Author's Notes: Yes, yes… I know I've left this story a little neglected. But let's just say that the story-line has hit a touch too close to home. (i.e.—my Dad. He's in good shape and doing just fine now, though, thankfully)

Anyway, maybe this story will help me with a few mental and emotional blocks.

Now, onto the newest chapter


Chapter 4 The Date

"Have you COMPLETELY lost your mind?!" Wilson shouted as he watched House pick out a shirt for the evening.

"It's dinner and monster trucks. Hardly a romantic evening," House countered as he pulled on his favorite Rolling Stones shirt and grabbed a denim jacket. "Besides, she's 18. She's an adult and capable of making her own decisions."

"House, you're dating a patient!" Wilson said, stepping in House's way so he couldn't go out the door. "What is this going to accomplish?" Wilson asked, deflating a little. "She dies a little happier and you become more miserable. Just tell me if it's really worth the misery."

House said nothing, but used his cane to push Wilson out of the way before leaving the apartment.


Nica was grinning as she and House left the monster truck arena that night. "Okay, that was BEYOND awesome!" She exclaimed. "I have always thought monster trucks were cool on TV, but I've never seen anything like that."

"Gravedigger never disappoints," House said as the two walked towards the corvette. After a moment or two, House noticed that Nica was lagging a bit and when he paused to let her catch up he noticed that she was limping a little. "You okay?"

"Leg cramp," Nica replied, succinctly.

"Unfortunately a common problem after a leg clot," House said as he unlocked the car.

Once the both of them were in the car, Nica pulled her backpack up from the back seat and pulled her sweatshirt off revealing a silk camisole top before opening the backpack up and pulling out a blouse. Once she'd pulled the blouse on and buttoned it up, she wiggled out of her jeans and pulled on an ankle length skirt. Looking at House after checking her hair, she smiled. "Shall we go to dinner?"

"Do you always change clothes in the car?" House asked, trying to get the image of Nica's silk underwear out of his mind. The girl was barely 18 for chrissakes!

"Sometimes," Nica replied as she pulled out a necklace and pulled it over her neck. "I told you. If you survive cancer, you're pretty much excused from any kind of behavior. You seriously wouldn't believe the crap people have let me get away with the past two years."

"Stuff other than going out with a 43-year-old man?" House asked as he started the car.

"True, this is a list-topper," Nica said as they headed to House's favorite Italian restaurant. "But my parents aren't much with the rules anymore."

A wistful tone made House think. "And you want rules?"

"I want my parents to realize that I'm not going to suddenly drop dead. They need to lighten up and just treat me like a normal person. I want to be defined by the fact that I'm cool and insane, not by my recovery from a near-fatal disease."