Title: Ain't That a Kick in the Head?
Authors: Dru and Harem
Pairing: um…we're really not sure
Warnings: Woozy wombats and diabolical daddies
Summary: Chase gets his brains a bit scrambled, but fortunately for him, House is there to help.
Disclaimer: No, we don't own them. Yes that was a stupid question.
Notes: Title comes from the song by Dean Martin.
Ain't That a Kick in the Head?
Chase's eyes quickly scanned over the chart as he walked towards curtain two.
OD in collage football player, American football not real football. Nothing interesting. Just a regular shift in the ER.
Chase had wandered down to help around lunchtime. He was bored and they were understaffed. There had been nothing better to do, and he had been hoping for an interesting case to bring to House's attention.
Chase looked up from the chart as the equipment behind the curtain began to squeal. The football player was thrashing around, clearly having a seizure. Chase was moving, dropping the chart on a tray instantly. "Hey! I need some help in here!" He yelled trying to hold the larger man down and keep him from injuring himself.
The man was strong though, forcing Chase to use all his power to keep him on the bed. He turned to look over his shoulder, calling again for help.
Unfortunately he couldn't keep an eye on the hall and his patient at the same time. He never even saw the heavily muscled arm that slammed into the side of his head, sending him flying backwards into the curtain and on the floor. He felt the back of his head bounce against the floor.
The ringing in his ears drowned out the whine of the machines, making his head ache. He closed his eyes against the bright sparks of light drilling into his aching brain, and tried to concentrate on breathing, ignoring the wobbling figures that were hovering over him anxiously.
"I'm fine! It's not that bad!" Chase growled irritably from his position in a hospital bed, just a couple beds down from the patient who'd tossed him around like rag down only minutes ago.
"Dr. Chase you have a concussion! You need to be admitted for observation!" Dr. Wells, one of the on call ER doctors, snapped.
"No I don't! It was nothing! The kid was seizing and I got flipped and knocked around a bit. A few bruises and a headache, but I'm fine! All I need is a good nights sleep, at home and I'm good as new." Chase insisted trying to sit up.
"You were unresponsive for five minutes, you were confused when you finally started talking, you're pupils are unequal, and you clearly look like you're going to throw up at any minute!" Wells pushed him back down on the bed.
Chase scowled. "Okay, so I have a minor concussion. I'll be fine. I'm not staying in the hospital."
"You can bet your skinny ass you're staying in the hospital!" House snapped storming into the curtained off area, cane thumping angrily against the linoleum.
"You!" He shoved his cane into Dr. Well's chest. "Why weren't you doing your job?"
Wells blinked. "I was doing my job!" He defended himself.
"Clearly you're not very good at it. How hard is it to keep one little duckling out of trouble?" He spun around to the 'little duckling', dismissing the ER doctor.
"What the hell happened? I just got paged that you'd been injured working in the ER! What are you even doing down here anyway? Don't you know this place is crawling with sick people?"
Chase visibly flinched at House's anger. "Err... we had nothing going up in the office and I was out of crossword puzzles and they're short staffed down here so I figured I'd help out a bit."
"And how does that lead to you in a hospital bed?" House asked, shoving Wells out of the way, and started to check Chase's pupils.
Chase pulled back from the pen light and scowled at House. "I was- " He trailed off and frowned. He shook his head and started again "I- was going to see the patient in curtain two and..." His stopped again seeming to forget what he was saying. "Eh- Err... Oh uh a football player who was ODing and when I got in there he was-" He waved his hand vaguely as he searched for the word. "-seizing. I tried to hold him down to keep him from hurting him self and well I- he was stronger then I thought and I got flipped him and knocked about a bit. But it's nothing!"
House glared down at him. "You could barely get though telling that, which happened what? 15 minutes ago? You have a concussion. You're staying in the hospital. Idiot."
Chase glared back up at him. "I'll just sign myself out!"
"You will not."
"Stop telling me what to do. You're not my boss!"
"See! Right there! Memory loss! You clearly can't remember who you work for and the fact that you're my bitch, so yes I can tell you what to do!"
Wells rolled his eyes at having to deal with the psychotics in Diagnostics and quietly slipped out of the curtained area to go call Dr. Cuddy. He was not paid enough to put up with those loons. Behind him the two doctors still bickered loudly, not realizing they no longer had an audience.
Cuddy and Wilson entered the ER and instantly heard the yelling. They followed the noise to the two doctors, squaring off in a corner of the ER.
"I AM NOT STAYING AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"
"YOU'RE STAYING AND THAT'S THE END OF IT!"
"Quiet! Both of you!" Cuddy barked yanking the curtain back and glaring down both men. "You are scaring the patients!"
"Cuddy!" House welcomed the interruption, hoping to gain an ally. "Tell him he's staying." He ordered.
She ignored him in favor of checking Chase out for herself. "Dr. Wells told me about the accident. How are you feeling?"
"I have a headache." Chase admitted. He looked up at her through a curtain of blond hair, turning up the charm. "A large cane-wielding headache. And I'm sore from hitting the floor but nothing worse then I've gotten playing sports. I've been hurt worse a million times. All I want is to go home and get a hot shower and some sleep." Chase said. He gave her an embarrassed grin.
House rolled his eyes.
"Don't give me that look." Cuddy warned. "Alright. Now while I agree with Dr. Wells and Dr. House that it'd be best for you to stay over night for observation," She raised her hand quieting him when he started to object. "You are a grown adult, and a doctor your self so yes it's your choice if you want to leave. On one condition. You don't go home alone. Eh! No arguments! You know perfectly well you'd never send a patient with a concussion home alone, and I will not allow you out of this hospital without someone going home with you, or you go to someone's home so they can keep an eye on you. It's that or get admitted for observation."
She gave both doctors a stern look. "Now, I trust you can make up your mind like reasonable adults without screaming. I'll be in my office. Let me know what you decide. And either way you're off work till you're checked out and have a clean bill of health. If you're not in a bed as a patient I don't want to see you in this hospital till your cleared, is that clear?"
Cuddy waited till Chase nodded meekly then turned sharply and left as quickly as she'd appeared.
Wilson finely stepped into the curtained off area after Cuddy left and pulled the curtain closed again. "You know we could hear you two all the way down the hall."
"Shut up!" Both men snapped glaring at each other.
Wilson snickered and reached for his own penlight, so he could check Chase over himself. Chase shook him off and reached for his cell phone, flipping through the address book.
He scrolled through the short list twice. Once he mentally crossed off his coworkers he was left with only a handful of numbers, all either take out restaurants or perspective dates. True, he was on a first name basis with the take out guy from the Chinese place down the street, but you couldn't exactly ask a delivery boy to take care of a concussed doctor. He sighed and scrolled through the list again. Did Annette have a client at the moment?
House smirked, arms crossed over his chest from his spot on the rolling stool. "What wrong? No one to call to baby sit you?"
"No! I-I'm just trying to think about people's schedule." He lied, wincing as his ears turned red.
Wilson shot House a Look and tried to talk to Chase. "So- uh who are you going to get to stay with you?"
"I told you I'm trying to decide!" Chase growled from between clenched teeth.
"Maybe you could ask Cameron or Foreman?"
Chase flinched. God Cameron would smother him with concern and Foreman...he just did not want to be in close quarters with Foreman for that long. Besides they were both working, sort of. "I- really don't think so."
"Oooh I know! How about your little dominatrix friend! She could tie you up and keep you from wandering off from the brain damage!" House offered cheerfully.
"Maybe she could bring a ball gag for you while she's at it." Chase responded with a mocking brightness, not looking up from his phone. He felt his heart sink as he scrolled through the list for a third time.
Wilson held his head for a moment then got an idea. "House!"
"No, no, no. I meant Chase can stay with House! You! It's perfect. it solves all the problems. Chase doesn't have to...choose between his friends and House can make sure Chase is being watched closely and being taken care of."
Both of them blinked at him in disbelief.
"Err...I thought I was the one with a head injury not Dr. Wilson?" Chase said turning to House in confusion.
"That's what I thought too..."
Wilson glared then turned on Chase. "Chase do you want to be kept in the hospital?"
Chase scowled. "No!"
Wilson turned on House. "House do you want Chase home alone or with someone with no medical experience?"
"No. Which is why he should keep his little wombat-y ass in the hospital!"
Wilson gave him a disappointed look.
"No." House finely growled, feeling guilty.
"There! So Chase can stay with House for the night. House you can get out of work to make sure Chase isn't lapsing into a coma and Chase, you won't be in the hospital and everyone will be happy."
"I won't!" Chase and House snapped in sync.
"Chase," Wilson said gently, trying to be patient with the concussed man. "Would you rather stay in the hospital or with House?"
"House." Chase answered quickly, if not happily.
Wilson smiled and turned to House.
"House, you wouldn't really make your injured employee stay in the hospital against his will, would you?" Wilson gave him a pleading look. Chase, who had evidently decided House was his best chance of getting out of the hospital, mirrored the look, and House found himself weakening under the onslaught.
House glared at both of them. He hated being manipulated.
"Fine! We'll have a sleepover." He growled. "But no staying up all night, giggling over which boy in class is cutest, and you're doing your own makeup." House grabbed Chase's folder and headed for the pharmacy.
Chase watched him leave. "Is it to late to change my mind?" He whispered uncertainly.
Wilson just smiled and shook his head, patting him on the shoulder before following House.
Chase looked uncomfortable as they entered House's apartment.
House pointed at the couch. "Sit."
Wilson nodded his head towards the hall. "I'll go put this in the guest room."
Wilson had driven Chase over, with a stop at his apartment for a few things. House had argued that Chase could ride behind him on his bike, and Chase argued that he could drive himself. Cuddy had given Wilson permission to take some time off, with strict orders to get Chase over to House's place in as few pieces as possible. "It's the first door on the right." He told Chase before disappearing down the hall.
Chase nodded, then winced.
House grunted heading for the kitchen.
Chase rubbed his arms chewing on his lower lip, and drew his legs to his chest wrapping his arms around them.
House came back and promptly rolled his eyes. "Stop that."
"Looking like a pitiful 5 year old. Good God, how are you even old enough to have gone though medical school?" House snapped, practically shoving a glass of milk and a bottle of prescription strength ibuprofen at him.
Chase scowled and set the glass on the table while he looked at the bottle.
"Just take it!"
Wilson came back out and frowned at House. "You know I've been wondering something. Why do I always get the couch if you have a guest room?"
"I'm evil and I like to see you cry."
Wilson sighed while Chase took the pill, still looking disgruntled.
"All right neuro check time, my concussed minion."
Chase looked at his watch and groaned. "Already?"
"Yes. Keep whining and we're turning around and going right back to the hospital!"
Chase rolled his eyes. ""You're going to keep threatening me with that aren't you?"
Chase grumbled as he shakily got to his feet.
"Well I guess we can cross balance right off the list. Sit down before you fall over." House said eying his wobbling wombat.
Chase flopped back down on the couch.
"Dr. Robert Chase."
"Minion." Chase answered with a smirk.
"No. Ask Cameron."
"Very funny Blondie, What's today's date?"
"Where are you?"
"Princeton, New Jersey, You're place 221, apartment B."
"What's the square root of 841?"
"How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"
"House..." Wilson said giving him the 'I'm disappointed in you.' look, again.
House pouted but moved on. "Who's the President?"
"It's Queen, not President."
"Of America, you idiot."
Chase was grinning. "George Bush"
"Jr. or Sr.?" House countered.
"Alright that'll do for now. You don't seem to be completely brain damaged. At least not more then normal."
"Thank you. I'm going to go sleep for a while since I know I'm going to be getting woken up every couple hours." Chase said, pushing him self up off the couch again.
"That's probably a good idea, Good night Chase." Wilson told him.
They sat on the couch and waited till the door clicked closed then House scowled at Wilson. "I still think he should be in the hospital. At the very least he should have had a CT before we released him."
"He didn't want to stay and he wasn't going to. Come on do you really think you could have yelled him into staying? He would have snuck out the moment he wasn't being watched."
"Lousy little high maintenance wombat..."
"Well good luck. Have fun and don't kill each other." Wilson said standing.
"I have to get back to work."
"So you're going to leave me all alone with him? What if I snap from his whining and finely kill him? What If I try to cook and burn down the apartment and kill us both? What if I give him food poisoning on top of brain damage?" House wheedled trying to get Wilson to stay and help with the wombat sitting.
"I'll come back over after work and make you both dinner and something to heat up for tomorrow. He'll probably sleep the whole time anyway." Wilson assured him.
"He's not supposed to be sleeping!" House's voice had a slight edge of panic.
"Well no, but he's been at work how long, 10 hours? He was probably tired before he got the concussion. Just keep checking on him. You'll be fine." Wilson reassured his friend, before walking out the door and leaving House alone in the apartment with Chase.
House sighed and turned to see Steve sitting in his metal wheel, staring at him.
"This is going to suck, I just know it."
The rat wriggled his nose as if to say "not my problem" and went back to running in circles.
He waited exactly thirty minutes before deciding his duckling had slept enough. House poked his head into the dark room and in the light from the hall saw Chase looking even younger than before. He had changed into an old pair of scrubs. They must haven been bought purely as pajamas, since House was pretty sure jumpsuit orange wouldn't fly with Cuddy in the hospital.
House banged his cane against the night table.
Chase didn't react at all.
The older doctor frowned and moved further into the room. He switched on the light and still Chase didn't react.
"Chase? Wake up!" House sat on the edge of the bed leaning over him slightly reaching out to shake him.
Chase groaned and blinked up blearily at him. "What..? House? Where...? Oh. Right." He rubbed at his eyes. "That time already?"
"You wouldn't wake up. I knew this was a bad idea."
"What? I'm a doctor! I'm used to zonking out any time I can and sleeping though nearly anything except a pager. I'd have been up and running out the door if you'd paged me."
Chase waved him off pushing him self up and scooting back against the headboard.
House gave him a disbelieving look but just moved on to asking him most of the same questions he's asked before. He mixed them up a little, slightly disappointed that the answers were more straightforward this time. It looked like Chase was too tired to play.
House grumbled and let Chase know he had passed.
Still frowning House poked him in the side. "Get up. It's the middle of the afternoon, and despite how young you look you can't quite pass for pre-school so the afternoon naps are a little under your age range."
Chase groaned. "I'm going to be getting woken up every few hours all night!"
"Well like you said, 'you're a doctor.' You're used to no sleep." House said with a small smirk before getting to his feet and heading for the door. "I mean it Wombat. I want you up. Come, be social. You can play with Steve. He doesn't bite... much. I'm sure he won't repeat that...incident with Wilson." House said cheerfully before leaving.
Chase whimpered and covered his eyes. Maybe he should have gone with the delivery boy. At least then he would've gotten fried donuts.
Chase came out of the bed room flinching slightly in the brighter light, and ran a hand though his hair as the plopped down on the couch next to House who was holding a large brown rat. "I'm up. Happy?"
Chase buried his face in his scrub pants covered legs as he pulled his legs up onto the couch.
House poked him in the side. "No falling asleep. You shouldn't be sleeping with a concussion this soon, as you should well know."
Chase chose to ignore the more then slight tinge of whine in his voice. "I'm tired! I was working late and up early, and someone just woke up me! And quit poking me!"
House narrowed his eyes at Chase, mentally noting symptoms. Fatigue and irritability so far. He moved on for now. "Chase meet Steve. Steve meet Chase." He said holding the rat up towards Chase. He hid a smile at the chaos that would ensue. Steve was not a social rat, and House figured the trauma should keep Chase lively for at least half an hour.
To his shock and annoyance Steve didn't protest at being handed over to a stranger. The rat ran up Chase's arm, and snuggled in next to his neck.
Chase smirked knowing House had been hoping for something more explosive. "My friend had a pet rat growing up. She loved me. Cute little things." He said reaching up to scratch behind Steve's ears.
House pouted and flipped on the TV. "Traitor.", he grumbled. He turned on a Tivoed episode of Spongebob. The annoyance factor alone should keep Chase perky for a little while.
House poked Chase in the side again to wake him up as he dozed off again.
Chase whined unhappily but woke up and tried to force him self to stay awake.
House tapped his cane against the floor watching Chase, growing more and more worried over the course of the day. He'd had to wake Chase up at least a few times an hour for the last several hours and it was worrying him. Chase was still passing the neuro exams but he was getting crankier and crankier and seemed to be taker longer to answer. Sure he said he was just tired from working late and not getting enough sleep, then working hours in the hospital, but still...
House shook his head as Chase started to fall asleep again. He reached over and poked him again. "Alright just go to bed. Maybe a couple hours of sleep will let you stay awake more then a few minutes at a time. "
"Oh thank god!" Chase mumbled and handed off Steve to House then stumbled down the hall towards the bedroom.
"Neuro check in an hour!" House called after him.
House waited two hours then went to wake Chase up and check him again.
He nearly had a heart attack when he looked in the guest room and Chase was gone. Then he moved his head and spotted Chase in his bed in his room.
He shook his head then leaned over Chase shaking him awake. "Come on. Rise and Shine Princess! You're drooling on my pillow!"
"Just five more minutes mum?" Chase mumbled while burrowing deeper into the blankets.
House frowned and shook Chase harder. "Come on, Chase! Wakey wakey! Time to wake up!"
Chase opened his eyes and blinked blankly at him for a moment before sighing. "Robert Chase. 27. New Jersey, Bush." He recited, turning back over.
"Oh no you don't! You're not getting off that easy anymore." House pushed him back over to his back.
"Where are you, exactly?" He asked?
Chase looked around. "Your bed?" He guessed.
"Cause I'm tired."
"And why are you tired?"
"Kicked in the head." Chase tried to curl in to himself, blocking out the light.
House frowned, and tried to keep his voice calm.
"How'd you get kicked?"
"We were playing rugby. I slipped, and Jason caught me upside the head." Chase's voice was soft and his eyes were only half open.
"That's it, get up, we're going back to the hospital."
"What?" The young blond sat up quickly, fully awake, if not aware. "Please, no! I don't need to go to the hospital. Dr. Chase'll be cut snake mad if I show up again. He told me not to. Please. I'm fine."
House blinked, his frown deepening as his mind connected the dots.
"Chase. You. Are. Going."
Chase seemed to be trying to sink in to the headboard; he was shaking his head, a move that was obviously causing him pain.
House wiped his hand over his face. He tried to reassure the confused intensivist. "I'll explain to your dad. He won't be mad. You need to go to the hospital."
"My dad's dead you bastard." Chase snapped.
"What!" House felt his own head starting to spin at the sudden change.
Chase glared at him silently.
"I'm not going to the hospital!"
"You wouldn't wake up, and apparently you've had a concussion that isn't in your medical history.
"I- it was fine. I was sleeping! Like I've said a dozen times I'm tired! Tired people are hard to wake up!"
"Chase, this is not just tiredness! You're a doctor you're tired all the time and you normally bolt awake instantly!"
Chase scowled and shoved his hair out of his eyes then blinked and looked around in confusion. "Um. Where am I?"
"My room. Somehow you ended up in here. Another sign we should be on our way to the hospital."
Chase frowned. "I was tired when I came down the hall I must have wandered into the wrong room."
"Getting lost. Another sign of worsening concussion!"
Chase crossed his arms over his chest and looked stubborn.
House closed his eyes and willed his self not to throttle Chase. He already knew he had lost though. Chase had been clearly terrified at the prospect of getting medical treatment. "Alright I'll make a deal with you. One night. You have one night with no more threats of the hospital. If you're not better by morning you go straight to the ER no arguments."
Chase hesitated then agreed. "Alright. You'll see I'm fine."
House snorted but let the statement go. "Alright, let's try this again, Name?"
Wilson walked into the apartment frowning. No sign of House or Chase. House would have called if they'd gone to the hospital right?
He walked the rest of the way in closing the door and started to look around for the other two doctors.
He blinked then started to snicker as he found House sitting next to his own bed in a chair watching Chase sleep.
House jerked and looked startled at the sound. "Wilson. What are you doing here?"
"I'm making dinner remember?"
House blinked and looked at his watch surprised it was that late already. "Err..."
"Having fun with your wombat, I see?"
"Oh yeah better then the nature channel. Like having a zoo right here in my own apartment. A whiny, cranky, British zoo."
"Fun. How's he doing?"
"...Not so good. I keep having more and more trouble waking him up, and his answers keep coming slower. But if he doesn't die before morning he'll be in the ER before breakfast." House gave a small smirk. "I made a deal with him."
"I'm sure he'll be fine House. You're just being over protective."
"Am not! Watch!" House reached over and shook Chase, who didn't respond. Wilson frowned and reached over to shake him himself, with the same result.
House picked up his cell phone and pressed a button on his speed dial. Chase's pager went off, and the young blond startled awake. He sighed when he saw the two doctors standing over him. "Neuro time again?" He asked.
"Nope." House turned to Wilson. "See?"
Wilson shook his head, "Are you sure he shouldn't-"
"Don't say the H word. I am not dealing with him again if you make him freak out."
Wilson sighed. "Fine. I'll go fix dinner." He shot a final look at Chase, who, once he realized his attention wasn't needed, had gone back to sleep.
An hour later Chase sat next to House and Wilson on the couch and poked at the plate of food in his lap, sipping at a glass of flat sprite.
Wilson now shared House's look of worry. "Chase? Is something wrong? You're not eating."
"S'nothing. I'm just not hungry." Chase said shrugging and kept pushing the food around the plate.
"It's Wilson's cooking. How could you not be hungry for Wilson's cooking?"
Chase scowled at House. "I'm just not, ok? Is that a crime?"
Chase snorted then flinched, and absentmindedly started eating. Both Wilson and House looked happier.
House put his empty plate on the coffee table and sat back watching the TV.
His head move to the side, watching Chase as he suddenly set his nearly full plate and glass on the coffee table and sat back, looking pale swallowing convulsively. "Chase?"
"I- I don't feel so well..." Chase whispered.
House moved closer, looking worried and was suddenly covered in what little Chase had eaten for dinner.
House barely blinked. "Wilson get a bucket or trash can or something. You ok?" He asked looking over Chase.
"Sorry." Chase mumbled closing his eyes and leaning his head back.
"Not like it hasn't happened with patients before. But you can bet I will torture you for it later." House said mildly, making him lean forward instead.
Wilson came running back with a small trashcan that he handed to House, who gently nudged Chase and handed it to him. House made sure Chase had it, then stood and walked a bit away with Wilson.
"God you were right. He needs to be in the hospital." Wilson whispered.
House shook his head. "Morning. He won't be able to argue, he promised."
"House!" Wilson hissed.
"Just stay tonight and you can help me drag him in in the morning."
"He needs to go-"
"No! Look, I'll explain later. He's not leaving tonight."
Wilson rolled his eyes, but knew when an argument with his friend was lost. "Great. You're just lucky I have some spare clothes here, mister. Go get cleaned up I'll handle Chase."
House watched for a moment as Wilson went over and started taking care of Chase then turned and limped for his room to get out of his clothes. "Well" He muttered to himself, wrinkling his nose. "Mamma always said it wasn't a party until you were covered in someone else's vomit."
After getting Chase cleaned up, Wilson had tucked him back into bed with some more flat sprite on the night table, and a trash can by the bed. He went back out and started cleaning up the living room.
House came back out cleaned up, and flopped down on the clean end of the couch. "I could kill you for convincing me to take him home..."
"Well then why aren't we on our way to the hospital, or an ambulance on its way here?" Wilson snapped stopping cleaning to glare at House.
"He had an...episode before when I tried to wake him up. I'm not quite sure what happened but he was terrified about going to the hospital, something about his father being mad. A flash back to a concussion he got as a kid or something. He was completely freaked out, and I think he'd freak out if we tried to drag him in now. A panic attack will not help him in his condition. But he promised to go in, no arguments if he's not better by morning. So first thing in the morning we drag him in, and cuff him to the bed if we have to." House's eyes lit up. "Hey! Maybe we'll do that anyway just for fun. You know cheer him up a bit."
Wilson ignored House's last statement and focused on the first part. "Not remembering when and where he is isn't good. He seemed ok when he woke up when I was here. How long did it take him to come back?"
"In mid sentence. I was trying to work with his...thing. I told him I'd handle dad and suddenly he snaps that his dad is dead and calls me a bastard. Just like that back to him self."
Wilson sighed. "I really wish we could get him into the hospital tonight."
Both heads swiveled as they heard a door creak, foot steps in the hall, then a door close.
"Bathroom." House muttered letting his head flop back against the couch back.
Wilson suddenly started snickering. House gave him a look. "I'm sorry but this is...rather like having a toddler. All those years avoiding having kids with my wives and I end up parenting your orphaned ducklings with you."
House snorted and settled further into the couch. "You get to be the mother in this relationship."
They both paused again when a door opened and footsteps, then a creak of a door closing.
Wilson gave him the evil eye as he continued to clean. "No I take it back. This is like Cinderella and you're the evil stepmother."
House snickered. "Scrub! Scrub those floors! Put your back into it! I want this house sparkling, you ungrateful little wench! I put the roof over your head and clothes on your back. This is the least you can do!" He thwacked Wilson lightly with his cane.
Wilson laughed, leaning against the coffee table as he finished cleaning. "Go to bed, House. You've had a long day. I'll take over Chase Watch for a few hours."
House hauled him self to his feet and headed for his room. A minute later Wilson heard him snicker. "Wilson I think I'm getting Chase Watch whether I like it or not."
"Huh?" Wilson asked going to see what House was talking about.
Chase was in House's bed again.
Wilson grinned and shook his head. "I'll wake him up and get him back to the guest room."
"Nah leave him. He needs the rest and the guest bed sucks."
Wilson gave him a look out of the corner of his eye. "Oh so I guess the guest bed is mine then?"
"Nope. You don't warrant the guest bed. It's the couch for you mister!"
Wilson laughed and turned, heading back to the living room. "Only because the guest bed sucks. I'm learning your tricks. Have fun with Chase."
House rolled his eyes and scowled at the sleeping doctor. "You'd better not be a blanket hog." He nudged him over to one side, trying to reclaim at least a small sliver of bed space. He laid down on top of the blankets and sighed, trying to get some sleep.
Wilson leaned over, shaking Chase's shoulder, causing the young doctor to pull away. There was however nowhere to go, and House woke up as he felt the intensivist try to burrow into him.
House poked him sharply in the ribs, and Chase grumbled. He yawned and blinked up at Wilson, but didn't try to move away from the warmth he felt at his back.
Wilson smiled apologetically, "Time for a neuro check."
"I'll go easy on you. Name?"
"27. And before you ask New Jersey, June, and George Bush."
Wilson didn't look phased.
"Do you know my name?"
Wilson blinked. "Umm.."
Chase, however, wasn't finished. "House, tell Dr. Wilson to go bother someone else. I was sleeping." He promptly rolled over and went back to sleep, dismissing the other man.
House snickered and looked up at his friend. "You heard the wombat. We're good."
Wilson frowned. "I hope you know what you're doing."
House snorted and settled back down to sleep. "When have I not?
Chase yawned opening an eye as for around the millionth time he was poked in the side. "Robert Chase, 27, New Jersey, June, George Bush."
House smirked down at him. "You know I don't think it counts when you've memorized the questions."
"Oh bite me." Chase said sitting up and rubbing his eyes.
"Time to go to the hospital!" House announced brightly.
Chase yawned again and looked at the alarm clock. "It's 4:30am. A little early for work."
"No, it's time for you to be CTed, MRIed and every other alphabet test I can think to run on you to check for brain damage."
"4:30 isn't 'morning' "
"Stop complaining, you've been sleeping since yesterday afternoon."
House readied him self for an argument, but Chase just shrugged. "Ok. The sooner we get this over with the sooner I can get back to work."
House narrowed his eyes. "How do you feel?"
Chase tilted his head to the side thinking. "Little headache but overall I feel pretty good."
"Pretty good? You go from cranky, falling asleep all the time, hardly able to walk, getting lost coming back from the bathroom, crawling in my bed, to fine over night?"
Chase shrugged. "I guess. I'm going to go grab a shower and get dressed, if we're still going to the hospital."
House watched as Chase slid out of bed and walked out of the bedroom without the slightest stumble or sway.
House climbed out of bed, grabbing his cane and limped out to the living room and poked Wilson awake. "Chase is in the shower."
Wilson sat up frowning worriedly. "Should he be alone? He could fall and if he hits his head again..."
"He seems fine. Weirdly fine. Perky. He hardly batted a eye when I told him we were going in to the hospital to run every test in existence on him."
"He's ok? No nausea? Dizziness? Anything?"
"Slight headache but other then that apparently he's feeling… fine. Didn't even freak out when he woke up in my bed."
"Huh. That's...weird. When was the last time someone didn't freak out when they woke up next to you?" He ducked away from the cane aimed at his head. "But I guess we should be happy he's lucid and willing to go in and get checked out without being forced."
"Yeah but..." House was interrupted from whatever he was going to say by Chase wandering out into the living room with a towel wrapped around his waist.
"Is my bag out here? It's not in the guest room."
"Uh it was in the guest room. Last time I saw it was when I put in there." Wilson said standing up and heading for the guest room.
House looked closely at Chase. "Still feeling ok?"
Chase smiled brightly. "Yup! Always been a fast healer. End up in the bottom of a pile up, can't move a muscle, day or two later and I'm back in the game. I told you I was-"
"Yes. I know, you're fine. I'm fine. Wilson's fine. We're all FINE." House popped a vicodin.
Wilson came back out holding Chase's bag. "Some how it ended up in the closet."
Chase turned his blinding smile on Wilson. "Hey thanks!" He went back into the guest room to get dressed.
"...Are you sure those are ibuprofen you've been giving him?" Wilson asked turning to House.
House looked at the Vicodin bottle in his hand. "Apparently he's a fast healer. And perky post injury. Explains why he's into the bdsm scene"
Wilson shook his head. "I'm going to go change in the bathroom and freshen up. I'm guessing you're not?"
"Like anyone can tell?" House said with a smirk. "That's the upside of my 'look'. No maintenance. Mr. 'Blow Dries His Hair.' Besides, I changed yesterday."
Wilson wrinkled his nose and walked into the bathroom, grabbing his emergency "dog house" bag from the closet.
"What?" House asked Steve, pouring food into his pet bowl. "They're clean."
Chase was buttoning hit shirt when his eyes landed on his ID badge. 'Dr. Robert Chase.' Chase frowned and picked it up, thinking. This was all rather silly. It was 4:45am and he was letting him self get dragged in to be poked and prodded just to confirm what he already knew? He was perfectly fine!
He should talk to Dr. House and Dr. Wilson and just calmly explain why this was all a waste of time and energy and if they still didn't want him at work he could just go home and sleep, which was really the only thing you could do for a concussion anyway.
Chase started pacing, and talking his way quietly through the situation. "But they won't listen. They never listen to me... They'll just manhandle me into the car, or call an ambulance. And House won't hesitate to just drug me senseless and do whatever he wants."
"No. No, no, no. I can't go to the hospital. I- I'll... I don't know what I'll do but I have to do something!" His heart began to speed up and he began to chew on his lip nervously.
"Chase? You ready?" Chase jumped at the sound of House's voice, followed by the thump of his cane against the door.
"Uh...no! Um. No! I mean…Almost?"
"Chase?" House sounded suspicious. "Everything ok in there?"
"Uh…yes! Fine! Just...fine!"
House frowned at the door. Chase didn't sound right. His voice had taken on a strange, high pitched, almost panicky sound.
"Alright I'm coming in." There was a squeak, a thump, and then the sound of the lock clicking.
"Chase, open the door."
"I'm not dressed yet!" The voice protested coming from the near the floor. House could no longer see light coming from beneath the door, and guessed that Chase was sitting against it, probably to keep him from kicking the door down.
"I'm a doctor! Trust me, the sight of your naked body will not scar me that badly. And you were the one who spent most of the night trying to climb on top of me!"
"I… um well you see, the thing is I changed my mind. It's just silly for me to go in and spend hours and thousands of dollars in expensive tests just to prove that I'm perfectly fine. I could use your phone though."
"Chase...what are you talking about?" House asked slowly. Crap. Chase was back to freaking out. Just wonderful. And now he'd locked him self in the guest room.
"I need to call a cab. I- I'm going home. I'm fine I just need some more sleep, and maybe a couple more ibuprofen and it'll be like it never happened!"
"Like what never happened?"
"Getting whacked in the head by some footballer hopped up on steroids. Have you even been paying attention?"
House rolled his eyes. "Just making sure we're not taking another road trip down memory lane. "
"No. We're good. June seventh, two thousand six. I'd really like to go home now."
"You know it's kind of hard to hold a conversation though a door, so how about you open the door and we continue this like adults?"
"Um no. Sorry. I know you. You never listen to a word I say! You'll just drag me to the hospital against my will, or call an ambulance, or drug me or threaten to fire me!"
House made a face. "There goes that plan..." He muttered under his breath. Louder, he said "Chase! I'm crushed! Crushed that you think I'd do that!"
Wilson came out from the kitchen where he'd been making coffee and frowned. "What's wrong? Why are you yelling though the door?"
"Chase locked him self in. Apparently he's back to panicking about going to the hospital. Tried to give me some line about a waste of time and money. Evidently he doesn't trust me."
"Sometimes I don't trust you. Chase? Hey it's Wilson. Why don't you come out from there ok? We can sit down and talk and work everything out."
Silence. House and Wilson exchanged alarmed looks. "There aren't any knives or anything in there are there?" Wilson hissed.
"Not that I know of!" House hissed back before speaking up. "Chase! I'll give you something shiny if you come out of there!"
Chase snorted. "I don't want anything shiny. I just want to go home. I'm not an airhead!"
"Will you stop insulting him!"? Wilson admonished. "I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it. Why don't you tell us what's wrong?"
Once again silence came from the room.
House tilted his head. "I think he's ignoring you."
Wilson gave the door a wounded look. "I'll go cook breakfast. Maybe food will lure him out..."
House waited until Wilson was out of earshot
"Aww! Chase! You made him sad." House commented more amused then anything.
"I- Oh, I'm sorry I didn't- I- I'm sorry!"
"Oh come on! He's friends with me! I'm pretty sure he's used to a lot worse then being ignored!" House snorted, leaning against the wall next to the door then sliding down to the floor. "Besides it gave him incentive to cook breakfast."
That got a small laugh from Chase.
"Alright now are you going to talk? Or am I going to have to kick down the door and torture it out of you?"
"You can't kick a door down! And aren't you worried I'd like the torture?" House was relieved to hear the sarcasm in Chase's voice. This was his wombat.
"Well then I won't torture you unless you tell me what's going on!" House snapped back at him.
Chase laughed, then got quiet. "It's just...I don't go to the hospital."
"Err...then who's the pretty British blond thing sitting in my conference room everyday?"
"I go to hospitals!"
"But you just said-"
"I don't go the hospital when I'm sick or hurt. I handle it my self...or my dad did. When I was little. I- it's it's stupid. I know better but it just sticks in your head you know? It's not logical, or reasonable but you can't stop thinking it!"
House blinked. "Ok. Did I miss part of this conversation?" Chase had never been this…sharey. Not that he minded. One touchy-feely duckling was enough, but Chase was talking and it made House nervous.
He heard Chase sigh again. "My dad...when I was little, really little, He told me...he told me these stories. To keep me from going to the hospital when I got hurt. He didn't want his home life interfering with his work so he didn't want me showing up with every little scratch, or sprain. I didn't mean to get hurt so much, I really didn't."
House opened him mouth, but Chase continued before he could say anything.
"And of course I know they're not true. I'm a doctor! I work in hospitals every day; I practically live in the hospital most of the time. But still I can't... I just can't, House!"
House blinked at the door. "Wait...you're telling me your father traumatized you as a child to make you scared to be a patient in the hospital?"
There was a brief moment of silence before Chase agreed. "Er..Yes, I guess."
"What exactly did he say to you?" House asked, feeling his anger start to rise.
"He told me these stories...about people going in to get their tonsils out and ending up in the wrong room, having their kidneys removed. There was a cancer patient, they gave him the wrong drug and he ended up a vegetable. I was 5. He was my father. He told me just to wait until he came home, that way we would never have to worry that someone would mess up. I know better now. I do. It's a phobia. It's illogical and silly and stupid but I can't do it House!"
House stared in disbelief. In all his evil, nasty days he'd never done, nor ever would do something like to any child, let alone his old 5-year-old son.
"House...? Are you still there?" Chase asked hesitantly.
House shook him self out of his plans to resurrect Rowan Chase and kick his ass all the way back to the grave. "Yeah I'm here Chase. Ok yeah I can see why you have issues, but you need medical attention, you need tests."
"No. I don't. I've had concussions before, it just takes a few days to shake them, that's all."
"The fact that you've had concussions before just proves that you need to be in the hospital. You don't just 'shake off' a head injury!"
House expected an argument. He closed his eyes as Chase simply said. "No. Please?"
"What if I promise I'll handle everything my self, I won't take my eyes off you, and no organs will go missing? I'll explain everything, and let you double check?"
"House we're talking 22 years of issues here...I even stopped letting my dad treat me when I was 16."
"And we're talking possible brain damage, or even intra-cranial bleeding here, Chase!"
He waited out another long stretch of silence.
"You promise nothing bad will happen?"
House was reminded of a scared kid. God, how did he get himself into these messes? "I promise. You're going to have to trust me on this one."
The lock clicked and the door slowly swung open. House looked at his intensivist, taking in the red eyes and the slightly bloodied lip where he had been chewing on it. Chase was fiddling with his name badge nervously, staring at his bare feet. "Ok." He whispered.
House grinned and hauled him self to his feet, with the help of his cane and the wall. "That's a good little minion! Now come eat. Wilson's cooking and I smell macadamia nut pancakes. I might even let you have some this time. Just aim toward Wilson if you start to feel queasy. He's wearing an ugly tie."
Chase laughed quietly and followed him down the hall.
Chase was practically vibrating as they entered the hospital. "It's ok. Everything will be fine. Just pretend this is any other day coming to work. Nothing special here!" Chase mumbled under his breath, choosing to ignore the worried looks House and Wilson were shooting him.
Chase gnawed on his thumbnail as they stepped onto the elevator and slowly rose.
Chase blinked, then shot House a confused look as the doors opened on their normal floor, Diagnostics.
"What? Would you be more comfortable in the ICU?"
Chase opened his mouth then shut it still confused. He shook his head, wide eyed and shrunk further back into the elevator.
House gave Chase a light shove forward, while he pulled out his keys to unlock his office. "We'll work from here. Even this early in the morning it might take a bit to get you space in the MRI and other tests."
Chase nodded, too nervous to really follow or understand anything at the moment.
House seemed to understand this and just guided Chase into the office and pointed to the couch. "Make your self comfy, Wilson go call Cuddy and let her know what we're doing, I'll call Foreman and Cameron."
Chase sat up straighter. "Why are you calling them?"
"Well let's see brain damage? Huh. Why would be need a Neurologist for that?" House snarked.
Chase curled back into the couch, looking hurt, and House mental groaned. Damn fragile wombats. "Wilson and I can't run all the tests our selves, Chase. We need help. Is there someone else you'd rather have?"
Chase mutely shook his head and just curled further into the corner of the couch.
Chase was back in House's office, now clad in a hospital gown and a pair of sweatpants, waiting for the results of his tests and nibbling the plastic of his id band. True to his word, House had walked him through every step, making sure he understood exactly what they were doing. Amazingly he had managed to do so in a way that seemed demeaning and patronizing, insuring that neither Cameron nor Foreman realized Chase was terrified.
Suddenly a pencil bounced off his head.
"Huh?" He looked up, jumping slightly as realized he was surrounded by his colleagues.
"Hey! Pay attention here, Blondie! We're talking about you. Good news is it looks like you're not going to keel over dead at any point in the near future."
Chase blinked then forced a laugh. "See? What did I tell you? I'm fine! Can I go home now?"
"Nope! You're not dying but you're brain's still pretty scrambled."
"Which means?" Chase asked suspiciously.
House smirked. "Which means you get to stay at my house till you stop acting freaky. Or rather you're back to your normal level of freaky British weirdness."
"That's what he chooses to argue about?"
"Err...well...yeah. Because I'm not British! I'm Australian. But really I shouldn't blame you poor, pathetic yanks for not being able to tell accents apart. It's like picking on the slow kid. Just not sporting."
"Oooh. Snark. Not going to help." House handed him a bottle of water.
Chase took it and sank back on the couch giving his best pout at his boss and co-workers. His sense of panic was mostly gone now that he knew he was okay, and the testing part was over. All he wanted now was his clothes back, and a ride home.
"Looking cute won't help you either." House said lightly, smirking.
"Bribery?" He asked.
House thought about it for a minute. Wilson shot him the Look again and House rolled his eyes. "Sorry nope."
Chase sighed dramatically. "I'm so abused."
House got a dark look in his eye for a moment then shook it off. "You can say that again bitch!"
Cameron gave him a shocked look then moved over to Chase's side. "Is there anything I can get you, Chase? I can't believe a patient threw you like that... You're lucky you didn't break your neck!"
Chase blushed. "Everyone knows, don't they?"
Foreman snorted. "What do you think, man? You know the gossip mill around here. Being a frequent gossiper doesn't save you from being the topic of gossip. I don't think there's a soul who didn't know about the whole thing within a hour of it happening."
Cameron patted him on the shoulder comfortingly. "All of the nurses down in NICU are asking about you."
Chase perked up slightly. "Really?"
House snickered. "See? He's feeling better already. He's trying to figure out how to mooch some sympathy sex out of it. As you're doctor it's my duty to ruin your fun. No rough contact sports for at least six weeks."
Chase glared at him.
House grinned. "Besides the only thing you need to be doing in bed is sleeping."
Chase scowled. "That's not what you said last night! You kept poking me the whole time!"
The blond blinked, and then turned red.
House collapsed across his desk howling, and Wilson leaned against the edge laughing into his hand while Cameron and Foreman looked at each other, wide eyed, before quickly mumbling their condolences and making a dash for the door.
Chase groaned and buried his head into the couch, wondering how long it would take for that to hit the gossip mill.
Chase poked his head slowly around the door jam, peeking into the bedroom. House was sprawled out on the bed, apparently napping in the patches of sunlight.
Chase had been at House's for little over a week, and they had settled in to a routine. Today was the first day neither had to go into work and that morning he had been grudgingly proclaimed 'mostly cured' by the older man. Neither of them had felt motivated to leave the couch though, so they had spent most of the morning watching cartoons.
Chase jumped slightly when House raised his head. "What're you doing lurking out there wombat?" he asked.
Chase stepped around the doorframe into the doorway, focusing his eyes on the large rat he was holding in his arms. He scratched Steve's stomach.
"I- erm... I just wanted to say. Thanks. If- if it weren't for you I probably would have been kept in the hospital, and had a total- you know- freak out. Or something. So uh. Um thanks. Thank you. For everything." Chase was clearly embarrassed despite his trying to hide his blush behind a fringe of blond hair.
"Oh don't think you can pull a fast one on me mister!"
Chase looked up startled and confused. "Huh?"
"I know what you're up to! You're just trying to sweet talk your way into the comfy bed!"
Chase turned even more brilliantly red. "I- I'm not! I'd never! I mean- "
House rolled his eyes and jerked his head. "Well come on then, but you get the drooly pillow!"
Still blushing Chase hesitated for a second then crawled into the bed next to House. Steve curled up on the pillow between them.
House smirked as Chase settled. "Can't wait to tell all your little fan girls at the hospital, that I can't get you out of my bed."
"Oh like that's not already floating all around the hospital after the other day!" Chase huffed. He grinned though. "They'll all still want me. Hell they'll want me more! Woman love gay men."
"Yeah but they don't sleep with them."
"I can claim to be bi."
"But they might want to see you with a guy. What are you going to do then?" House needled.
"... I'll tell them I just went through a horrible, depressing breakup with my boyfriend, and I need the comforting arms of a woman. Everyone knows you're mean to me anyway."
"So you're breaking up with me to get chicks?"
"Yep." Chase grinned.
"But we haven't even dated yet!" House pretended to sound outraged.
"If it helps, I'll always cherish the time we spent together."
House snickered. "Go to sleep, my gay little wombat."
Chase burrowed in deeper, laughing as Steve climbed on top of House's head to avoid getting squished. "I hate you."
He lifted it arm to push Steve back on the pillow and casually draped it over the younger man as he got comfortable.
"Sure you do." House said, not believing him in the least. As soon as Chase's eyes were safely closed he grinned, settling in for an afternoon nap.