A/N: This is my first posted House fic—please, attempt to be gentle…

Disclaimer: I don't own House, M.D. and I'm not making money off this either

Ratings: PG

Genre: General

Warnings: nothing

Main Characters: House

Additional Notes: Somewhat inspired by a line uttered by House in "Detox".

Multiples of Zero

"Take all that you got

Multiply by zero

Divide by the time you've got left"—Semisonic, "Who's Stopping You?"

He glanced at the clock. 10:36 AM. A bitter smile curled his lips—Cuddy would be calling, and soon. He was surprised, actually, that she hadn't already. He knew what would come when the phone did eventually ring: he would pick up the phone and she would yell for almost a full five minutes about him being late—yet again—and he would snark back some comment or another, hang up, and wait another half-hour before dragging himself in. He knew the routine. He did it everyday.

And frankly, it was getting old.

Why bother? He would go to work, humiliate some doctors, humiliate some patients, banter with Cuddy, get yelled at and maybe sued before he dragged himself back to his apartment for stale cereal, Chinese takeout, and scotch. And of course a night of popping Vicodin. Then he would go to sleep, wake up, and do it all over again.


Was there anything in his life worth waking up for? Foreman's punk-ass remarks about ethics? Chase's self-centered, hypocritical, backstabbing logic? Cameron's motherly smothering and melodramatic confessions of misplaced love? Cuddy's annoying harping? Wilson's overbearing, well-meaning worry?

Fine, he thought, sitting down in front of the phone on the piano bench, thumping his cane on the floor by his foot. Let's think rationally. Lists. Math.

What he had were two over-worrying people—one of whom supposedly loved him. One domineering boss. One street-smart smart-ass. One rich kid who whined. And about…ten annoying patients.

He supposed Wilson would be on the plus side. The fact that he, himself, could still get around would be a plus. About half the patients were fun to infuriate and at least one was interesting—pluses. Four patients were annoying: four negatives. His leg hurt like hell—two negatives. Vicodin was…pleasant—one plus. Cameron was grating—three negatives. Cameron loved him, which was a flattering puzzle—two pluses. He could still play piano—a plus. Stacy had left—at least five negatives.

So far he had twelve pluses and fourteen negatives, which gave him a total of negative two. Dismal.

He smiled. Better than he hoped—he popped two Vicodin and took a quick swig of scotch, tipping the scale to positive one.

The phone rang. Time to go to work: he picked up after the fifth ring.

"What?" Let the games begin.

After all, the math was all for him.


A/N: I hope this was okay. My second finished House fic and the only half-decent one. If my math is wrong, I'm sorry! I'm horrible and allergic to the stuff. Anyway, please review!