After a mysterious phone call, House disappears for a week, when he returns he has a surprise with him.

And no they are not mine though they still refuse to leave me alone to GET ON WITH MY LIFE!

Oh, and the "one-word conversation" on the phone – I do not speak the language in question which is why I kept House's answers short (i.e. one word), I hope I got the words right, but if it looks all wrong, sorry.


Fujiwara no Kiyosuke

If I should live long,
Then perhaps the present days
May be dear to me,
Just as past time filled with grief
Comes quietly back in thought.


They had just solved a case and were having a well earned break. It was after midnight, but they were both too tired and too elated to go home: they had saved the kid and it felt good. House, of course, was not really celebrating, he was just quietly smug – or so it seemed to Foreman and Chase. Cameron didn't see the smugness she just saw happy, but then she was practically born with rose coloured contacts in her eyes.

House had just poured himself a mug of coffee when the phone rang. He almost told Cameron to get it, but as he was standing already and it was somewhat curious to get a call this time of the night he went to the phone. For a moment he stared at the number on the display almost disbelieving his eyes. Then he answered.


Foreman raised his eyebrows at the greeting. He would have thought that House would have had something much more colourful to say to someone trying to reach him this time of the night than just "Hey". But it was the rest of the conversation that really got his attention just as it aroused the curiosity of Chase and Cameron as well.

"Hai," House repeated again, listening very carefully to what was said at the other end. "Itsu? ... Watashi? ... Hai ... Hai ... Sokuzani ... Hai ... Ashita ... Adiosu." House put the phone down and stared at it for a moment. "Cuddy is probably still in her office, I have to see him. Cameron, would you see if you can book me a flight to Tokyo? The first one you can find, I need to get there as soon as possible."

"Tokyo?" Cameron repeated. "As in Japan?"

"Yep, as in Japan," House confirmed and walked out of the room to find Cuddy.


As House had predicted Cuddy was still in her office pushing papers. She looked up a House's entrance.

"I hear you saved yet another life," she smiled. "Well done."

"Yeah, you can ask Foreman get you the paperwork so you can bill the parents," House answered almost absently. Cuddy could not believe her ears. "I need some time off."

"All of a sudden?" Cuddy shook her head trying to determine whether House was really in her office or if she was just having a weird hallucination due to lack of sleep. "I mean, sure you have leave that you haven't taken, but why do you want to talk about it now? In the middle of the night?"

"Because I need it now, starting this minute and I don't know for sure for how long," House revealed.

"Not going to happen," Cuddy dismissed his request as a joke – or a hallucination.

"Fine," House nodded, "You'll have my resignation on your desk first thing come morning." He turned to go.

"Resignation!" Cuddy stood up. "House, are you for real or have I fallen asleep at my desk or just gone plain crazy?"

"I'm for real," House sighed. Cuddy stared at him waiting to find some sign that he was kidding her or playing an elaborate prank or something, but he seemed serious. "I need to leave for Japan as soon as I can get a flight." House told her.

"Ok...," Cuddy came to stand in front of him with her arms crossed.

"Love it when you do that," House appreciated. Cuddy moved one arm to cover her cleavage. "Spoilsport."

"Look, if you want time off, you better tell me why," Cuddy demanded. "You cannot just waltz in here, tell me that you are going to Japan no matter what, and expect me to just tell you to take as much time off as you want!"

"Fine," House agreed. "I don't have time to go into the whole story, but an old friend needs me in Japan. I think I ought to be back within a week, but I don't know for sure because I don't know yet what exactly is going to happen in there. But I have to go, even if it means quitting my job. I will let you know when I will be back as soon as I know it myself."

"Now that wasn't so hard, was it?" Cuddy admonished him. "Ok, you can go but keep me posted."

"Thanks, Cuddy," House said. "I appreciate this."

"Enough to do double duty in the clinic when you return?" Cuddy smiled.

"Sorry Cuddy, you should have bargained first, before you agreed," House smirked and limped out of her office.


Cameron had found a 9 o'clock flight that would take House to Tokyo in fourteen hours, she gave him a lift home, helped him to get ready and waited for the cab with him; she also promised to let Wilson know what had happened (not that she knew what THAT was).


Next morning Wilson was sitting in Cuddy's office talking about House's sudden departure.

"I didn't know he had any friends in Tokyo?" Wilson puzzled.

"I didn't know he had any friends, period," Cuddy shrugged.

"Hey, I'm his friend," Wilson protested, "and you didn't know about Dylan Crandall, either, so obviously there is a chance he has friends we don't know about."

"Sure, but my first guess would have been that those friends are of the imaginary kind," Cuddy pondered.

"I admit, this sounds strange, but Cameron confirmed that he got a phone call from Japan – or at least he spoke Japanese on the phone, so his story could be true," Wilson pointed out.

"I know the call came from Japan, I checked this morning," Cuddy revealed.

"You checked his phone records!" Wilson exclaimed.

"I only trust him so far," Cuddy explained. "Though we both know how much he hates travelling so it would need to be something really important to get him to go all the way to Tokyo. And Cameron did book him the flight."

"Did you check that he really was on that flight?" Wilson asked jokingly. Cuddy blushed. "You did! Boy, you really don't trust him."

"It's not that, not really," Cuddy denied. "I do trust him, with a lot of things, but he has been known to pull pretty wild stunts to avoid clinic duty and as they just finished the last case, I just felt unsure. So I checked."

"You don't have any connections to hospitals in Tokyo, do you?" Wilson asked after a moment.

"No. Why?" Cuddy wanted to know.

"No reason," Wilson shrugged. "I just thought that if the problem is a medical one, it is possible that someone in a hospital would know about it. House is pretty famous all over the world, so if he is visiting a hospital in Tokyo it is possible most hospitals in Tokyo know about it."

"Interesting idea," Cuddy mused. "Too bad that I really don't have any connections. Not even once removed. That is any connections that I would trust, because it would not look good if I had to spy on one of my own doctors. It might give people an idea that I don't know what is going on in my own hospital."

"Perish the thought," Wilson agreed.


Cuddy and Wilson were not the only ones who were pondering on House's sudden departure. His ducklings were talking about it, too.

"What do you think the phone call was all about?" Foreman asked Chase and Cameron.

"I know that hai means yes, but other than that, I have no idea what he said," Chase said. "Though it was not much, so I don't think we would know anything even if we had understood him."

"He told me that a friend of his needed help," Cameron revealed. "But that was all he was prepared say. I don't even know if the friend is male of female."

"Wasn't his father once stationed in Japan?" Foreman mused.

"I think so," Chase agreed. "Do you think it could be someone from that time?"

"But wasn't he only fourteen or so then?" Cameron wondered. "Wouldn't it be more likely that any friends he made were the other military kids?"

"Probably," Chase agreed. "It is quite possible that the friend in question is just staying in Tokyo for now, there is no reason to assume that Tokyo is where they first met."

"Mind you we don't even know if he is staying in Tokyo," Foreman pointed out. "Just because he flew to Tokyo does not mean he didn't go somewhere else in Japan."

"But what could it be," Cameron pondered. "What could make him fly to the other side of the planet? I mean, great, it's great that he is willing to travel over half the world to help a friend, but what kind of friend and what kind of help?"

"I wouldn't have thought he would travel even across the hospital to help someone," Chase flipped. "Unless it was some really rare and interesting illness, and I don't think it could be, the phone call was way too short."

"You know, we have work to do," Foreman reminded them. "Wondering about House and his actions is pointless. We are surely not going to guess what he is up to, and I will be fairly surprised if he will tell us even when he returns. So unless he makes headlines, or Cuddy or Wilson can force the story out of him – and is willing to share with us, we will never find out why he went to Japan."

"You could be right," Cameron admitted. "But it's not easy to stop speculating anyway."

"Besides, what else are we going to talk about," Chase pointed out. "It's not like we have a case and the patients we meet at the clinic go only so far. House may be an utter bastard, but he is interesting."

"I suppose," Foreman agreed. "But I'm still fairly sure we can find other things to talk about until her returns, whenever that may be."


Next day Cuddy got a phone call from House to confirm that he was going to be back in ten days.