Title: You Leave Me Breathless
Summary: Chase hasn't shown up for his first day of work since his suspension ended. House is interested in exactly what is wrong. And when House is interested in something, or somebody, that somebody is not going to escape from him.
Time Frame: Between 'The Mistake' and 'Deception'
Author's Note: ...feel free to hit me now. Yes, I'm a lazy bitch. And I had writer's block. Two quick points about this chapter. One: I'm not sure how much it would cost to buy lunch for two at a hospital canteen. I guessed at fifteen dollars, but please correct me if I'm wrong. Two: This is the comic relief chapter, I suppose. Wilson used as comic relief - bizarre.
Disclaimer: Be forewarned of boy/boy. Sorry if it offends you, but I just can't help myself. Also, I do not have any ownership of House nor do I have permission to use the characters. I'm just doing it anyway, but I'm not profiting, so it all evens out. Thank you.
Wilson is already in the queue when House reaches the cafeteria. House does what he does best in these situations; he limps over as quickly as physically possible and cuts in line in front of his friend, who closes his eyes briefly and takes a very deep breath but doesn't say a word. House sticks out his lower lip and arranges his features into a pathetic expression vaguely reminiscent of a puppy.
Wilson says, "I'm not saying anything."
"But you just said something."
"Your logic is flawless."
There's a short but not uncomfortable lull in the conversation, silence broken only by background babble and the sound of trays scraping along the surface. Then Wilson speaks.
"So how's your patient?"
"Signing illiterately and on a ventilator. How are the little bald dying kids?" House shoots back.
"Well, actually, I meant your other patient. The one who isn't Chase."
"Little Miss Bleeding-From-Every-Orifice? Dengue hemorrhagic fever. She'll be fine," House says without sounding very interested. "Chase, on the other hand..."
He trails off, not keen on the idea of Chase dying on him. After all, it would seriously put new fellows off.
"Previous position holder died under team's care."
And... well, stuff. Wilson, seeming to almost sense his mood, makes a dismissive noise.
"Chase is gonna be fine," he says reassuringly. "Unlike you, when he finds out you kissed him."
"In my defence, it was the Kiss of Life," House observes. "And he knows."
House doesn't answer immediately, as he's rather distracted by pushing his tray as close to the tray of the person in front as possible. The doctor glares at him, pushing her glasses up her nose, before turning away to pay for her lunch. He gives her back a look of would-be innocence.
"I told him. More importantly, how do you know?"
"The nurses told me."
"And how do the nurses know?" House persists.
"They were told by Beaver Woman from the ER. Honestly, House, Beaver Woman?"
"It was the teeth! How could you not see it?"
The cafeteria worker on the cash register invades the conversation with a cheery:
"Together or separate?"
"Together," House chips in before Wilson has a chance to open his mouth. Wilson, for his part, looks exasperated as his irascible friend gives him an unreadable look and limps off to find a table, glowing with triumph. Fifteen dollars later, Wilson joins him.
Concentrating on his reuben, House says, "So. What are the rumours saying, O Lord of the Gossip?"
Wilson affects an overly dramatic tone.
" 'That cute British doc just passed out in the ER! And that Doctor House just took advantage, using mouth-to-mouth as an excuse to molest that poor kid' - incidentally, these nurses were younger than him - 'and he only stopped when Doctor Cuddy came' - oh grow up!"
House had snorted with laughter around a mouthful of sandwich, but his expression is now one of the complete and utter innocence. Wilson does not look convinced.
"Well anyway, you're universally condemned as a lecher and a perv," he finishes, somewhat put-out.
House swallows and is about to make some sarcastic remark when his pager starts to beep like crazy. Damn, right in the middle of lunch. Deciding that he'd have to kill somebody with a plastic fork if it was Cuddy telling him to go to clinic, he gropes for his pager and pulls the infernal thing off his belt.
'Shani Jordan. Code Blue.'
"What is it?" Wilson asks concernedly, then adds in a more jovial tone, "Or are you faking a page to escape the conversation again?"
"Little Miss Bleeding-From-Every-Orifice is dying," House replies.
He stands up and limps at record speed for the elevator.