Summary: House faces some unexpected repercussions from his actions in 'One day, One room.' Repercussions that have nothing to do with the rape victim. Hasn't been done before, I assure you. No immediate pairings.
A/N: I wrote this right after the episode aired and just stumbled upon it again, hiding out in one of my many computer folders. Like I said, this has nothing to do with House's father, I promise. But there will be a fair helping of angsty goodness, and a lot of House/Wilson friendship. And preslash. Possibly real slash, depending on how many reviews I get and what my Muse feels up to.
Disclaimer: I love Hugh Laurie's accent. But do you hear him using it in the show? No? Well, there you go - he ain't mine. Neither, consequently, are the others. Except Chase. I stole Chase.
"Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance." --Thomas Carlyle
Dr. House limped through the doors of Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital with the full intention of ignoring absolutely everybody. This goal, albeit not new for him, was due to much more than his usual crankiness and distaste for human interaction as a general rule of thumb.
He was feeling, in large part, like an old idiot. A narrow-minded one, at that; and while he would never admit it, it wasn't a feeling he was overly fond of. He was used to having the upper hand in pretty much every situation, and this lack of control reminded his eerily of his childhood.
Which he supposed, was the price he paid.
He'd made it through the parking lot without incident and was fairly confident that he'd have at least a while before he'd have to deal with Cuddy, Wilson or any of his fellows.
So of course, the first thing he saw when he walked into the building was Cuddy at the Nurse's reception desk. Oh, and look at that, she was talking to Wilson. That just freakin' figured.
Making a split second decision, he turned around and tried to head out the doors through which he'd just come.
Oh, well, hello, Cameron.
"House!" The petite brunette screeched loud enough to gain the attention of every employee and patient in the near general vicinity. Although the older doctor couldn't see it, he was sure Cuddy and Wilson had stopped whatever they'd been doing and turned to look. Everyone loved a show.
"What happened to your face?"
"What happened to yours?" He countered with a sneer, and turned back around, seeing as his escape plan had been ruined anyway, he might as well face the rest of them.
"House." Wilson was the first to speak when he managed to limp all the way over to the desk, Cameron following close behind. "That's a great look for you. Very school yard rock meets fight with the barbarians."
Although his words were teasing, House didn't miss how his eyes lingered much longer than necessary on him, concern unhidden.
"House." Cuddy stepped closer as if she was about to examine him.
"That's my name." He mumbled, holding up a hand to stop the older woman's probing. It didn't work.
"That cut looks like it needs stitches." Her fingers danced over dried, clotting blood.
Okay, yeah, it probably did.
"Those bruises look horrible."
"Really?" He did nothing to hide the sarcasm. "'Cause they feel fantastic."
"Can you even see out of that eye?"
"If I say no, will you unbutton your blouse?" He could see Wilson shaking his head and was well aware of Cameron still hovering.
"What the hell happened?" She finally backed off, probably a little shocked that she'd gotten a full examination of his battered face. In truth, House had wanted to make sure that nothing was more screwed up than he could tell with one good eye.
"Bar fight." He said simply. He knew they thought he was lying. "Any new cases?"
"Your face." Wilson chimed in.
"Is diagnostically boring." House said with a false air of enlightenment.
"Bet the explanation behind it isn't." Cameron pushed, oh so helpfully.
"Don't you have sick people to fix?" The grumpy man turned to her and rudely, and in his typical fashion, shoed her away. She didn't budge.
"Whoa!" A new voice joined the ones already crowding him. This one had an accent. "What the hell happened to you?"
"Pissed off a pimp." House answered Chase's inquiry easily. "What are you doing down here?" He looked again to Cameron. "Both of you. Aren't there any sick people in this hospital?"
Chase held up the file he was carrying as if it were a peace offering, before handing it over to Wilson. "Patient in exam room two has a large mass in her lower lung."
Wilson took the file but kept his gaze locked on his friend, not moving. "You heard the man!" House exclaimed. "Cancer. Go do that thing you do. Play God. Make her fall in love with you. I'm going to my office."
And so he turned to do just that, ducklings close behind, Cuddy's gaze not leaving his back until they made it to the elevator.
Not a word was spoken between the three doctors, although Cameron did open her mouth once, only to get a silencing death glare in response.
Forty-eight long, silent and tense seconds later, Forman, who had been making coffee, turned around at the sound of their entrance. "Holy crap." He dropped the filter, spilling coffee grounds all over the counter and floor.
House eyed the mess distastefully. "You're cleaning that up." He met Foreman's two good eyes with his one working one. "Or no MRI's for a week"
Ignoring the elder man's good humor, he took an inquiring step forward, looking at Chase and Cameron, who both shrugged, before looking at House again. "Who'd you piss off?"
"The fuzz." He answered, which probably wasn't hard to believe, given his recent trial.
Cameron's nervous, "You're not going back to jail, are you?" And the other two's subsequent looks of fear informed him that pissed off cops weren't yet back on the list of appropriate things to joke about.
"No, I'm not going back to jail," he sighed, pulling out a chair and sitting down, trying not to wince at the pain that caused his other, not so obvious, injuries. Popped a Vicodin and amended, "Unless I kill one of you for hovering."
"What the hell happened to House?" Became the question of the day.
House, who had thoroughly been dreading going to work since last night, ended up having the most fun out of everyone he happened to make contact with.
It started later in the morning with going to the cafeteria. He got on the elevator alone, only to have it pushed open at the last minute by a doctor he vaguely knew from Radiology.
"God, House," that old man sighed, making no efforts to look anywhere other than his face. "Getting shot wasn't enough?"
"Yeah," the cynical man sighed, and then smirked; despite the pain it caused the gash on his right cheek. "I have this neighbor that works for the mafia. Big deal guy. Tried to convert me to his way of life."
Seeing the horrified expression on the man's face, House knew he'd hit an awesome nerve. "Ever wonder how hot fire-pokers can actually get?" He left the elevator rubbing absently at a place on his chest, and wasn't surprised, although Radiology and the cafeteria were on the same floor, when the man didn't step out of the elevator with him.
The security guard at the entrance to the cafeteria was the next astonished expression he got. "Gang war." He told the large black man without slowing his pace or waiting for him to verbalize his question. "Gotta protect my turf."
A few minutes and a couple dozen obvious stares and loud whispers later, a pimply face med student handed him a tray of what might have been scrabbled eggs and bacon. "Geez, House, get into a fight with a patient again?"
Instead of answering, he asked, "Does everyone in this hospital know my name?"
The kid just shrugged. "You're kinda the only thing the nurses gossip about. The only thing worth listening about, anyway."
"Thanks." And he walked away.
Two seconds after he sat down, alone, at a table in the back of the room, Wilson appeared out of nowhere. "You gonna tell me what happened?" He asked calmly, standing - hovering - over his shoulder.
House dropped his fork back down on his plate and reached into his coat pocket. Just the motion of popping the pills made him feel a little better.
"My dad stopped by." He said glibly, and realized after he said that that maybe three Vicodin in two hours was a bit too much. Given his recent cut back. "He's still pretty pissed I never joined the army."
"Oh, fine," the elder man grumbled, pretending to concede. "I picked a hooker with a really mean temper and a flare for sadomasochism."
"So, you're not going to tell me?" The younger man confirmed with a sharp nod and an annoyed tone. "Fine."
And that was the last he heard of it.
For thirty-eight minutes, anyway.
On his way back to his office he happened upon a nurse, new, he took it, as he didn't recognize her at all.
"Early onset Volgeridias." He said, adapting a sad tone, sniffling slightly, taking advantage of the fact that this woman didn't know him at all, and thus couldn't tell he was acting out of character. "Bruising means I'm bleeding internally. Probably only have another year."
She looked aghast, and House barely hid a smirk as he finished off the lie with a pathetically whimpered, "It's worst when people stare."
She skittered away quickly, mumbling something about tests and lab work. House laughed once he was securely back in his office, propping his legs up on his desk, he leaned back and closed his eyes.
Hell, maybe this wasn't such a bad thing after all.
If anyone's interested.