Authors note: I do not own any of these characters. I'm just having fun!
Takes place somewhere in between Forever and No Reason. I got this idea while reading speculation in one of the House boards as to what happens when the fellowships end. This is how I picture it done.
She did this to him all the time, but for some reason House wasn't in the mood today. His leg hurt. Okay, it always hurt. He was just more irritable than usual. Nothing made him crankier than being ordered to Cuddy's office first thing in the morning. He didn't even get to harass the ducklings over morning coffee yet.
"You need to be a little more discrete with your booty calls." House told Cuddy as he entered her office. "If you wanted me that badly, you could have left me a private voice mail instead of leaving a message with Cameron. The kids are getting suspicious."
"Good morning to you too Dr. House." Cuddy was not at all phased by his unpleasant demeanor. "You have an urgent matter you have to deal with. I need performance reviews on your staff in writing by yesterday."
House plunked down in a chair and threw his arms up in the air. "Oh, come on, you can do better than that. At least you could have invented a sick patient or something to make it look important."
"This is very important," she said sternly.
"I have never done them before. Why should I start now? Must be consistent with my half-assed management skills." An annoyed House grabbed for his bottle of pills and popped a vicodin. He had one on the way in, but she pushed him into another.
"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago, if I remember the quote correctly. Nice try, but it won't work."
"Oh, you tease." House said with a fake laugh. "Your daddy must of been a drug dealer 'cause you're dope."
"One of your doctors isn't supposed to be working here anymore. While reviewing staff files I noticed Dr. Chase's fellowship expired two months ago. Luckily I was able to back date a 3 month extension, which gives all involved a few weeks to make some decisions."
House flashed fake look of surprise on his face. "It expired and he didn't tell me? Never trust an Aussie. Once a criminal always a criminal."
"A great point to bring up in his review. I want completed and detailed evaluations for your entire team on my desk in one week or I end up writing your review. Maybe I can make Chase your boss this time since we might have to find something for him."
"Why everyone? Why can't I only do Chase's? I should be able to sum up his entire performance in three words."
"Notice how I mentioned the word detailed? Use the standard form." Cuddy handed him a packet of papers. "Cameron's fellowship expires in four months and unlike Chase she might want a chance to plan her future. As for Foreman, we don't want him to feel left out."
"No problem. I'll have them done in no time." House changed his attitude to complete compliance. She was bothering him too much and he wanted out of there.
"No more arguments? Come on, you have to make this at least a little interesting. I have plenty more zingers to offer."
"Sorry to disappoint you. Apparently I have a lot of work to do." House got up to leave.
As House was leaving Cuddy advised, "You also have to setup one on one meetings to verbally go through the evaluations so they can ask questions. I have a feeling they are going to be rather blindsided. I need a signature from each one of them that they received and understood their review."
"Administrators and their power trips. I'm going to tell them to hate you when I'm done since I was forced into this." House quipped as he walked out the door.
"They know better!" Cuddy shouted back.
House ran into Wilson who saw him coming out of Cuddy's office.
"Another personal House call?" Wilson asked with a dead pan delivery. "No pun intended."
"I have a week to write performance evaluations for my staff." House glumly announced.
"Oh what a shame to actually telling the underlings that they might have some worth. I would think you would want to jump at the chance to cut them down to size. You know, the abuse of power complex that so gives you the will to live."
"What kind of a boss do you think I am? Breaking one's spirit through written words is so impersonal. I like verbal abuse much better. It is the best way to let them know I care." House then put his kidding aside to make a serious point. "No, this time what I say actually counts, for Chase anyway. His fellowship is up."
"I figured that ended a while ago and you took care of it. Hasn't he has been with you for over two years?" Wilson asked.
"Two years, 2 months, 3 days, 1 hour and 36 minutes." House said as he looked at his watch.
"You knew and didn't say anything to Cuddy or Chase? Maybe a comment like, 'Oh, let's figure out your future role before it's too late so you don't get gouged thousands for that last minute fare back to Australia?"
"He'd never go back home. If the government can't kick out the millions of illegal farm workers and housekeepers that don't speak our language and consume all our resources, they aren't going to toss a hot young doctor with gorgeous eyes and a puppy dog look. The down under accent really drives them wild."
"Why must you review Foreman and Cameron?" Wilson asked.
"Probably because I haven't done reviews since they have worked for me. You know, been busy." House answered in the 'can't be bothered with the trivial stuff' tone.
"Yeah, important doctor stuff, circle of life thing, right? Heard it before."
"Remind me to taunt you needlessly when you have to review your staff. Now go away, I have too much work to do."
"Cameron, I need you to write up a summary on what kind of doctors you think Chase and Foreman are," House instructed as he entered his office. "Give or take 500 words for each. Also, write a comment about yourself while you are at it."
"Cuddy already told us about the evaluations. She figured you would try that." Cameron quickly rebuked. "What's so hard about writing down all the insults you give us on a daily basis? Forget how to type?"
"Trust me you don't want to get a review from me. I'll make you cry."
"I need some sort of input on my job performance. Maybe some validation for getting out of bed each morning." Cameron argued.
"Patients not dying should be your best clue. You don't need anymore than that."
Chase and Foreman walked into the office listening to the words House and Cameron were sharing.
"Foreman, you are a realist. Tell her that if the patients are happy, I'm happy."
"House, you are never happy." Foreman replied. "I want my review too."
"Come on Chase, if there was ever a time to suck up it would be now."
"I'm damned if I do, so I'll just stay quiet." Chase replied squeamishly.
"Okay, since you are going to be such a martyr, you get my clinic hours today while I try to write these damn reviews." House said pointing to Chase. "Make sure you treat the patients well or it will be reflected in your evaluation. Speaking of which, this week I will accept any bribes and tokens of generosity. I assure that any act will not go unkindly."
The ducklings all looked at him with disdain and walked off. Apparently House wasn't going to get any favors from them today.
"We need to compare notes." Cameron suggested to Foreman and Chase as they gathered in the conference room.
"Are you crazy? Performance reviews were meant to be confidential." Chase protested.
"What's the matter Chase, you afraid of showing us what House thinks of you?" Foreman joined Cameron in her prodding.
"No, okay yes. I take enough abuse from him in front of both of you. I don't need a scathing written review to add to the already believed perception that I'm a complete incompetent."
"Oh come on Chase, we are a team." Cameron was amused by his fear. "We need to boost each other up when House kicks us down."
"Don't give me that." Chase was surprised by such a naïve statement. "You are just looking for personal information to gossip about. Since when have we ever used comments from House to boost one another?"
"I think you have something to hide." Cameron said with a wicked smile. "What say Foreman, you in?"
"Sure, I'm not afraid of revealing anything House has to say."
"You can't be serious!" Chase uttered in his thick Australian accent. "You really want to do this?"
"Come on Chase, you are the only stick in the mud." Cameron teased.
Chase looked at them both. "Oh, what the bloody hell. It won't matter once House's comments force me to beg other hospitals for work."
"It can't be that bad." Foreman thought he was being overly dramatic.
"Yes it can. My fellowship ended two months ago."
"That wasn't extended or taken care of?" Cameron was rather shocked. "They just let you continue?"
"I'm sure it was an oversight, which is why this is happening now. Cuddy probably figured it out." Chase replied in speculation.
Foreman started to laugh and slapped Chase on the shoulder. "Oh boy, you are in trouble. I think showing us your review is the least of your worries."
Cameron and Foreman walked away, leaving Chase to quietly agree with that statement. He was in deep trouble.