NB:Set directly after "The Mistake"He that conceals his grief finds no remedy for it
"Chase?" Foreman hammered on the door again. "Chase, open the damn door or I will." There was still silence within the apartment. With a shake of his head, cursing bloody minded doctors in general and limping maniacs in particular, Foreman pulled out his wallet. Before he could apply the store card to the lock, there was a click and the door opened a fraction.
"Sod off, Foreman."
"Good to see you too. You gonna let me in? Cos I can keep knocking all day."
Chase groaned, but Foreman heard the chain rattle and footsteps retreating back into the apartment. Taking it as a concession, if not exactly an invitation, he pushed the door open and followed.
"Like what you've done with the place," he said. The walls were covered with posters and pictures, mostly Australian scenes of sun and surf. There were some dishes piled in the sink and the obvious remains of breakfast on the dining table, but nothing too personal anywhere and, noticeably, no family photos.
Chase himself had dropped onto the sofa and flicked the TV on with one hand, reaching for a mug of coffee with the other, pointedly ignoring Foreman.
"You've just been sitting there for two days?"
"I'm on suspension, remember? What else am I supposed to do?"
"I don't know." Foreman shrugged. "I've never been suspended."
"Lucky you." Chase took another mouthful of coffee and flicked to another channel. Not put off, and remembering the earful he'd gotten from House, Foreman turned a chair round and sat, watching the other man.
"I thought you might have gone home," he said after a moment.
"Chase, your dad died."
Chase dropped his jaw in mock surprise. "Gee, thanks for letting me know. Wait, isn't that how I ended up here in the first place?"
"You didn't get to go to the funeral."
"So there's no point in going now, is there?" Chase turned his head at last. "Why are you here, Foreman?"
"Wish I knew," Foreman muttered, raising his eyes to the ceiling. "House asked me to check on you."
"Because he's the caring, compassionate sort," Chase said, draining the last of his coffee and pushing himself off the sofa. "I've noticed that. And doesn't he work for you now?"
"Actually, he said something about not wanting to have to do yet another round of pointless interviews when he gets his job back." He'd also made comments about Chase's personal hygiene and intelligence levels, as well as telling Foreman to look out for empty bottles. There were none on show, and Chase must have caught him looking around, because he stopped halfway to the kitchenette.
"I haven't been drowning my sorrows, if that's what he's worried about."
"Wouldn't blame you if you did."
"I don't drink on my own." Chase dropped the mug in the sink and started running water.
Foreman shrugged. "Then what are you doing?" When he got no answer, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out the envelope House had given him, laying it in the centre of the table.
"What's that?" Chase asked.
"No idea, unless you think doctors get bonuses for negligence nowadays."
Scowling, Chase turned off the water and came over, hesitating before picking up the envelope. "House sent this?"
"Maybe it's a really late Christmas card." Foreman tried to sound nonchalant, knowing he wasn't doing a very good job of it, even if he did manage to resist the urge to lean forwards as Chase opened the envelope.
"It's a plane ticket." Chase sounded confused.
"He's firing you and this is his way of letting you know?"
"There's a memorial service on Sunday, for Dad. He's telling me to be there."
"That would be House's way of sending you that message, I guess."
"There's also this." Chase turned the ticket folder round so that Foreman could see. On the front, in House's emphatically illegible handwriting, was a date, time and the name of a church, then two words, in large capitals. BE THERE.
"I guess that told you," Foreman said as Chase sank into the chair opposite, still staring dumbly at the ticket. "You going to go?"
"Huh?" Chase ran a hand through his hair. "I guess so."
When he still didn't move, Foreman rolled his eyes and got out of his chair. The apartment was small, and he found the bedroom easily. After a moment's hunting, he found a holdall and had started going through the piles of clothes strewn about the room when Chase appeared in the doorway.
"What are you doing?"
"Man, you seriously need a personal shopper," Foreman said as he picked one of Chase's appalling ties off the back of the bedroom chair. "For now, you'll have to settle for a personal packer." He pulled a couple of shirts out of the wardrobe and began folding them. "Do you even own a black tie?"
Surprised into an answer, Chase shook his head.
"Well," said Foreman, "you can probably get one at the airport. What time's the flight?" When Chase looked at him blankly, Foreman gestured to the tickets. Chase looked at them as though seeing them for the first time, then he gave himself a slight shake and opened the wallet.
"Six o'clock tonight. Look, I don't think-"
"I'll drive you to the airport. We've got hours yet."
"I don't even-"
"You're going." Foreman dropped the bag onto bed. "If House says you're going, you're going."
"Because you always do what he tells you."
"No, because he's right." Foreman held Chase's eye for a long moment. Eventually Chase looked away, dropping his gaze back to the ticket in his hand. "And because he sprang you your ticket," Foreman went on. "This is the man who won't even buy his own lunch. And because you have two weeks of suspension to get through, and you may as well spend it there as here."
Chase gave in. "I'll do the bathroom," he said.
Ten days later, Foreman was leaning against his car, watching the airport exit and drumming his fingers on the hood. He waved as he saw Chase come out, then got in and started the engine.
"Good trip?" he asked Chase once they were stuck in the everlasting traffic jam out of the airport.
"Perfect." Chase put his head back, closing his eyes. "Weeping relatives, long rambling speeches about what a wonderful man he was, grateful patients. Every vacation should be like that."
Foreman snorted. "House said I should take you straight back to work. Recommended it as a good way of getting over jet lag."
Chase's eyes snapped open in genuine alarm. "You're not going to, are you? Cos I can always get out and walk."
"Don't panic," Foreman said. "We'll go back to yours."
"Actually," Chase said thoughtfully, "I wouldn't mind dropping by the hospital, just long enough to do something really nasty to House."
"Nasty?" Foreman was confused. "He sends you a plane ticket so that you can get to your father's memorial service and you want to do something nasty to him?"
"Really nasty. Nastier." Chase shook his head, leaning back and closing his eyes again. "It was only a one way ticket."