This isn't part of the actual story, but some ideas that never made it into the story. So you can stop now or keep going.

If you want to read more Contractverse stories about what, when, before and after - check out my LJ diysheep, and read all the wonderful stories written by much more talented people than me. I think there are now over forty spin offs - and a quiz. So that should keep you busy for a while.

Many thanks to all readers, reviewers and advice givers.


House: So what are we doing here?

Wilson: Well, as far as I can gather these are DVD extras from that story The Contract. The missing scenes…

House: Oh brilliant. I bet I get even more horribly tortured. One day I'm going to get that little walking jumper.

Wilson: No, apparently this is how the original story was meant to go in the middle, but these scenes could never be fitted in because it would take an entire rewrite of the second half. So it is bit of a parallel dimension type interlude.

DIY Sheep: That is a fancy way of saying because I write backwards I couldn't be buggered.

House (lunging): There it is – get it!

House: Jesus. That is one fast sheep.

Wilson: According to the synopsis it sort of extends the story and looks at the other characters a bit more in depth.

House: In depth? Does that mean I get dropped to the bottom of the ocean like Angel in Angel?

Wilson (scrolling): No… but oh dear. Let's just say it isn't exactly a happy story and contains 'nasty icky stuff' and 'rude words'… and is not 'Poeia compatible'. What does that mean?

House: No idea, but just kill me now!

Wilson: No, that apparently comes later.

House: I give up – roll tape.

Wilson: It picks up about half way through the story after you have been told 'the big secret', but before you get out of prison. There is also a big note stuck to the side saying it would help if you have read the original story or else you are going to be very confused.


Freedom. Not something for him. But he still thought about it sometimes. He stretched out his arms as far as they would go and waggled them around. A simple pleasure, but one long denied. He only got out of the cuffs one hour a week. It felt good. Not much felt good any more.

He ignored his wrists. Never good to dwell on the bad stuff. Just make sure you keep surviving Greg. Just stay alive. That's the most important thing.

He began to trot around the little exercise cage in a circle: hop stepping slowly. Even with the chains on his ankles he was enjoying the space around him after so long being confined in his claustrophobic little cell.

He was concentrating on not tripping over his own feet when Boot Boy (so named because of House's familiarity with Boot Boy's boots) yelled at him.

"Hey 501."

He looked up. That was his name now.

"Merry Christmas fuckwit."

The guard laughed at his look of bewilderment.

"It's Christmas Day you piece of shit."

He stopped walking. Now that was unfair. How was he supposed to know it was Christmas? Everywhere he looked it was grey. Grey walls, grey floors, grey bars, grey everything. Not a piece of tinsel in sight.

He stared at the floor as Boot Boy called him a fuckstick and a faggot and promised he'd be getting his Christmas present good and hard this year. Oh thanks there Boot Boy: something to look forward to.

He didn't say a word. He couldn't. He wasn't allowed and Boot Boy had a particular fondness for stomping on his hands and hands came in handy. He just waited until the guard got tired of tormenting him and resumed his walking: his stupid walking in a little circle in a fucking cage walking.

It was all he could do.

Merry Christmas Wilson. I hope you like your present.

Another year over: a new one just begun.

He wondered which one it was.

He hoped it was a good one.

Now – in the original version this is where 'you know who' suddenly snuffs it in what the sheep likes to call an 'example of the bizarre randomness of the world', but everyone else calls 'a cop out' and we move on to the nice stuff.


His eyes opened and he twitched a bit when he heard the locks being pulled back, but he didn't move. And why should he. Why should he have to do all the work? Here he was all comfy and settled and with this wonderful view of the floor and the wall.

Then he smelt it. Oh you bastards, he thought. That's good. That's almost too good. This was better than a kicking. Pain shot through him as his stomach twisted and yelled at him: 'Come on House! Stop staring at the corner and get your lazy butt off the floor. There's food around.' His nose confirmed it: 'Fries and a burger.' His ears chimed in: 'And I can hear ice clicking from side to side in a paper cup. There's a drink there too.'

'I'm sorry guys, but I don't think that's for us,' his brain told them and refused to make any of his limbs move. Only his mouth rebelled and kept drooling.

'Stop it,' his brain said.

'I'm sorry,' said the mouth. 'I can't help it. You know what I'm like. I'm as bad as his dick.'

'Hey,' complained his dick. 'Don't bring me into all this.'

He began to giggle then laugh at his arguing organs. God they were funny. Funny funny guys.

A sharp kick brought him back to reality. "Hey big guy: up and at'em," said a voice. 'That hurt,' said his left thigh.

"Shut up. All of you – now,' bellowed his brain. It consulted with his memory for a nano-second and began issuing rapid fire orders. 'Move, move, move,' it barked. 'Arms, legs… go go go. I don't care if it fucking hurts: just pump a bit more adrenalin down there and move it.'

House rolled over slowly. 'Oh shit,' said his brain. 'It's him.' House pushed himself up against the wall.

"Hey Greggers," said the lawyer from where he was leaning lazily against the opposite wall.

House stared at the lawyer stupidly. The lawyer frowned and looked at him closely. "You still with me?"

House watched hypnotized as he pulled out a chip from the greasy plastic bag he was carrying. It was big. One of those totally impossible six inch numbers. He put it on the cell floor and motioned with his head to the toilet. "Stick it in," he said slowly.

House reached out and clumsily grasped it in one manacled hand. It was hot and he could feel the salt on his fingers. 'Come on baby,' said his taste buds. 'You can do it.'

House looked at the chip and then at the toilet. Really; you want me to put something like this in that, he seemed to say.

The lawyer stared at him. "That's right Greg. Do it."

'No choice House,' said his brain sadly. 'Come on arms. Do your thing.'

He reached his hands out until they were over the bowl.

'No!' screamed his stomach.

House dropped it in.

He fell back down to the floor. "Yeah, I'm still with you," he whispered.

The lawyer laughed. He sat back against the wall and dug around in the bag. "Good." He pointed a chip thoughtfully at House. "Although I think it might be time for a holiday." He reached over and hit the flush button: sending the chip down the drain and into oblivion.

'Crap,' thought House's brain. 'Foiled.'


Mr Thompson and the lawyer joined them. "Read this," said the lawyer as he handed him a piece of paper. "Holiday's over Greg."

It was a confession, written by him. His face fell. "Oh no please, not there… not again."

Thompson smiled. "Don't worry Greg. It won't be for long."

"You go in there, give your name and why you're there and ask for detective Grey. He'll take care of you. Off you go," he said as if speaking to a child.

House turned and slowly walked up the steps to the station. The crumpled piece of paper in his hand: his death warrant.

What now, he thought. What the fuck now? Another humiliating trial; more clippings about how he was dirt for Wilson and Cuddy and his parents to read; more friendly guards and fucking chains. Then at the end of it: Old Sparky. Did they even have the electric chair any more in New Jersey? If so it would be crispy fried House.

He turned and took one look at the two smug men standing by the car, sighed and went in.


He stood dejectedly in line for about ten minutes, reading over his story and waiting while single moms and yuppies complained about lost purses and unjust parking fines. The cop behind the desk looked a bit bored.

"What can I do for you buddy?"

"Hi, name is Gregory House: a convicted murderer, armed robber, violent criminal and twice prison escapee and I probably have a few unpaid parking fines as well. I just came in to confess to a couple more killings and give myself up in a fit of remorse. Could I speak to Detective Grey please?" he said in a monotone.

Needless to say that little speech was a show stopper worthy of a Tony.


Ferrier came up to them dragging a prisoner behind him. "Right," he said as he threw the prisoner to the ground. "Here's our crash test dummy."

He recognized the prisoner. It was the crippled doctor. He was officially on the row, but had been taken to solitary after only a few weeks and never come back. Which was odd. He had rarely spoken, never given lip, and had always obeyed orders. Unlike most of the guys here who screamed and hollered all day and night, he'd just lie on his bed and stare at the ceiling. But even so he always got it. There was something different about him. The other guys had never said it directly, they just told him to 'stay away' from him and let them handle it. Even the other prisoners had never talked to him.

"Get in the cell," Ferrier screamed into the prisoner's ear. The prisoner scrambled to obey the command, scrabbling and crawling across the floor into the death cell. But he wasn't fast enough and got a boot up his backside.

Once the prisoner was in, panting on the floor of the cell, Ferrier slammed the door and turned. "Right, we got ourselves here a dead man about to walk," he said gesturing to the man on the floor. "He's had his shower and he's been changed into his dying clothes – which is basically his striped trousers and a short sleeve t-shirt. He is now sitting with his 'spiritual advisor' a la that nun bitch who gets off on hanging out with dead guys and he is praying that the governor is going to grant him mercy."

Ferrier turned. "Sit on the god damned bed and pray you faggot," he screamed. Without a beat he turned back to them. "It is time to 'respectfully and solemnly', so as not to offend any nuns in the vicinity, get our man for his final walk."

He watched as the prisoner dragged himself up on the bed and clasped his hands tightly, his eyes shut. He really did look like he was praying.

"You can't use him for this sir," he said urgently as he gestured to the prisoner in the cell.

Ferrier smiled. "Why not? It will be good practice for him." Ferrier smashed his baton into the bars: making the prisoner jump. "He'll know what to expect." The smugness was evident in his tone.

"How long now 501?" he asked with mock innocence as he glanced round into the cell.

"Sir, two months, Sir Boss Sir," said the man on the bed quietly.

"And what are you going to ask for as your last meal?" Ferrier continued lightly as he tapped his baton against the bars.

"Sir, your baton up my backside, Sir Boss Sir."

Ferrier laughed and turned to the guards. "Right, let's go through the procedure."


"Gotta make 'em real tight or they'll twitch." He went round and yanked hard on each strap. "They'll complain they are too tight, but pay no mind to them. They'll be dead soon enough anyway," he finished with a smirk. "Dead men's opinions don't count." Ferrier looked down at the man strapped to the gurney. "Isn't that right 501?"

"Make sure they are tight," said Ferrier as he went over to the dispensing unit.

He pulled half heartedly at one of the straps holding the prisoner's arm down to show he was doing his job. He tried not to look at the man. He could hear the prisoner struggling to breathe because the chest strap was too tight. The man's shallow short breaths were almost painful to hear. This is not how he imagined anyone spending their last few moments on Earth.

Ferrier's voice startles him out of his thoughts. "Right, now that we have drugged him, plugged him and secured him, it is time for the doc to find the vein."

"McCain – you swab his arm. To make it look sanitized."

He grabbed a swab of cotton and turns to rub it over the prisoner's exposed arm. It is then he catches his eye. The man's eyes hold no anger, just a horrible sort of sadness and resignation. They seemed to say 'Go ahead. It doesn't matter. I'm not a real person. I'm dead already. Dead men don't count do they?'.


"Time for lunch boys," Ferrier had announced as he shoved him in and cuffed the one of the dummy's hands to the bars of the death cell. "We'll do another couple of runs and then call it a day," he said shutting the gate.

He'd come back early. One: he couldn't stand those morons and two he thought he might have left a half smoked packet of cigarettes in his jacket. No luck with the smokes so he pulled out his sandwiches and began to chew thoughtfully as he stared at the prisoner in the death cell.

The man was sitting in the cell staring at the floor. His cuffed hand clasping the bars and his other one listlessly lying in his lap. What a life, he thought. And what a future.

He looked uncertain as McCain approached. He eyed McCain's nightstick as if he was calculating what McCain was going to do to him. McCain unclenched his fists and let them dangle at his sides: trying to look as unthreatening as possible.

"What's your name?"

"Sir, Inmate 501437 Dead Man Walking, Sir, Boss Sir," he mumbled ducking his head as he said it.

He rubbed the bridge of his nose in frustration. "No, what do people call you."

The prisoner hesitated. He looked warily up at him, sizing him up. "Sir, Fuckstick mostly, Sir Boss Sir," he said quietly. "Or 501," he added quickly. "That's the first bit of my number Sir Boss Sir."

I gathered, he thought dryly. It was plastered all over him: across the man's chest, on his trousers and on his back – right above the bright red DEATH ROW that was stencilled on there.

What a choice, he thought. When you actually preferred to be known as a number.

"You're missing lunch. Are you hungry?"

"Sir, no Sir. Not at all Sir Boss Sir," the prisoner told the floor, twisting on his chain. But he knew this was a lie because the prisoner's eyes had been fixed on the sandwich he held in his hand.

He held it out. The prisoner tentatively reached out with his free hand to take offered sandwich, but snatched it back when Ferrier's voice boomed down the corridor.

"Don't feed the fucker." Ferrier was striding towards them. "There's no point in feeding him now – what with only two months to go."


They were doing the first run after lunch when their crash test dummy went on strike. He had patiently gone through the pre-chamber procedure, but suddenly stopped and dug in his heels at the sight of the execution chamber.

"Come on you big baby. You've done it three times today already," said Marsters as he tugged on the prisoner's arm.

"No, this is good," said Ferrier raising a hand. "They aren't all nancy boy faggots like 501 here. He'll probably spring up there like a fairy."

McCain looked over at the prisoner. He paid no attention to Ferrier and just stared at the gurney thoughtfully. After a moment he shook his head and stopped resisting. They continued on.


"I was killed five times today, but I didn't die." 501 sounded bewildered, as if he couldn't work out why he was still here.

"Would you like to die?"

"Sir, yes Sir Boss Sir. I would like that very much Sir Boss Sir." He looked up at him with those big sad resigned eyes. "Sir, but I can't Sir Boss Sir."

"Sir can't die Sir Boss Sir. Got a job to do Sir Boss Sir."

"Your execution is scheduled," he said shaking his head.

The prisoner gave a small snort as if he was enjoying his own private joke. "Sir, maybe if I'm good enough; maybe they'll let me die Sir Boss Sir."


He woke up. He felt awful – thick and gluggy. He could feel carpet underneath him and he was looking up at a white ceiling. Did they have carpet in the afterlife? Probably not. And as he wasn't lucky enough to have been accidentally bamfed into Milliways that meant his theory about the whole thing had been a sham had been right. Unfortunately it hadn't made it any less terrifying. "I'm meant to be dead," he whispered.

"You are," said the lawyer coming into view and staring down at him. "For all official intents and purposes you are dead." The lawyer looked at him thoughtfully. "Was it an interesting experience," he mused. "Not many people get to survive their own execution. You'll have to tell me about it later. Now welcome to the rest of your life."

Oh enough with the clichéd lines, thought House.


He was sitting listlessly against the wall of the laundry room, his legs splayed and his hands lying leaden beside him. This was usually where he was during the odd times he wasn't needed.

It was hot down here, even with the cool brick floors. His shirt was drenched with perspiration. The heat made him drowsy. He didn't know, but he guessed he must be somewhere down south. Florida maybe? He swayed in time with the rhythmic cycle of the washing machines and the music in his head. He had heard it the last time he had been in the kitchen. The cook had been playing it on her radio. It was Latino music.

He liked the cook. She sometimes gave him food when no one was looking. Real food. The packaging on the bag said it was nutritionally balanced and encouraged a healthier, shinier coat, but then again he didn't actually have a coat and he bet the people who had designed that bag didn't have to eat the stuff day in day out. Oddly enough it was a step up from prison food though.

And she talked to him. Like Wilson had done – but without the lecturing thing. No one had really talked to him for a very long time.

The cook was sad for him. No one should have to live like you Limpy, she'd say to him in Spanish, not knowing he could understand her. Then she'd go on to tell him about her daughters and how she didn't like any of their boyfriends because they all either had eyes that were too close together or too far apart.

He'd resist the urge to snort, stop his scrubbing and look at her with wide uncomprehending pleading eyes like the dogs did and she would give in and, with a quick furtive check, throw him something. No one can resist the lure of Limpy's blue eyes, he thought. Except Senora Maria the housekeeper. If she caught him begging she would beat him – or worse – tell someone and he'd be called upstairs for a proper punishment and you didn't want that.


He trembled. He'd done the unthinkable. He'd run away. He hadn't run far away because the estate was surrounded by an electric fence, but far enough to make everyone mad. Oh God, he sobbed silently as he hugged himself. It was getting dark and his ragged clothes had gotten soaked from washing the windows and were no protection from the chill. It was getting cold in the evenings now. That meant he had been here for a while: living in the same house as that mad bastard and the sicko lawyer.

He was fucked. He didn't know why he'd done it. He'd been scared and he'd just bolted. He had no idea where he was going or why. It was just animal instinct. He just couldn't stand another second in that house. He'd thought prison was bad, but this was even worse. For him it was like living on a knife edge. He never knew what was coming. Maybe he'd do something wrong and Thompson would snap and kill someone. Every second was dangerous with the promise of another beating. When Maria had cornered him with that look in her eye and muttering something about the windows he'd lost it.

Not done properly or something…

Never good enough. And it was all his fault. Fuck! Maria was like a meaner female version of his dad.

He wiped his dripping nose on his knee. The bastard thing seemed to drip like a tap now. You'd think he'd be used to it, but still he hated the idea that someone could hurt him without a second thought because that's all he was there for.

And it wasn't fair because he'd spent all day cleaning the windows and it wasn't like he was trained in window cleaning. He'd studied medicine. Not well enough as Mr Thompson like to remind him. But he'd really tried with those windows. He always tried – even though he was weak and hungry and never got enough sleep. He lived up to his part of the bargain.

He popped his name tag in his mouth and sucked on it. Sucking it always made him feel better. It stopped the hunger pangs and he liked its odd metallic taste. But if he got caught doing it he'd get in trouble.

His tongue traced the engraving on it. Limpy. Stupid name. It was more likely about to be changed to Very Much In Pain Limpy or Stuffed In The Big Washing Machine Again Limpy now. That was the good thing about prison. You couldn't get more than five steps before bouncing off a wall. There was no way you could bolt anywhere.

Oh God. They'll find him soon and he'll be enjoying the spin cycle ride again. He'd made it to the shooting range and was tucked behind the old water barrel that Mr Grey liked to try drowning him in every so often. He doesn't like the shooting range. Paintballs hurt.

Sport? He doesn't think chasing a crippled guy around and shooting him with paintballs is really sport; but what does he know: he's just 'one of those things that he never thinks about' and they seem to enjoy it and if Mr Thompson's happy then he's happy .


Eventually he went back to the house. The door was unlocked. He realized they hadn't even bothered to look for him. They knew he'd come back. He was that pathetic. That bit of paper was far more effective and painful than any chains could ever be. He quietly let himself in and stood patiently outside Mr Grey's office. Mr Grey didn't even speak a word to him, he'd just opened the door and, like the good little slave he was, House had followed him in. Why not use the word now: there wasn't much point to pretend anymore.

And he knew what they used to do to runaway slaves.


The next morning Maria kicked him awake and told him he screamed like a girl. What did she know? This wasn't the movies, the blood wasn't fake and he wasn't Charles Bronson taking it stoically like a man in Hi Ho Whatever.

She told him that if he wanted to eat tonight he'd have to put in his usual day's work. House nearly screamed. He could barely stand to move let alone endure Maria's usual tortuous routine for him, but he just mumbled a quick 'Yes Senora Maria', struggled pull on his shirt, wincing as the fabric came into contact with his back and, keeping as far out of Maria's reach as possible, slunk off with his head down to go chop the day's firewood.

"Who's he? said Billy Romero gesturing at House as he poured them some more champagne.


"This is a delicate matter Robert. I don't want anyone who might talk overhearing while we talk business."

Thompson laughed. "Oh don't worry about him. He won't say anything. That's why I use him for these sort of meetings. I own him you see."


Mr Grey grabbed him by the front of his shirt and pulled him up. The lawyer eyed House over. "He looks like a fuckin hillbilly." he said. On this point House had to agree with him. Although clean and starched to beyond perfection his clothes were old, worn from repeated bleachings and too big on his gaunt frame – and this was his good outfit: and he was still wearing the prison issue boots he had supposedly died in. His attire had attracted some interested stares from the doormen and the concierges when they checked in. But given the nature of Mr Thompson's party and Las Vegas in general they knew it was a wise move not to say anything.

"He can't been seen in a hospital looking like this. Get him some decent clothes," Mr Grey said as he threw House down. House hit the plush hotel carpet face first and, biting back the agony of his leg, went into 'please don't kick me' mode number 3: the one that hoped, if he was still enough, quiet enough and stopped breathing, they might forget he was even there and get distracted enough for him to escape to an out of the way corner and avoid a kicking.


"We need some clothes for…" Mr Sammy trailed off as he pointed to House. House gaped uselessly back at him. He didn't think Sammy the Idiot even knew his name. To them he was just Limpy or hey you or get out of my way or a quick kick or go feed the dog if he was lucky. "Our friend," Sammy eventually finished. "A nice suit and some shirts and things."


"Make sure you don't say anything and keep your wrists covered."

House nodded at the lawyer. For once he wasn't riding in the trunk. He was actually sitting in the back of the car. It would look odd if a well respected doctor arrived at the clinic, just popped out of the trunk and said hi. That probably wouldn't inspire much confidence in his diagnostic abilities. He preferred travelling this way anyway. It had been a long trip to Las Vegas and with all the luggage there hadn't been much room for him.

The lawyer examined him. "You actually scrub up quite good. Not much we can do about the other scars and the hands. A car accident in Patagonia and arthritis." Mr Grey laughed. "You were working for Doctor's Abroad and heroically saved a bus load of orphans."

He grabbed one of House's hands and pulled back the pinky. "Whatever you say," he said slowly and menacingly. "Make it sound good or when we get back I'll break every one of your fingers again."

He knew bad things happened to him when Mr Grey got that tone in his voice. "Yes Sir," said House as fast as he could. "My name is Doctor Simon Jones, I was in an accident and I have been working in South America for the past ten years."

"And remember. This is Mr Thompson's cousin, so I'd really save her if I were you."

"Yes sir."

The lawyer let go of his hand. "You know Greg: that's what I like about you. You're smart."

He sat back. "How long have we known each other know?"

"A long time sir." And I've hated every minute of it you cock sucking bastard.

"That's right Greg. It has been a while."


He looked up at her and tried to smile. It's food. I'll take what I can get. The lady doctor in charge of the case was a bit on the hefty side and judging by the soy milk in her fridge probably had a whole bookshelf dedicated to the hippy diet books that she'd tried. The secret to losing weight is simple lady: just get locked away in a small tomb and starved until you end up sucking the dried blood off your fucking filthy stripey shirt because you are so hungry that you have to do something… anything before you go mad with hunger; or if that doesn't do it for you – forget the Atkins Diet – just live in constant fear, be worked to the bone and get thrown a handful of dog food every so often.

"I'm a bit of a sweet tooth," he said apologetically. He glanced at Sammy who was posing badly as his assistant and spooned another load into his coffee.

"That's quite a limp."

He started: limp – limpy – dog – hit the dog – hit him. "What?"

"You have quite a limp," she repeated. "Was that the accident too?"

He unconsciously rubbed the leg. It was funny. He used to spend a lot of his time thinking about his leg. Now, after not having even seen a cane in over five years and having other things to worry about, he had just stopped thinking about it. He got around. Even if sometimes he had to crawl. And nowadays most of him hurt just as bad as the leg.

"No, this was an infarction about ten years back. No biggie." He went back to reading the file. This was hard. He had to concentrate. Patching up stupid gangster's bullet wounds was easy: nothing to diagnose. But this was tough, and he was missing on about five years of medical advances and the pressure for this particular case was intense.

He'd thought he'd blown it yesterday when he had actually asked what a piece of machinery was. What sort of doctor isn't up on the latest medical journals and recognize medical equipment? Mr Grey hadn't been to happy about that little boo boo and had expressed his displeasure most forcefully. House ignored both her and his aching back and put the file up in front of his face. If ever there was a clear sign…

But the silly bint kept going. "Now that's funny, but that reminds me of this doctor: Gregory House. He was meant to be brilliant, he was a diagnostician and I heard he walked with a limp." She smiled at him. "But I heard he's dead now – or that's what James tells me."

"Really?" He swallowed. "James?"

"Doctor James Wilson. Don't tell me you haven't heard of him? He's a big wig now."

"Not much call for oncology in third world countries. It's mostly plague and dysentery and stuff."

Now she was looking at him funny. Oh shit: oncology. How do you know he's an oncologist Doctor Jones if you don't know Doctor Wilson? Bye bye fingers and bye bye Doctor Tomlinson if she doesn't shut up and stop asking questions. He'll be sharing the trunk with her on the journey home and he really hates digging graves. They take ages. Quick Limpy think.

"I think I might have heard of him. We might have met at a conference once."


"Is he okay?


"Your friend Doctor Wilson. It's coming back now. I seem to remember a pretty good night out at that conference, but the last I saw of him… well let's just say we didn't part on very good terms. Long story: a woman, to much free booze at the reception. Is he okay?"

"I think he is well."

"That's good."

She stared at him strangely. Yes Doctor House it is good: because there is something very strange going on here considering you were meant to be executed two years ago and you are quite obviously terrified and there is no way your hands are like that because of arthritis; and if that man claiming to be your assistant is a doctor I'll eat my hat.

"He talks about his friends all the time."



"Oh him." There was a pause.

"His boss – Doctor Cuddy has twins now."

"How did that happen?"

"The usual way. You do know about the whole man/woman thing."

"Doctor Tomlinson…"


"Stop it."


"Because medicine is an inexact science; because I have an unusual fear of washing machines." Because I don't want you to die. Doctor Jones shrugged. "Take your pick. I know none of that makes much sense, but there you go. This is Las Vegas right?"

Doctor Jones went back to studying the scans. "But if you talk to him again soon… tell him…" Doctor Jones shook his head. "I don't know. Tell him Doctor Jones says hi. Tell him he is getting fat and needs to exercise more."

"I will do that Doctor House."

His face turned ashen as he froze. "Don't ever call me that again." He grabbed her and glanced at 'Doctor Samuels' who was, asleep and drooling in the corner. "Do you understand me? Never again," he whispered fiercely.

She took a few steps back – shaken by his anger. "Okay." But he had already turned back to the scans.

"Would you like a coffee Doctor Jones," she said loudly.

"Love one. Add the usual sugar would you."


He chanced a glance into Thompson's eyes. He suddenly realized what was coming. He'd done all the right things. The girl had been saved. They'd just got back and the lawyer had reported the good news. But Thompson didn't look happy. In fact he looked furious. He was going to be in for it big time. He could hear his teeth knocking together. He tried to stop them, but they always did that when he was scared. He must walk around sounding like a fucking set of castanets. He put his head down and stared intently at the floor as the other man continued to speak.

Mr Thompson was short, but he had big Irish prize fighter fists. And Limpy the slave was well trained and an unresisting target as they slugged into him. It didn't take much and soon he went down. He could see Mr Grey watching disinterestedly from over by the desk. He seemed bored. That was funny. He wasn't bored at all.

"I'll leave you to finish this sir," said Grey as he picked up his files and walked to the door. He gestured to House. "If there is anything you'd like me to do…"

Thompson brushed a hand through his thinning hair. He was breathing heavily. "No, I think I can take care of him. He hasn't had a thrashing in a while and I need the exercise." Now there was an amusing concept. House didn't know anyone else who got beaten for sport. His executive stress toy Thompson sometimes called him.

"Do you want the cane?"

"No, I can handle it, said Thompson as he rolled up his sleeves."


He'd never been very witty in these sort of situations. He should be used to them by now, but all he was producing was a small pathetic drooling/gurgling sound. That was the noise he had settled on because they generally didn't like it when you screamed. It got on their nerves. The gurgling thing allowed you to express just exactly how much you hated this whole business, but not get you kicked into unconsciousness. The more intact ribs the better had long ago become his motto.

"How come you managed to save her, but not my daughter?" Thompson whispered softly into House's ear. House tried to answer, to say it was all about luck and chance and circumstance and the great game of life, but all that came out of his mouth was blood. He wanted desperately to say he was sorry about the whole thing and could he please go now and that he would be good from now on, but instead he just dribbled blood onto the floor. Very eloquent there Limpy, he thought. And you'll be cleaning that up later.

Thompson walked back to his desk. He poured himself a drink. "She was my only daughter," he whispered. He turned back to House. "I bet you don't even remember her."

Do I owe him the truth, thought House? I don't remember her. Which is odd, considering I remember all my patients. So why don't I remember her? He shook his head in half apology and half bewilderment.

Thompson's glass hit the wall above him and shattered, covering him with glass.

"Get out of my sight," spat Thompson.

It took a lot of willpower, but eventually House got to his feet and began to shuffle painfully to the door. When he got there he turned and looked at Thompson. He looked lost: sitting at his enormous beautiful antique desk surrounded by all his fine art and his trappings of wealth and power. To the outside world it appeared he had everything that the fancy magazines and television shows considered the ultimate: money, power, people who feared him.

The trembling beaten man standing at his door feared him more than anything else in the world. Mr Thompson Sir was his lord, master and his whole pathetic tiny fear filled world – and he was nothing. But for all that Thompson sat with his head in his hands; mad with grief; his shoulders heaving in silent sobs for the loss of his family and House, for all his faults could still stand tall.

He rubbed his sleeve across his mouth, smearing blood across his face, and licked his cracked lips. "I am truly sorry," he said quietly. It was pathetic, but it was the best he could do. A man who slept behind the washing machines and could be beaten senseless on a whim didn't have much to offer. House waited for a second, but Thompson didn't appear to have heard him. House quietly let himself out. There was no win for either of them in this situation.


He fell sideways onto the floor into an exhausted heap. Absurdly the only thought going through his head was dread because he was going to have a devil of a time getting the blood stains out of his best shirt. He'd have to bleach it again before Senora Maria saw it or there would be hell to pay. She was a dab hand with an electrical cord and he'd be bent over the washing machines before he knew it. She didn't like him. She'd been with Thompson's family a long time. She'd probably raised the dead girl. He could see it. The hatred: every time she looked at him.

He laughed softly. He looked at his blood stained sleeve. Here he was worrying about laundry. He closed his eyes, laid his head down on the floor and tucked his hands around him. Just keep surviving Limpy.


When he woke up next he found his water bowl and food bowl were sitting near him.

He reached out a hand for his water bowl, but even that action seemed too daunting and he dropped his hand and closed his eyes again. He returned to his dreams. He didn't remember them, but he preferred his dreams. There was no hunger, fear or pain in his dreams. In his dreams none of this pathetic sequence of circumstances had ever happened. In his dreams he slept in a bed. In his dreams he wasn't a dead man wearing a dead man's shoes. In his dreams he was a doctor not a dog. Stupid stupid dreams.


She was worried about Limpy. He had not moved since he had slowly slunk through the kitchen trying to keep out of sight of Maria's office and crawled into the laundry yesterday.

Bad things, she thought. The house had a special air of tension. She could feel it. The women in her family had always felt things. It was passed down from mother to daughter. The hurt in the house made her bones ache, but she was poor and all she could do was cook and ignore her pains. They had all heard the crash of the glass from upstairs. Mr Thompson was not happy. Maybe the trip had not gone well. Maybe Limpy had not been able to save the sick one this time. They had taken him away for a long time. She had begun to think he would not come back.

Limpy was a good healer. He didn't look like it, but he had the touch. She knew that. There had only been a few times Limpy had been made to dig a grave up on the hill. Generally the dangerous men in their bloody clothes who came to the house would get better.

Limpy would spend days tending them, then come downstairs and as a reward he'd be allowed to sleep for a while. The men would leave, everyone would feel at rest and the house would go back to its normal delicate knife edge balance.

But this time Mr Thompson was angry. He was a sad man. He was angry a lot. From his battered appearance she guessed Limpy had taken the brunt of Mr Thompson's anger. Sometimes, a lot of the time, Mr Thompson would hurt Limpy. She didn't know why Mr Thompson didn't like him, but he didn't. Limpy was always bruised. Sometimes when she was doing the washing they would both pretend he wasn't crying in the corner.

Limpy had made it downstairs, but now, if it wasn't for the slow rise and fall of his chest, she would think he was dead.

She watched him as he slept in his corner behind the washing machines. She didn't understand Limpy: why he was hated so much. Why he wore a collar. Why the men would take him upstairs and why he would return hours later limping worse than usual and with a puzzled look in his eyes.

Maria said he was a bad man and deserved to be punished, but she didn't believe this. You could see bad people. Mr Grey was a bad man. Maria was still hurting. Mr Grey's eyes were a window into a bad world. But Limpy wasn't the same. I'm in pain, tired and this universe is fucked. That's what Limpy's eyes seemed to say as he was beaten. He'd yelp sometimes, but that was all. Apart from that he was horribly silent.

Every so often she caught a glimmer of hope in him. He had old eyes:

It was late. He was sitting in a corner of the kitchen cleaning all the shoes while the servants ate a late supper at the big table. She caught him glancing over at her while she cooked. His eyes seemed to say that somehow he understood her, that he was watching her and, from a distance, living through her life with her. Not for me, his eyes seemed to say, but I get it - now.

Then Maria had seen him and taken to him, screaming at him to keep his miserable worthless eyes on his work. He'd curled over the shoe he was polishing and just kept mumbling 'Yes Senora Maria' over and over as she rained blows down on his back.

Maria had made him do them all the shoes again. She couldn't hear what Maria said, but she knew Maria had whispered bad things in his ear.

It was very late when she had turned out the kitchen lights. Limpy didn't look up at her. He just continued frantically polishing as if it was the most important thing in the world.


She propped him up against the wall. His eyes opened, but he didn't seem to see her. She raised the cup of water to his lips. "Come Limpy, you must drink. You have been hurt and have not drunk in a long time." She tried to pour the water into his mouth, but it just turned red with his blood and dribbled down his white shirt, adding to the mess.

"You must drink," she repeated angrily, trying to get a response from him. "You die if you do not."

But "Tired Jimmy," was all she got as he shut his eyes. "Wanna sleep."

"James estará enojado," she said angrily in Spanish, trying to goad him.

He looked at her. His eyes (the good one and the cloudy one) focusing for the first time. "Wilson is always angry about something," he replied drowsily with a half smile. It was the first time she had ever seen him smile. "It's part of his charm. I haven't seen him for a while, but I bet he is still true to form – and stacking on the pounds."

Limpy continued talking. "He's like you Señorita. He's a good cook."

She looked at him in shock. "You just think about the little things," he said in Spanish. He put one of his funny crooked hands on hers. "How good your paella smells in the morning; Wilson's Zen garden with the teeny tiny rake that I always used to throw away when I was pissed at him. How he'd always fish it out of the trash can and patch it up so it would be there waiting for me for the next time… all the things you never consider until they're gone: then – mostly - you can forget about the big stuff."

"What is your name," she asked him.

Now it was his turn to look surprised. "Limpy," he said simply. "My name is Limpy."


She thought about his words for many days then on her day off she went into the town to see her grandmother. There is a man who has lost the will, she told her. He has become a golem. Golem was the word she used. Men made out of earth. They walked, they moved, but they were nothing more than clay: pushed around by their masters.

After the long trip Limpy had become like that. Something had happened the night Mr Thompson had thrown the glass. The words crystal nacht had come to her that night. She didn't understand those words, but she knew they spoke of glass and pain and change.

Limpy walked and moved but he had just become a lump of clay. His eyes had lost their fire. One day she had brought him food, but he had just looked at it as if he didn't understand what it was. He wouldn't even touch it. He would only eat out of his bowl. If a starving man was afraid to touch food that meant things were not right in the world.

Her grandmother had made her tea and regarded her thoughtfully. Her grandmother also felt things. Her grandmother would walk in the fields and talk to whomever she found there. Her grandmother had met many people in the fields. Her grandmother spent much time in the fields.

Find why the clay man still moves. And then find the man with the little tray full of sand and the very small plastic rake. He is, what I believe the Americans call, a Southpaw.

Her grandmother looked at her curiously. She seemed surprised by her own words.

"Southpaw," she repeated with a frown. "Is that some sort of tribe?"

So that's it for the extra DVD deleted scenes. Hope you enjoyed.

Oh, and southpaw is a lovely way to describe someone who is left handed.

Love Sheep