his collar and smoothed his lapels. Not thinking, she reached up on tiptoes, pressed her cheek to his and gave him a kiss as if she were a wife sending her husband to work. House unconsciously returned the gesture and headed for the door as she went back to the desk. It wasn't until he was outside his office that they realized what happened, both shook their heads, and just kept going; hoping no one had seen the exchange.

But Angel had, and she grinned slightly, the wheels in her head swiftly turning as she swiveled back to the EMT leaning over the counter of the nurse's station.


The end of shift finally rolled by and found House and his ducklings making swiftly for the door, all eager to get home.

Wilson hurried in through the doors and shook fat, wet snowflakes from his hair as he tried to rub some warmth back into his chaffed hands. He frowned at the small group. "Where do you think you're going?"

Foreman rolled his eyes. "Home. Where else?"

"I don't think so." A voice called from the other end of the foyer.

They turned as one to find Angel and Cuddy beckoning them back into the hospital proper.

"Temperature's already dropped to ten below and the wind's picked up. The weatherman's predicting four feet of snow. We're in for a blizzard. I think I can safely say we're stuck here for the night."

Everyone collectively groaned.