Disclaimer: House, M.D. and its characters, stories and situations belong to creators/producers David Shore and Brian Singer, and the FOX network. Greg House's "likebility" is to be attribuited to his lovely performer, Hugh Laurie.

The song I'm with you belongs to Avril Lavigne and her label, Arista Records.

Author's Note: This songfic spawns from a sort of challenge that floated on the now-deceased Fanfic thread on the Television Without Pity forums for House. People complained about songfics and the inappropriate use of music in House Fanfiction. Eventually it came to "House songfic badfic", since songfic writers invariably went to pop hits Greg House wouldn't touch with a twelve-foot cane. Worst of the worse was declared a House/Avril Lavigne songfic.

I took that as a challenge.

How and why would House listen to an Avril Lavigne song? Here's my take and I have to say, though there's not much for the character to do, I'm pretty happy with it. I love the show, but writing Greg House as he deserves is one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I have another three House fics in the works, and I'm entirely dissatisfied with all of them. Sigh. Anyway, don't flame me over Avril's song and its reception. I bought the CD. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in buying it used…?

Beat-ed and "better-ed" by Alipeeps. Thank you!

As it too often happens to people with great minds, Greg House was bored. With thirty minutes to go until his next TV-show and nothing of interest in his mail (not by his standards, anyway), he listlessly spun around in his chair. When he was reminded of why this particular game wasn't fun for anyone above the age of three, he decided to find an activity to fill an endless half hour that didn't involve making himself sick. He nudged his mouse and launched the internet browser.

If ever there was a time-waster, the nerd-gods that invented the net had created it. He checked the news, then skipped every one that mentioned bombs, politics, France or poultry.

He just wasn't in the mood.

But as he clicked and skipped, a name caught his eye and he brought up a full article, complete with pictures. " John Henry Giles plays live at the "Java connection" in NY " announced the title.

House quickly read the piece.

" The patrons of the once again hip "Java connection" night club in the Village enjoyed a surprise last night, when none other than John Henry Giles took the floor around midnight with his trumpet and, accompanied only by a piano…"

One word formed in House's mind, in clear-cut, bold, capital letters. Cool. How cool would it have been to be there, nursing a whiskey, and have John Henry come out and perform out of the blue like that? He imagined being that patron, then imagined another patron leaving at ten to midnight, unawares, and smirked to the imaginary unfortunate.

Offering up another silent thanks to the nerd gods, House started a file sharing program. No way a performance in NY was not on the net by the next day, impromptu or not. He typed in "John Henry", then "live" and the name of the venue, and promised himself to buy the proper, clean recording if it ever came out. That trumpet had earned every penny he could spend on it. When one entry popped up, replete with sloppy typos, his faith in humanity was momentarily warmed. He started the download and got his iPod out, along with the cable.

Less than a minute and he'd have something interesting to fill the next twenty minutes and then some. He'd have to show Wilson a soon as he finished listening to it. He bounced his ball on the floor, avidly checking the progress of his download. As soon as it was done he pushed back his chair, carefully manoeuvred his right leg up and followed it with his left, settled back comfortably and put on his earphones.

As he hit play he couldn't help a silly little grin. Cool still floated around his brain… and then dissolved.

I'm standing on the bridge

"What the hell was that?" he thought, sitting back up and grabbing his iPod.

I'm waiting in the dark

There wasn't supposed to be a singer.

I thought that you'd be here by now

Certainly not some teen pop idol.

There's nothing but the rain

There wasn't even a trumpet anywhere in that song.

I'm listening but there's no sound

Using the term "song" loosely here.

Isn't anyone trying to find me?

He ripped the headphones off and, to his horror, realized he could still hear her warbling away.

Won't somebody come take me home?

His computer was also playing the song.

It's a damn cold night

Why in the name of God and all the saints the pope had managed to produce in the last couple of decades was his goddamn computer playing the stupid goddamn song he hadn't wanted in the first place?

Trying to figure out this life

He stared dumbly at the screen for three seconds, then dropped his eyes to the iPod.

Won't you take me by the hand

It too was still playing the song.

Take me somewhere new

But most disturbingly of all, both his computer and the iPod still listed this pathetic teen fodder as John Henry's performance.

I don't know who you are, but I… I'm with you

He paused the iPod,

I'm looking for a place

then tried to close the player on the computer.

I'm searching for a face

Except the pesky little window simply duplicated itself on his screen,

Is anybody here I know

still playing the stupid tune, without the smallest hiccup.

'Cause nothing's going right

Worse, as he clicked to close it again, it started to duplicate itself exponentially, filling his whole screen.

And every thing's a mess

It hadn't stopped on the iPod either, if the words on the display were anything to go by.

And no one likes to be alone.

He grimaced.

Isn't anyone trying to find me?

He could recognize a virus as easily as any other person with a brain.

Won't somebody come take me home?

More easily in fact. Was he or wasn't he an infectious disease guy?

It's a damn cold night

To make matters worse, the volume was increasing on its own. He considered ripping the speakers out but they were built into the whole package. He'd have whacked the thing with his cane, but a) it was too expensive, and b) his cane was on the other side of the desk, and he'd have to go fetch it.

Trying to figure out this life

He could see his ducklings rousing themselves in the adjacent room, drawn by the strange noises issuing from their boss's office.

Won't you take me by the hand

He frantically tried to launch the anti-virus, but the screen had frozen.

Take me somewhere new

With a hiss of anger he hit "restart".

I don't know who you are but I… I'm with you

Nothing happened. On the computer, at least.

Foreman poked his head in, eyebrows raised. The other two hung at the back, similar expressions of puzzlement on their faces.

I'm with you

To make matters worse, the volume was still increasing. House grimaced, shaking his head, and yelled "virus" over the din.

Why is every thing so confusing

Wilson poked his own head round the glass wall and theatrically put his fingers in his ears. House growled and reached down, tugging at the plug.

Maybe I'm just out of my mind yeah ye-

Abrupt silence made his abused ears ring. He breathed out a sigh of relief, then looked balefully at his assorted audience.

Wilson stepped into the office, unable to decide on a "concerned" or "amused" face, and crossed his arms.

"Unless any of you know how to get rid of that stupid virus you can scram. I need to salvage what little it hasn't destroyed already, and I'm including my brain cells in the count." He could see an amusing retort jumping up and down behind Wilson's eyes, and both Foreman and Chase were clearly holding their tongues with all their might. Cameron merely looked a bit concerned.

House seethed with righteous anger. Wilson cleared his throat, munched down his retort, and inquired mildly "How on Earth did you manage get catch such a nasty thing?"

House worked his jaw, staring stubbornly at his iPod.

"I was trying to download some music, and it just clung to my computer."

"But that's illegal!" Exclaimed Cameron, her spine stiffening in indignation.

House morosely poked at his iPod, thinking of his near-full memory and all the carefully selected music he had been carrying in it. "Tell it to the vindictive bastards who may have just replaced my whole archive with that stupid thing. That's what I've heard happens in these… shit."

House let out an intricate and highly graphic series of expletives, some of which Chase actually wrote down later for posterity. Foreman had a hearty laugh and Wilson awkwardly patted House on the shoulder.

His last words on the subject were for Cameron, two days and three computer experts later.

"Anyone who admits to being a hacker does not, and never will, become my patient. On the other hand, that singer, people from her label and various acolytes, those get a red mark next to their name, and if they ever come to me, even if it's a headache, first thing they get is a good, old fashioned rectal exam. We'll work our way up from there."

The End