Dislaimer: I don't own 'House M.D.' or any of the characters. The song "Behind Blue Eyes" is by The Who... not me.
Prompt: 68. "Dancing is silent poetry." - Simonides (556-468 BC) Chase is/was a dancer. And someone finds out about it.
One puzzle. Ten Symptoms. One disease. No cure. Three deaths.
That had been the past week for the diagnostics team at PPTH. Three patients had arrived with the same symptoms within a few hours of each other. Each patient with different backgrounds and nothing in common except for the symptoms. All three had died… one after another.
House was still recovering from being shot and, though he wasn't supposed to have any excitement or stress, he insisted on being part of the diagnosis that never came. When the puzzle went unsolved, his heart rate shot through the roof and he threw his can across the room, tearing his stitches and having to go back into surgery.
Chase was the duckling who was there to inform House of the eventual deaths, which turned out to be a work of fate. As an intensives, Chase was best prepared to deal with saving the life of his boss once again. Afterwards, he was comforted slightly by a warm hand on his shoulder.
Doctor James Wilson was the best friend of House and Chase felt he should have been the one assuring Wilson, but there they'd stood, the older man with one hand squeezing Chase's shoulder.
Two words and Chase realized how tired he was. He'd been at the hospital for over 48 hours straight and between the failed cases and taking care of House, he was spent. Foreman and Cameron had left as soon as the news of the deaths was delivered tactfully to the families.
Chase nodded wearily and let Wilson shove him in the direction of the locker room. He waved off the older man and then shed the sticky layer that distinguished him as a doctor amongst the patients.
Before he realized it, he was standing in an elevator in his apartment building and it was taking him to the top floor where he lived. He was lucky to have the whole top floor to himself as it meant there were less disturbances by any pesky neighbors.
The elevator dinged as it came to a stop and Chase exited, fumbling for his key and then falling into his home. He dropped his bag on the nearest piece of furniture and flopped onto his comfy couch. He sank in and was enveloped by the squishy cushions.
As he sat there he realized that, while his minds was exhausted and his emotions were raw, his body still felt restless and jittery. He was too tired and his body was over compensating by not letting him relax at all.
Fortunately, his body knew the cure before his mind could catch up and he found himself heading to the bedroom and changing into an old pair of loose, ankle-less gray pants and a white wife beater. Dance shoes in hand, he walked to the largest room in his flat. Hardwood floor, practice barre, and one mirrored wall made up his private studio.
James Wilson sat at the bedside of his friend, Greg House, until the man finally woke up and mumbled for him to go home. Apparently, he was starting to smell bad and could only come back after he took a shower, fed Steve McQueen, and had a rest.
When Wilson saw Chase come out of the locker room earlier, he seemed like he was strictly on autopilot and barely aware of his surroundings. He decided that he would stop at the young man's place and check up on him before he stopped by House's and then finally headed home.
It wasn't a long drive. Chase lived fairly close to the PPTH campus so that he could be there quickly during an emergency. Wilson had only been to Chase's place a couple of times and it was only to bring Chase's mail inside when he went back to Australia for a memorial in honor of his dead father. Wilson had never taken the opportunity to take a look around, but he had been impressed with what he'd seen.
Wilson let the elevator take him to the top and was surprised to find the door to Chase's apartment ajar. It looked as if Chase just didn't use enough energy to shut it and didn't notice. He knocked politely anyway. There was no answer, but he heard the faint notes of music .
Flowing classical music like what he would sometimes hear coming from House's apartment on nights he relieved his stress by letting his fingers glide over the ivory keys.
"Chase?" He called out. No answer again, so he let himself in. He looked around the familiar open space, taking in the light hardwood floor with a sunburst inlay at the center of the room, the pale yellow walls, and the uncluttered but cozy furniture. There was a tan wrap around couch with a white coffee table facing the biggest window in the flat and Wilson could see the sunset from where he stood by the door. To the left, he could see the kitchen, but straight ahead was a small hallway that he hadn't ventured down when he was bringing in the mail. The music seemed to be coming from there.
Wilson followed the music, letting himself get caught up in the melody. He found himself at a door and he quietly opened it without hesitation.
He was slightly surprised but touched when he saw Chase in the dance studio that took up most of the floor the apartment sat in. The young man was in moveable, breathable dance clothes that showed off the muscles on his lean frame.
He was twisting, spinning, jumping in a dance that took the breath from Wilson's lungs. Chase spun on one foot as the other pumped in the air, he pulled out and bent his back while his arms swayed over and around his head. There were so many different movements and leaps that Wilson didn't know the name of and would never be able to perform himself. He'd always teased his younger cousin when he would drive her to her ballet classes as a kid and he'd never seen anyone but little kids perform. He never saw the dance for the real beauty that it was. He had to admit, Chase's dancing was beautiful to watch.
Chase had taken in the dance studio and began with stretches and barre exercises before he put on some music, scraped his shoed feet in a tray of rosin, and started to dance.
At first, the moves and combinations came mechanically, the names repeating themselves in his mind like a vocabulary lesson.
2, 3, 4, jeté, glissade, pull out and step, rond du jambe, and assemble… But as the music played, his body got back into the rhythm and his mind was carefree and empty finally. His body knew what it wanted to do and he let it move and glide of it's own will.
The music surrounded him, crept inside him, embedded itself in his soul and pulled out each combination and dance step. The music, the dance was all that mattered. Patients and medicine forgotten, House's brush with death forgotten.
The song took on a slow, mournful tone and gently died down, taking chase with it. One last arabesque and a gentle fondu, he melted into a demi plié.
The clapping caught him by surprise and he lost his balance, falling with a thud.
"Doctor Wilson! I didn't know you were-- wait, how'd you get in?"
Wilson laughed softly as he strode across the floor. Chase cringed inwardly at the thought of street shoes touching his precious floor, but refrained from complaining.
"Your door was open. You seemed out of sorts when you left, so I just thought I'd check u on you before stopping at House's place on my way home." Wilson explained as he held his hand out to pull Chase up. Chase took the offered hand and stood up.
"I didn't know you danced." Wilson said. Chase blushed furiously, the heat making it's way from his cheeks down his neck.
"Oh… nobody does. It'd be one more thing for House to rag on me about. Ballet is a poufter activity, my father always told me."
"You're very good."
"Thanks." Chase ducked his head with embarrassment from the compliment. He made as if to leave the large room, but was stopped by Wilson.
"Would you show me another dance?"
"I don't… I haven't actually danced for anyone but myself since I was a teenager."
"Oh, if it makes you uncomfortable, you don't have-"
"No, it's not that. I'm just… not as good anymore. I don't practice as much as I should and I'm out of shape…" Chase trailed off as Wilson just smiled.
"Not from what I saw. It was really beautiful. Please?" Wilson asked again. Chase relented and gave a reluctant nod. He had an idea of which song to play anyway. He stepped quietly over to the stereo and picked a CD from the large collection he had in the shelves on the side wall as Wilson walked to a spot next to the mirrored wall.
Wilson watched the young man push 'play' and slowly walk back to the center. He could tell by the slight quirk of Chase's mouth that Wilson's face showed obvious surprise as he recognized the familiar notes creeping out of the speakers.
Chase's movements were slow and mournful from the first lyrics.
"No one knows what it's like to be the bad man… to be the sad man… behind blue eyes…"
He watched as Chase swayed and moved with the rhythm of the guitar and with the emotion of the words. Slow turns, bending of limbs that seemed impossible, practically floating from one spot to another… each beat and pulse getting stronger and more forceful. Watching Chase dance now was like listening to House play his piano along with the same song when he blared it from the stereo. They both let out such emotion that one couldn't help but get caught up in the performance.
Chase kept an eye on his audience as he went through the moves, the choreography burned into his brain and memorized by his body. Only a few differences, but most the same as every other time he danced to this song. From the expression he saw on Wilson's face, Chase figured that he knew what the song represented.
As the song moved into the next verse, he let himself get lost in the movement and almost forgot that he wasn't alone. His steps were deliberate and determined.
"No one knows what it's like to feel these feelings like I do… and I blame you."
The moves kept flowing and the verse kept going. Chase became aware of his surroundings again as he brought himself back to the present and decided to make some changes in the next part of the choreography.
"But my dreams, they aren't as empty as my conscience seems to be. I have hours only lonely. My love is vengeance that's never free…"
As the word 'free' hung in the air, Chase let go with a combination of pirouettes and fouettes. It was so freeing for him and was also a crowd pleaser. When the note ended and the drums popped, he pushed into a circle of tour jetés. He pushed harder, faster, higher as the music continued to crescendo. Tombé, chassé pas de bourrée, glissade, grand jeté…
Wilson was amazed at how involved he felt while just watching the other man dance. He felt what Chase was trying to get across and wished he could join in. The need to move almost overpowered him, but he stood still and let his head nod to the beat until the hard drums faded away and the music slowed down again.
The last verse ended and the song died out. Chase ended the dance with a twisted pose and his eyes to the floor. It was silent for a moment as Wilson stood in awe. He only broke from the trance once Chase broke the pose and grabbed a small towel that was hanging over the barre behind him. He dabbed his face and draped it over his shoulder.
"So… that was amazing. It's… well, it's about House." Wilson acknowledged. Chase nodded shyly.
"Yeah, well… don't read too much into it. There's one for everyone who plays a big part in my life. Cameron, Foreman, you…"
"What's my song?"
"Eh… maybe someday, but I'm not telling you today." Chase smiled. He stepped by Wilson and plodded towards the door, pausing to slip his dance shoes off before exiting the room. Wilson followed the younger man and noticed that his walk was a little different from most people. His feet faced outward almost as if stuck in ballet's first position. He found the corners of his mouth quirking up into a hint of a smile. Chase had a ballet dancer's walk.
"Thanks for letting me see that. I guess I should be on my way though. I need to stop and feed House's rat or he'll kill me."
Chase laughed and nodded, feeling more relaxed than he'd felt in ages. He attributed it to the small high of having even a one person audience for a small bit.
As the two men walked out to the main part of the flat, Chase turned to Wilson.
"I guess I'll see you tomorrow then."
"No, if I remember correctly… tomorrow and the next are your two days off." Wilson frowned, a little twinkle in his eye. He reached for the door handle.
"Right." Chase nodded. He smiled as Wilson took a step out the door. They both knew they'd see each other tomorrow anyway. Neither of them would stay away from the hospital as long as House was still stuck in that hospital bed.
The next day, Wilson was back at the hospital visiting House whenever he wasn't with a patient. It wasn't until noon that his mother hen nature sent House over the edge. Wilson was kicked out and told he could only return to the room after at least an hour and only if he came bearing gifts that contained lots of sugar.
He decided to get himself a meal from the cafeteria before attempting to return to House's room, but was distracted as he exited from the elevator. Out of the corner of his eyes, he spotted a familiar mop of blond hair standing by the nurse's station.
Wilson risked a quick glance at the man who was in a doctor's coat and clearly not taking his day off work. He smiled to himself as he realized what he was looking for when he saw it. Chase was standing, relaxed, in first position.
Turning away and grinning to himself, Wilson decided he's stop by again that night and try to find out his song.