A/N: Hello everyone. I'm honestly very surprised to find myself back here. I didn't think I would be writing another fanfic so soon. I had my doubts that I would do another House fic, but low and behold - here I am. I thank you all for the reviews for Just Like Sunny Days We Ignore and I sincerely hope that you enjoy this one as well. This plot bunny showed up a few days ago and I chased it around the house for quite some time before slamming it onto a keyboard and dissecting it into parts. D It was a long, bloody process, but here it is. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own House M.D. or any characters/products in association with said series. If you decide to sue me, you'll find yourself in the possession of a lot of bird food and perhaps several used tissues…
Song is Walter Reed, by Michael Penn
… … … … … … …
Count the cases piled up high
For the one-fifteen
The platform meant for passerby
It's the same routine
Gregory House was not a happy man right now. However, many would swear in court that he was never a happy man.
His beautiful bike, his one true love, had failed to start not five minutes ago, thus foiling his escape plan. He stalked down the hallway, eyes prowling from left to right as he peered through the glass walls for a potential victim to mooch off of.
He knew that two out of three of his ducklings had gone home for the night and he would bet anything that it was Chase who was still haunting the halls of PPTH. His loyalty to the ICU kept him on a short leash.
He continued searching relentlessly.
… … … … … … … …
Robert Chase had reached exhaustion and gone far beyond it tonight. He stumbled around the conference room in a drunken stupor, snatching his messenger bag off the coat rack and slinging it over his aching shoulders.
He grabbed his incomplete crossword from that morning and stuffed it into his bag. He straightened up and was turning when a familiarly grating voice penetrated both sleep fog and glass wall.
Chase rolled his eyes heavenward and sighed, catching sight of the older man out in the hallway.
"House," he called through the glass. "I'm going home. My shift is over. No exceptions."
The diagnostician pushed the door open and leaned his upper body into the room.
"My bike won't start. You're taking me home."
"Make Wilson do it. I'm too tired for pit stops."
"Wilson went home early to pretend that his wife is speaking to him. Now let's go home, Alfred."
The utterly lost expression that pasted itself onto the Aussie's face told House all he needed to know.
"You never watched Batman as a kid, did you?"
"I preferred Boomerang cartoons."
"Typical. Homeward, James!"
The Intensivist conceded defeat and led the way to the elevator. House smiled triumphantly as the doors slid closed and leaned back against the wall, twirling his cane, barely avoiding smacking the young Aussie in the head.
They reached the ground level and stepped out of the hospital into a biting and snow covered evening.
The blonde pulled his coat tighter around himself and motioned for House to follow. The older man did so, noticing the Aussie's ill hidden attempts at controlling his shivers.
"You're a pansy. You've lived here how long and you still haven't gotten used to winter?"
Chase threw him a long suffering look and fished his car keys out of his pocket, jamming them into the lock hastily and jumping into the driver's seat. He leaned over the passenger side and opened the door for House. The other man settled himself in and grinned at his fellow.
"Couldn't afford a technologically advanced automobile?"
The Aussie glared and started the car, pulling out of the parking lot and onto the main street.
"Not very chatty this evening, are we, Robert?"
Chase glanced at House from the corner of his eye.
"House, I'm cold, I'm tired, and I just want to go home. Now where do you live?"
"Ah, cranky too. Turn here."
It was quiet for a few minutes before House went back to aggravating his youngest duckling.
"You should be wearing your seatbelt, young man."
Chase turned to glare at his passenger.
"I am more than capable of taking care of myself, thank you. And you're not wearing yours, either."
The older man huffed and strapped his belt on, clicking it into place.
"Happy? Now it's your turn."
Chase rolled his eyes and reached for the strap, hair falling into his eyes as his head turned from the road. He had the belt in his right hand, pulling it down to secure it, eyes having returned to looking out the windshield when a car came screeching into his lane from the left.
The young Intensivist yanked the wheel to the right, swerving to avoid a collision. His car hydroplaned wildly on the slick road and he could hear House's blatant insults flying about faster than he had ever heard them, but he was focused on trying to keep all four wheels on the asphalt.
The car that had driven into his lane was skidding next to him, swerving uncontrollably until it finally nose dived into the driver's side of Chase's car. The Aussie distantly felt the door press into his side, but was further distracted as he realized that his car was actually rolling now. And downhill, of all things.
House felt his head impact with the window and pain lanced through his skull as the automobile continued its unscheduled trip down a snowy incline, finally landing upside down in a shallow body of water.
The diagnostician sat for a long moment, blinking repeatedly and thanking God that he'd put his seatbelt on before --
His eyes snapped open wide and a lump colder than the icy water surrounding the car settled in his stomach.
He looked to his left, where Chase should have been hanging upside down in the driver's seat, but the blonde Aussie was curiously absent.
He whipped his head around, the movement sending spikes of pain through his temples, but he was far more occupied with finding his desperately missing fellow.
His eyes landed on a lump of clothing and a shock of golden hair in the back of the car. The young Intensivist's body was flung haphazardly across the ceiling. The boy was on his stomach, one arm stretched out by his head while the other was trapped under his chest. His eyes were closed.
"Chase! Wake up!"
The Aussie didn't respond and House cursed several times, yanking his seatbelt off and letting himself fall onto the roof with a thump. His leg ached fiercely as he crawled into the back, making his way over to the prone side of his youngest duckling.
He pressed two fingers into the young man's throat and breathed an audible sigh of relief when he felt an erratically slow pulse. He resisted the urge to move the blonde, but he felt along the boy's spinal cord for any breaks. So far, so good.
A weak, muffled noise caught his attention and he looked back to Chase's face. Two blue-green eyes glittered under half opened eyelids.
"Stop…poking me," the Aussie mumbled.
House scooted back a little and propped himself against the side of the car.
"Just making sure you haven't been irreversibly maimed. 'Wouldn't want another me wandering the halls of PPTH, now would we?"
"God forbid," Chase's accent was heavy and slurred, but he continued.
"Did you happen to make it…out unscathed, safety man?"
House snorted and brought a hand to his head, massaging his temples gently.
"Why would you think that?"
There was a stretch of silence and House wondered if his underling had passed out when the blonde spoke up again.
"Because evil people tend to make it out of bad situations with little to no harm."
"You hush. I'm a saint. Now let's see about getting out of here - unless, of course, you're that attached to this piece of junk."
"American car…not my fault."
"Everything's your fault. I bet you're the one who rammed the Titanic into that iceberg. Can you move?"
He was rewarded with a mildly steady middle finger.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'."
Chase grunted an affirmative and began to shift. His face contorted in a grimace and he hissed through his teeth, which were tinged red.
"Uh oh," House sing songed. "Looks like someone might have punctured a lung. Good thing there's an Intensivist nearby."
Chase shot him a dark glare as he pushed himself up into a sitting position, face pale and pinched. He felt along his ribs tenderly and winced several times before sighing and looking back up at House.
"Two broken, one possible fracture."
"And the puncture?"
The Aussie shrugged in indifference. House raised and eyebrow.
"Chase, as much as I'd like to see you drown in your own blood, you should probably show a little more concern. Maybe even take some sort of action to, oh say…prevent yourself from dying in a car with your employer."
"It's superficial. I'll be fine."
"You could be chasing your own head down a hill and you'd tell me you were fine."
The blonde waved his hand dismissively and House pinched the bridge of his nose. He crawled over to one of the windows and tried to roll it down so that they could get out. The glass slid down and a stream of water crept into the car. Chase, who had begun to drift into a daze, gasped as the frigid liquid soaked into his pants. The window rolled down less than halfway until it stopped. House jerked the handle, but it wouldn't budge.
"All of them are like that," Chase told him sullenly.
House turned to him in disbelief.
Chase shrugged helplessly. "It's an old car."
"It's a death trap!"
The Aussie cringed. Neither one of them would make it through the tiny space and House couldn't kick out the glass. Chase doubted very much that he could muster enough strength to do so, either. The driver's side door wasn't even an option, as it had been crushed in.
"Try the passenger's side door," House suggested.
Chase dragged himself painfully to the front of the car and yanked on the handle of the door, pushing against it at the same time. He bit down a groan.
"No good," he stated.
"Death trap!" House called back.
It was a two door car. They were screwed.
To Be Continued
Strengthen limp hands. Steady weak knees. Tell those who are terrified, "Be brave; don't be afraid. Your God will come with a vengeance, with divine revenge. He will come and rescue you. -- Isaiah 35:3-4