A/N: finally, the other half of last chapter. this is somewhat Chasecentric, but don't worry: House gets his chance to do something stupid.


House didn't like his pages to be ignored. He listened at the exam room doors until he found the Australian accent, then barged on in. "Chase - let's go. Need you."

"Not now."

House blinked, not at all used to being blown off. "Yes now. You have work to do - actual work, doctor work. This is a job for a gumball machine or a pharmacist."

"House-" Chase hissed, glancing nervously at the patient.

House turned to her too, and looked her up and down. "You're fine," he declared. "Your chart says chlamydia, you don't look like you're dying, and Chase has spent more than enough time handing you tissues. No he's not going to tell your boyfriend, or your parents, yes it will go away, and no there's nothing else he can do for you right now. Capish?"

"House!" Chase repeated.

The girl sniffled first so she could snap clearly. "Who the hell is he?"

"That's my boss-"

"I'm his daddy, who says he absolutely can not come out to play until he gets his homework done. Chase. Now."

"Is it an emergency, Doctor?" she asked Chase. "Because I can wait here until you're done..."

Chase winced. "Eve, Dr. House may be a jerk but he's right - there's nothing more I can do for you. I'll refer you to a-"

"No!" she barked. "No counselor. You can stay with me, or you can send me home. That's it. If you send in a shrink, or a cop, I won't say a word. I'll say nothing happened. And I'll... I'll kick him in the balls." She crossed her arms defiantly.

"Uh... Wait here for one second, okay? We'll sort this out." Chase followed House out and closed the door behind them. "Look, she..."

"Ya think?" House scathed, then quirked his eyebrows. "Hey, if she's serious about kicking a cop in the balls, I could call Tritter."

"I'm going to send a counselor in for her as soon as I can find one," Chase said firmly. "I'll just tell them to wear a cup."

He'd figured House would be amused, but instead he pointed out: "She wants to talk to you."

"Since when do you care what a patient wants?" Chase snorted. "Tell me what's up with Headache Guy."

House shook his head and ordered, "Forget Headache Guy - I'll take care of it. You're staying here. You're not forcing a shrink on her, on top of whatever else."

House's unexpected show of sympathy gave Chase an idea. "So why don't you stay with her?" he suggested. "You know better than most how damaged people think."

Too far? No, House didn't take offense. He just shrugged and countered: "But you know better than most how to help damaged people get through their day. In this particular case, your superpower trumps mine. Talk to her. Don't discharge her til you're sure she's okay." As though only now realizing how he sounded, he added quickly, "Cuddy will be really pissed if she kills herself in the lobby."


"I heard that," Eve accused as soon as Chase came back.

He swallowed. "Dr. House was only- Er..."

"Kidding. Yeah, I know." The word didn't offend her the way he'd thought it might - she had bigger fish to fry. "What did he mean, that you know how to help...?"

"Dr. House has something of a... dismal life," Chase said delicately. "He has a hard time opening up to people about it."

"But sometimes he'll talk to you." She cocked her head. "I don't blame him - there's something about you that makes people... It's like you have an instinct to care."

"No," he denied with a nervous laugh. "No, I really..."

They looked at each other. "Why would you deny caring?" she asked softly, and Chase looked away. "The idea annoys you. You think it makes you weak...?"

Chase sat down on the table next to her. "I think," he said after a moment, "That you ask very penetrating questions, and that if I'm not careful they're going to distract us from the real problem here." He waited til she flashed her eyes up to him before insisting: "We're going to get you a counselor who can help you through this. I'm not qualified to-"

"I don't want to talk about it. I'm not looking to be helped through it. And anyway, you are qualified," she argued, with a bit of a smile. "Your daddy says so."

Chase smiled back. "I've no idea what made him think that. It can't be the caring thing," he muttered absently. "That always pisses him off."

"But it's something," she pressed. "He knew to trust you. I did too. Or at least I thought I did." She was getting a little agitated. "But obviously my radar's off, you know, or I wouldn't even be here. This was all my fault. What happened to me, I mean."

"No." Chase hopped to his feet and stood over her. "Look, I may not know much about rape counseling, but I can tell you for certain that it's not your fault."

"Yeah? How would you know? You don't even know what happened." She took a shuddery breath and twisted her hands further in her sleeves, then explained, "That's not what I meant, though. I know it's not my fault, I just... I screwed up. I didn't assume the worst of this guy, and apparently I should have. I mean, how do you know when it's okay to trust people?" Her voice finally gave out and she whispered the rest, through tears. "How am I going to know, after this?"


In the meantime, now that he was short a minion, House had to spend some time with Headache Guy in person. He woke him up and immediately observed from the way he clutched at himself that it was an earache, not a headache.

From there it was just a hop skip and a jump to a diagnosis. Bugs in ears were gross, bug bites in ears were painful, but there really wasn't much of a mystery to it.

Faux-Headache Guy was packed up and shipped home.

House was bored, and aching, and Chase was occupied, and the day was only half over.


By the next morning, the pain and the boredom were both worse. He was in a terrible mood and all ready to take it out on Tritter... except that Tritter never showed up.

Eleven AM and House was thoroughly sick of waiting for him. He called the detective's cell to snarl: "Where the hell are you?"

"I'm busy," Tritter answered shortly. "No test today. I called in, you're in the clear."

"What could possibly be more important than-"

"Tomorrow, House." Click.

House sat and fidgeted in annoyance, then called again. "Not now!" Tritter answered at once. "When the rain starts we lose what little evidence there is here. I don't have time for this."

"You son-of-a-bitch!" House banged his hand on his desk. "I was miserable all night; I didn't take the pill I would have sold my soul for, and now you're not even going to bother coming in to get your sadistic little kick out of it? Screw you!"

"Maybe I'll enjoy it later. But I'm busy now. Don't call again." Click.

The idea of feeling rejected over this was ridiculous, but House couldn't quite soothe his vanity enough to get any work done.

So, instead of going to the clinic, he trolled the internet for pictures and put together a craigslist ad under Tritter's cell number. BBW HOT TO TROT, he called it first, then decided BBW HOT TO TROT NOW would better ensure the desired results. His long, detailed study of fringe porn made it easy for him to draft an ad that would make a stripper blush, and he capped it off with a picture of a large, pasty rear end gripped by hands with a ridiculous purple manicure.

There.


TBC.

Yeah, House never learns, does he.

Next chapter is longer. Extra extra, read all about it: renowned doctor provokes giant shitstorm...