//Oneshot. I might make it into a longer story later, since Flight can have more than 1 meaning (and it would therefore be a good House title).
But for now it's just something I came up with a while ago (read: months). Basically two scenes with - I hope - a few funny and/or endearing moments and some insight.

Hope you enjoy it!

House had tried everything he could to avoid having to go, but Cuddy had not let herself be fooled.
She rushed up to him in the hospital hallway, grabbed his left arm and forced him to stop and turn around.

"House, you promised you would go!

"Yes, but you hadn't told me it was all the way in Seattle!"

"If it had been Vegas you wouldn't have hesitated for 1 single second. You are going. Get packing, now!"

"Vegas has slot machines and hookers."

"Remember last time you went to Vegas? The Annual Conference of Diagnostic Medicine .
The one with that C.S.I. arresting you because Dr. Goodard died and they thought you killed the guy. (See the )Note at the bottom of the page)"

House made a face as Cuddy continued.

"Besides, the hospital has already paid for your ticket. So, get packing."

And so House found himself at Newark Liberty International airport. Waiting.
Already tired from the 50 mile drive from Trenton to Newark.

With the strict security measures he had to show 2 hours early or he wouldn't be allowed on the plane.

He had checked in his one bag right away so he didn't have to drag it along.
Not having one hand free was bad enough, not having any hand free plain sucked.

It was very busy and he ended up staring down a woman until she could no longer ignore him and quickly removed
the pile of luggage, food and kid's toys and clothes from the two seats next to her, so House could sit down.

There were five kids running around, House estimated them ranging from about 3 to 9 years old.
The two youngest boys were most likely twins, he decided.

The woman next to him was obviously their mother (the "mom, can we pleaaaase have more candy" kind of gave that away),
and she clearly wasn't as in charge as she had planned to be.

No matter how often she instructed one of them not to run around, the kids only behaved for 1 minute before
returning to what could only be described as a game that was a mix between tag and hide-and-seek.

House sat down, gently rubbing his right leg a few times before putting the cane down alongside it, leaning back a little and observing the kids.

One of the younger boys ran past him, but then he saw one of his siblings approaching from the other side.
He backtracked and quickly kneeled on the floor next to House, hiding behind his left leg, one hand carelessly put on House's knee as he peered around the corner to check where his older sister was.

House looked down at him as his mother pretended not to have noticed. In stead she was focusing her attention on the sister:

"Jessica, stop running!"

"Quick", House told the boy on his left, "she's coming."

With a giggling gasp of breath the blond boy slid back a little farther, then as his sister came closer got up and ran off.

The game went on for a few more minutes and then the mom caller out, "Guys, snack time!"

They all gathered and got a carton of fruit juice and some bread.
It was all squished and soggy from being in a warm plastic bag for too long, but neither of the kids seemed to care.

The one boy finished his food and drink, handed the empty carton to his mom and curiously turned to House as he took a few steps towards him.

"Hi, I'm Thomas."

"Hi Thomas."

At the older man's somewhat friendly reply, Thomas walked even closer and stared at the cane for a while.

"What's that?"

House noticed the mom next to him tensing up, again ignoring what made her uncomfortable, again pretending not to notice.

This always amused and annoyed House.
Kids should learn it was OK to be curious and inquisitive, not to ignore or be scared of what is considered to be "abnormal".

"This is a cane."

"Why do you have it?"

"I hurt my leg and it helps me walk."

Thomas thought for a while,
"Did you fall? Because uncle Paul fell and he hurt his leg too, but he did not have a cane. He had cruss…cruts…"

"Mommy, what did uncle Paul have when aunt Linda left the basket with the clothes on the stairs and he fell down all the way from the top?"

His mother now was forced to pay attention to her son who was interrogating the disabled man next to her, and this visibly made her highly uncomfortable.

"Crutches honey, now stop bothering that man."

But Thomas turned back to House,

"He had crutches! But he had two of them, and they were really big".
He spread his hands out, indicating the size.

Then – glancing at House in case he was going to stop him – he reached out for the cane, touching the wooden handle.
"Why do you only have one, and why is it short?"

"I only need one, and it's not that short at all, it's almost as tall as you are!"
House held the cane up next to the boy, who smiled as he said "but I am bigger, am I?".

House nodded, inwardly grinning at the still increasing panic he could sense beside him.
Thomas once again took hold of the handle, "Can I try?"

Even for the mom this went too far,
"Thomas, no, come here!"

House too shook his head, "Not now kid."

Thomas shrugged and nodded, turning to go back to his mother but changing his mind after two steps and turning back to House.

"Where does your leg hurt?"

House blinked surprised at the question, suddenly not really comfortable himself.
Noticing how everyone within range had their ears perked, curious to know all the details about 'the man with the cane'.

House unconsciously put a hand on his right upper leg, "Go back to your mom kid."

But Thomas took two steps forward, gently laid both hands on House's knee and put a kiss on it.

"Better?" he asked, looking up to him hopefully.


He wished it was true.

On the plane House listened to his iPod (drumming along with fingers on the arm rest of the seat, and annoying the hell out of his neighbor)
until he fell asleep.

He was woken up by the flight attendants voice over the loudspeakers that informed him the plane would soon be landing,
and would he please fasten his seatbelt.

He waited for most of the people to exit, shoved his iPod into his coat pocket, and then felt underneath his chair. Then he bent forward and looked underneath.

There was no cane there.


He half dove underneath the seat again, it really wasn't there!
A mild panic started to set in as he stood up and, holding on to the seat backs, hopped a few steps forward.

Of course the flight attendant walked up to him within five seconds of indecisive looking around.

"Can I help you sir?"

House put a hand on his leg as he looked at her.
"I can't find my cane, it was under my seat."

The flight attendant bent down and peered underneath the seats.
"What does it look like sir?"

"It's cane shaped!", snapped House, and then he added: "brown."

Normally he did not feel disabled. He felt pain, but he knew he could hide it most of the time.
He knew people saw him as 'that rude doctor', not as 'that crippled doctor'.
His whole attitude denied limitation. He avoided stairs, but was otherwise as fast as any other person.

The flight attendant stood up again,
"It's not here…"

"I know!"

The flight attendant hesitated for a few seconds. Then she asked,
"Do you think you can walk out of the plane, and wait at the check in area so we can search the plane for you?"

House took his Vicodin out of his pocket and took two pills. " Yeah."

"Right, this way sir."

With the seat backs as stand ins for his cane House made it to the exit without too much trouble.
The walking actually loosened up his leg muscles a little, but after the door there was quite a long hallway
with not much to hold on to except for the walls.

"I know the way, you go back into that plane and find my cane!"
He told the flight attendant, who was walking alongside him, looking as if she was ready to catch him when he toppled over.
God, this was humiliating enough without an audience!

Blushing slightly the flight attendant turned around and House made the long slow limping walk through the tunnel, walking on the right side with his right hand on the wall. Pausing every 15 steps or so.

And then at the end the mom with the 5 kids from earlier were awaiting him.

"There he is!", one of his older brothers said to Thomas.

"He said I could use it later…", Thomas muttered, looking scared as he tried to hide behind his mom.

His mom was holding House's cane, and as she pulled her son out from behind her back she shoved it in Thomas' hand and pushed him forward.
"Give it back to him and apologize!"

Thomas timidly walked up to House and handed him his cane back and with a quivering lower lip looked up to him.
"I'm sorry".


)Note: For the Dr. Goodard story, read Accused by Teenwitch. It's not finished yet, but it's really good!