a/n: I was never ever going to do a sequel of the House Assessment/ Adverse Conditions/No matter series until Tuesday night's episode when someone pointed out to me that record keeping wise that this season Cameron has been the primary doc on six patients, Foreman six, and Chase one. I got this idea of what happened if the Tritter mess happened during this alternate scenario that these fics created in which Chase is a diagnostic attending trying to handle everything thrown at him. This will be season three Chase, confident and not afraid to stand up to House, and he gets to be a mentor to a young intern.
So, if anyone hasn't read any of the above stories, I recommend the House Assessment. It isn't that long, it is funny, easy to read, and it will explain how Chase became a diagnostic attending. I think Adverse Conditions and No Matter are decent, but they are much lengthier so below is the synopsis that you will need to know for this fic if you don't want to read them.
Chase was promoted to diagnostic attending and required to run cases by himself often at the same time House had his own cases. Cameron's fellowship expired six months later and she moved onto a Specialist of Diagnostic Immunology position in another department. Foreman got his own research grant in brain stimulation studies and left the same time Cameron did. Chase was asked out on a date by an ICU nurse named Natalie. House was back from the shooting so this story takes place a few months later around the time of Finding Judas.
This one is dedicated to merlin71/clarkangel. I hope it cheers you up!
Chapter 1 – No Worries
"What the hell happened to you?"
Chase knew that Natalie would panic the second she saw him; the second she saw that large and bulging purple mark on his jaw line. He should feel pleased that she cared so much, but he felt rather embarrassed instead.
"House hit me."
"He what?? I hope Cuddy fired his ass or gave him some sort of reprimand."
Chase knew she wouldn't understand his response to that statement. "I asked her not to."
Natalie shook her head and threw her arms up in the air. "Why is the world did you do that?" She said with raised voice. "He should at least be arrested for assault."
Chase took her hand and gave her a sweet pleasing smile. He was over what ever rage he was feeling earlier from the punch and wanted to put it behind him. "Look, my jaw hurts like hell. How about you come over after your shift and help me ice it down? You're a nurse. I know there are many ways you can make it feel better."
Natalie gave him a suggestive grin in return. "Okay, if you think I can help. I'm sure I can heal you."
They shared a warm soft kiss, which ended when Chase started wincing in pain. "I'll see you later."
She gave him an endearing gaze that echoed slight concern as she brushed past him on the way to finishing her shift. She couldn't help but worry about him. They had only been going out a few months, but those have been great months for them personally but hard professionally. His life has been a nightmare since House pissed off that detective. It angered her to no end that the innocents were getting hurt. Even Drs. Cameron and Foreman were getting squeezed and they haven't worked for House in a few months. It all had been hardest on Robert though. He was stuck with trying to run diagnostics, deal with an uneven and unpredictable House, not to mention make sure he wasn't in trouble himself.
They just got over the scare when his accounts were frozen, but that ended up being only day. She was there to offer him any financial support he needed in terms of food and bare necessities, but she couldn't help more than that. Luckily she didn't have to. Now he had to deal with physical assault from the one person in his life he most respected. She wasn't sure how well that would go over. She had her work cut out for her this evening, but Robert was worth it.
"Chase!" House shouted as he spotted his doctor walking by his office toward the conference room. Chase rolled his eyes and reluctantly went in to see what he wanted.
"Why don't we have anymore candidates for fellows? You and Randall alone just aren't cutting it. I need fresh faces and a variety of people torment. My clever witticisms don't work with everybody."
"You never talk to Randall. Apparently I'm the only one allowed to talk to him. He isn't even allowed in here when you are around. You know, he might be useful in a differential sometime and he's fun to pick on."
House chuckled. "Please, only grown-ups at our party. He sits at the kiddie table with the other fresh faced young'uns."
"We have been through this. First you wouldn't hire any of the candidates Cameron and I recommended a month and a half ago after a long screening process. Now we can't have fellows until your legal problems are all resolved. Cuddy seems to think you are going to jail and will lose your license."
"Cuddy is being paranoid."
"You're preaching to the choir here. Maybe you should be having this conversation with her? Unless your detoxing has given you delusions I'm Cuddy dressed as a man."
"More like Cuddy dressed as a freak. Men don't dress the way you do. That green striped shirt and yellow tie are making me queasy. We need a 'what not to wear' intervention here."
"Insulting me isn't going to fix things with Cuddy."
"Are you sure you aren't Wilson in an ugly outfit? Because you're sounding like him now. Anyway, the hearing is tomorrow. It should all be resolved then."
"Pardon me if I don't share your optimism."
"Pardon me if I think your attitude stinks. If you will excuse me, you're boring me today. I need three of you to pick on. You're too easy."
House hadn't been in a good mood for a long while, so why should today be any different? This entire Tritter mess really made it almost impossible for the department to function. At least Chase was getting a little help. Joshua Randall was the new diagnostics intern; a young, sharp, and ambitious kid who just like everyone else was now being addressed by his last name. House actually hired him because of the way the dark-haired, brown-eyed inquisitive young man with dorky glasses challenged him while giving his now infamous lecture on leg pain. He was freshly graduated from medical school and brought onto the overloaded, missing two doctors diagnostics team at the right moment. House instantly assigned Randall to Chase and made Chase his immediate supervisor, stipulating he didn't have time to mentor an intern. Then after making that decision House went back to playing his newly acquired PSP.
Other than Randall, assistance from various nurses, and the occasional consult with Cameron, Chase was doing most of the procedures and tests on his own for both his and House's patients with intern in tow watching him. House couldn't get his own intern or nurse for immediate help because no one would work alone for the miserable SOB, especially when word got out he was under investigation.
Randall was proving to be a valuable asset to the team, which made a big difference given their dire circumstances. Chase was too new an attending to sponsor a fellowship if House did get some jail time and lord knew what would happen to their department if House couldn't practice medicine again. Despite Cuddy's assurances that he and Randall would not end up on the street, he still didn't feel very confident.
"What'd you got?" Chase asked when his young intern who was obviously looking for him finally tracked him down in the hall. In his hand was a file and it looked new.
"29 year old female, no prior history of health problems. She came in with stiff joints and muscles and swollen lymph nodes to the clinic two weeks ago. They told her it was the flu and sent her home. They rushed her to the ER this morning when she fainted. She is still experiencing those symptoms plus now seeing dark spots in her eyes."
"Blood tests, CBC?"
"Positive for mononucleosis."
Chase didn't think that was right. "Mono doesn't cause focal necrotizing retinitis."
"That's why I just spent an hour getting a better history."
"Exposure to raw meat?"
"Vegetarian. I know, I was thinking toxoplasmosis too, but I need you to authorize the test."
"She has no prior history? Complications like this usually happen to the immunocompromised."
"She said she has never been sick, and so far there are no medical records to refute that. Her family doctor has given her a clean bill of health since she was a child. She runs three miles a day."
Chase grabbed the chart and signed the lab request. "We'll need to check for myocarditis and encephalitis too. If her vision is distorted and it is toxoplasmosis, lord knows what other complications might exist. I'll schedule a CAT scan."
Randall took the chart back and hurried off to do his duty. Chase sadly smiled at the notion that he had such a sharp intern, but also knew that if the kid was right, they had a lot of work ahead on this patient. Reactions of this type are rare and usually a sign of something far worse.
"Your face is improving. That shade of brownish-yellow makes you look sickly now instead of just battered." Foreman had to tease about the situation. Chase getting socked by his boss was now hospital folklore.
"Yeah, I get a lot of sympathy from the nurses. The bruise could be on your face and no one would know the difference. You'd be missing out." Chase replied in a tired voice. He was too out of it to come back with his usual flare.
"How bad are things?" Foreman noticed how weary former colleague was. He and Chase got together at lunch or after work every once in a while. Chase joked that they were slowly becoming House and Wilson. Foreman reacted by threatening to smack him. Since House had already done that, he would now need to come up with a new threat.
"Bad. I can barely keep up, and now I have to watch for violent outbursts and general poor judgment. Luckily we are caseless right now. I think Cuddy has a lot to do with that."
"You still helping your intern pick his specialty?"
"I think he's leaning toward cardiology, but he is showing an interest in rheumatology. I'm trying to turn him off that. Luckily he's got a while to decide."
"Did you tell him who your dad was?"
"Nope. The less he knows about me, and I about him the better."
"Didn't House tell us differently during our reviews?"
"Yeah, well I'm not House and I'm certainly not going to be the lousy supervisor he is. I know all I need to know and the rest we'll figure out when appropriate."
"You're sounding pretty bitter there. Still hurting from the punch?"
"Nope, I'm over it. I'm just trying not to become the junior version of House. I'd like to think I'm better than that."
Foreman wasn't convinced at all. "Right, you're over it," he said with huge sarcasm.
Chase's pager went off. His face went to a look of slight defeat as he read the message. "Oh no, it's Cuddy. Damn, I've got to take this one." He got up and placed the rest of his sandwich in his pocket. "I'll catch you later."
"Later, and good luck." Foreman smiled as he was able to finish his lunch without interruption. The lab was certainly not calling him with an emergency. He thought he would miss all the action from treating patients, but he strangely wasn't missing it at all. Maybe he never will.
A page to Cuddy's office was never a good thing, especially lately. He had been getting quite a few of those. Cuddy had such a blind faith in House that when he stopped performing his duties properly she still felt it to be in her best interest to check up on Chase often. Her diagnostics department was what the hospital reputation was built on, which was kind of a risky move at best since it was run by a loose cannon. Now it could easily all fall apart if House went to jail. Chase knew he brought value to the department, but by reputation alone he was no House.
"You look tired Dr. Chase," Cuddy told him as he entered the office.
"No more than usual. I'm fine."
"Great, well, we have a new situation. House has just checked himself into rehab."
Chase buried his head in his right hand. "The hearing didn't go well I take it."
"It went. Anyway, when Tritter wouldn't let up he decided it would make a good show. We have no idea how long he will be there. It could be a few days, it could be a few weeks. What cases do you have?"
"We just got one yesterday. Randall is running some tests now."
"You are free to use Dr. Cameron if you need to. Given the special circumstances I was able to free up some of her time."
"Good, because I was probably going to contact her for consult anyway."
"I want frequent updates on how the case goes. House can be disturbed if things get too desperate."
"We won't need him." Chase adamantly declared.
"Don't be afraid to use him. Who knows, it might actually do him some good."
Chase nodded as if her point was understood, but the look on his face also told her right back that he wasn't eager to do that. He left the office and went off to find his intern. He felt lucky they still had a job to do.
"Positive for Toxoplasma gondii parasite." Randall handed Chase the results. Chase at first tried to figure out how his intern knew all his hiding spots. How did he learn about the obgyn lounge? Chase knew all of House's spots so it was all inevitable he guessed. Still, he learned so fast.
The results weren't what he wanted to hear. Now they would have to go through the full battery of tests to see if their patient's poor immunity was causing other damage. He needed to call in help.
"Come on, it's time we visited Dr. Cameron."
As they walked down the hall, Randall found it to be an ideal time to get updated on the latest events. "I haven't seen Dr. House around in a while. Not that I ever get to see him, but it is usually noticeable when he is not around."
"He's in rehab. Don't know when he'll be back."
"Rehab? Uh, wow. I never thought he would agree to that. I don't have to talk to him to know that surrender is not his style."
"I'm sure it wasn't his preference. As usual House seems to think a last ditch effort at something will impress people. I'm thinking a judge isn't going to be easily fooled since he could have done this weeks ago when all the trouble started."
"You aren't optimistic?"
"If there is one thing I have learned about House is that he is the luckiest son of a bitch alive. Things don't look good, but he has gotten out of bad messes before. One has to wonder though when his luck will finally run out. I don't know what to think." Chase turned toward Randall for final words before going into Cameron's office. "We have to focus on doing our jobs. Everything else will work itself out."
Chase opened the door. "You aren't going to knock?" Cameron asked with slight offense to his rudeness.
"You knew I was coming," Chase answered rather sharply.
"You have been working for House too long. It is called a sign of respect. It happens."
"At least you have an office to complain about me barging into. I don't see you knocking on the conference room door. Anyway, did Cuddy talk to you? We have a case we need some help with." Chase handed her the file.
Cameron took a minute to examine the case as her eyes grew wide and mouth slightly opened. "The problems causing this condition could be endless. No prior history of anything?"
"Randall here took a page from the Allison Cameron school of taking patient histories. He left nothing unturned. Of course he is still too green to know what everybody lies means, but I'm confident he will learn that through patient deception like the rest of us."
Cameron turned to Randall. "An Englishman wanted to transform himself into an Irishman, so he visited a doctor to find out how he could achieve this. 'Well' said the doctor, 'this is a very delicate operation and there is a lot that can go wrong, but I will need to remove half your brain'. 'Yeah, that's OK' said the Englishman. 'All my life I've wanted to be Irish so I'm prepared to take the risk.' The operation went ahead and sometime later the Englishman awoke to find a look of horror on the face of the doctor. 'I'm terribly sorry!' the doctor said. 'Instead of removing half the brain, I've taken the whole brain out.' The patient replied, 'No worries, mate!!'"
Chase gave Cameron the cold chill stare while she and Randall snickered at the obvious Australian put down. Chase then glared down his young intern, who in recognition that the un-amused Aussie was his boss, stopped immediately.
"Just let me know when you need me and I'll be there," Cameron said backpedaling into nice mode.
"We will be doing a CAT scan now, so we'll let you know." Chase and Randall got up to leave.
"Have a good one Chase, and tell House I said hello."
"I'm not going to bother him while he is in rehab."
Cameron laughed. "Yeah right. Face it, you're screwed. You are going to need all the help you can get."
"Tell me something I don't know." Chase grabbed his intern and they went off to do their jobs.
a/n: Potential? I can never tell once I write these things. I have ideas, but there needs to be interest. Thanks for reading!