TITLE: Not Entirely Human Error – Part 16
AUTHOR: parkermonster
PAIRING: House/Chase
RATING: PG-13, for language
NOTES: Spoilers for Human Error, and everything that leads up to that
SUMMARY: House is making his move. Chase is in big trouble. Or is he?

DISCLAIMER: Sadly, not mine.


Part 16


True to his word, House came to the ICU Friday morning and tracked Chase down.

"It's Friday. I like you."

"Wonderful. Bye," Chase replied.

"Not so fast there. Can we go get a drink after work and discuss it?"

"Discuss it? No thanks. Late shift."

House frowned. "Is that the male equivalent of washing your hair?"

"Might be." Chase managed to suppress a smile. "But thanks for stopping by."

"OK then, see you Monday." House turned and headed down the hall.

Chase watched him leave with a puzzled expression. That was waaaaay too easy. I wonder what he's really up to.


It was Monday and there was House again.

"It's Monday. I like you."

"Uh huh." Chase refused to look up from the chart he was examining.

"Wilson's out of town so I have no one to drown my sorrows with. Come out and drink to excess with me?"

Chase rolled his eyes. "So your plan is to get me pissed on plonk and have your way with me? You have a great idea of courtship, House."

"You underestimate me, grasshopper. I intend to get you intoxicated on fine wine and the honor of my presence."

"As I just said."

"No, my version is classier."

"Either way, House, it's hard to pass up the invitation to get drunk and then get molested. It's a shame I can't fit it into my busy schedule."

"You make it sound so sordid, when my intentions are pure. What dark secrets in your past have made you so suspicious?"

"There's so much wrong with what you just said, I don't know where to begin. The dark past I had as your Fellow is enough to make me suspicious, and I have yet to see any evidence that you are capable of purity in any form. AND…let's be honest here; the chances of me deliberately sharing any dark secrets with you are very, very small."

"C'mon, where's all your love and adoration for me and my brilliant mind?"

"It's gone walkabout, House. And now I have to get back to work."

"You're no fun at all."

"That's the idea."

"Then I'll see you Wednesday."


Wednesday, Chase got his invitation from House by pager.

Wednesday. Like you. Dinner?

No. U annoying





Slow. Territorial. Trainable.

Up yours

Would you?

Hate you.

No you don't. Friday!

Lord, give me strength, Chase thought. I hope Cameron never found me this ridiculous.


Chase had a double shift and had lost track of time when he saw House bearing down on him with an evil grin. Oh shit, let me guess. It's Friday.

"Hello, Doctor Chase, House sing-songed. "A word, please?"

"Cheryl, could you keep a close eye on Mr. Freed's vitals until I return. Doctor House needs a quick consult," Chase said to the nurse at the next bed.

"No problem, Chase. Have fun," Cheryl replied, with a distinctly sympathetic look.

"Don't I always?" Chase smiled as he made the hand gesture of a gun pointed at his temple. "Thanks."

House stood in the hall, frowning and shaking his head. "I saw that."

"You were supposed to. What now?"

"You know the day, you know the drill. Wanna meet me later for dinner?"

"Sorry. Busy." Chase turned back to the ICU.

"C'mon, Chase, at least have dinner with me." There was just a hint of a plaintive note in House's voice.

Chase stopped and turned back toward House, crossing his arms. "No thanks. I have no interest in buying you dinner."

"I won't make you pay."

"Then…Wilson's coming too, I take it?"

"Nope, just the two of us – more romantic that way. Unless you like threesomes, of course."

"You wish, House. And there's no way anything we do together could be romantic."

"You wound me, sir. I can be romantic."

"Should I call Stacy and confirm that?"

"She'll just lie. If she can't have me…Well, you know how that goes."

"No, how does it go, House? Since no one else wants you anyway, she mustn't get too many chances to sabotage your relationships."

House smiled as if he liked that answer. "OK, I'll see you Monday."

As House headed off, Chase looked at the ceiling and rolled his eyes.


On Monday, House entered the ICU and saw Chase and one of the nurses going over a patient's chart. It's that blonde hussy who keeps batting her eyes at Chase. Back off, sister, he's mine. When the conversation ended, House whistled and crooked his finger at the nurse, who looked at him questioningly, then at Chase. Chase scowled at House and put his hands on his hips, but didn't move. Neither did House, who kept beckoning his rival.

Finally the nurse - House saw that her name was Cheryl and promptly ignored it - came over, with her own scowl. Chase turned away and moved to the next bed, clearly trying to ignore House.

"You're not supposed to be in here unless you have business. What do you want?"

"Oh, I have business. I need you to give this note to Dr. Chase." House handed her a folded piece of pink stationery with little hearts hand drawn all over the outside.

Cheryl looked at the note and wrinkled her nose. "Dr. Chase is standing right there. You can give it to him."

"Oh no, I couldn't do that." House feigned a look of aggrieved innocence. "It would be too embarrassing. I need you to give it to him, get his reply, and bring it back to me."

"Doctor House, we're busy up here," Cheryl shook her head. "We don't have time for your games."

"Pretty please? It will only take a moment, but I really need Chase to tell me something. I'll go away when I get his answer."

"Alright, give it to me," she said as she snatched up the note in disgust.

"Please don't look at it," House called plaintively after her. "I'd be soooo embarrassed if anyone saw it." She kept going and House smiled to himself. No way would the note reach Chase unread.

And of course, it didn't. House could see the exact moment when the nurse's back stiffened. She handed the note to Chase with a look of apprehension aimed at House. Chase unfolded and read the note, and House was pretty sure he was trying to suppress a laugh. Chase pulled out a pen and scribbled something briefly, then handed the note back to the messenger.

House unfolded and read the note:

Dear Chase,

I like you. Do you like me? Please mark your answer.



Chase had crossed out the other answers and written:


House grinned. He looked over at Chase and mouthed the word, "Wednesday."


By 4 pm Wednesday, Chase was horrified to realize that he was becoming impatient waiting for House to stop by. It must be the anxiety, he thought. I'm just worried about what House will do to embarrass me next. That must be it.

When his shift ended at 7, he headed back to his office, distracted, trying to figure out why his last patient was experiencing seizures. As he neared the door, he was startled by the spaceship that zoomed out of his office and headed straight for his face. He jumped out of the way and pressed his back against the wall, while the UFO stopped and hovered in front of him. He closed his eyes and knocked his head against the wall several times. He knew he couldn't keep this up longer than House. The man was like a rabid dog with a bone when he set his mind to something. This is such a terrible idea, he thought. Maybe one dinner wouldn't be so bad, though.



Dinner wasn't turning out quite like Chase had expected. He had eaten with House in the cafeteria and gone out drinking with him in a group, but this was actually the first time he'd had a one-on-one sit-down restaurant dinner with House. It was a relatively fancy place that Chase had never visited before. He idly wondered if this was where House had taken Cameron on their date.

Conversation was surprisingly easy. They both dropped the banter a bit and talked about various odd experiences they'd had in and out of hospitals. House of course had a lot more stories, many of which were hilarious. Chase was pleased to finally find out why House knew Portuguese, of all languages. Rio at Carnivale sounded pretty damn wild, even for House.

Between the humor and the wine, Chase found himself relaxing. Even the silences were comfortable; not something he'd had with Cameron, that's for sure. After they'd eaten, he settled back with his wine glass and surveyed House for a minute or so.

House looked back at him and smiled. "So, what do you think?"

"I think you're behaving remarkably well."

"I can do that. I clean up pretty well."

"I suppose you do. So how long can you keep it up?"

House grinned. "Probably about an hour with the right partner."

Chase closed his eyes and sighed. "I walked into that one, didn't I?"

"Oh yeah. You should know better by now."

"I should, shouldn't I? Can't let my guard down for a minute with you." Chase was surprised to see a flicker of something very much like unhappiness in House's expression. It was gone so fast he wasn't sure he'd seen it. Chase sighed again. "Look, I want to trust you on this, House; I really do. I do like you, and we're compatible in a lot of ways. But the trust thing really hasn't worked out very well between us, has it?"

House settled back and grimaced. "No, I guess it hasn't. A lot of that has been my doing, and I…regret some of it, in retrospect. Wilson tells me I'm not really cut out to be an easy, sharing kinda guy."

"No, you're not," Chase smiled, "but then, neither am I. I can't believe we're even having this conversation."

"Hope you're not enjoying it too much. I might have just shorted out a circuit in my brain trying to get in touch with my feelings. It burns."

"Getting too close for my comfort, too. Let's get back to something safe, like making fun of our colleagues, or motorcycles, or…"


"Or sex. Met any interesting hookers lately?"

"I'll have you know that despite what everyone seems to think, I don't actually do hookers. Escorts only, thank you very much."

Chase smiled. "Escorts, eh? I guess the conversation is better?"

"I'm not sure, since I don't generally encourage conversation." House paused. "Although, I suppose they would have some interesting stories. Anyway, in case you're wondering, they're all clean, as am I."

"That's good to know—" Chase saw House perking up "–maybe, for future reference."

The waiter arrived to ask if they wanted coffee and they both went quiet. True to his word, House really did pay the bill, and without even making too big a deal out of it.

If only Chase could shake the feeling that this was too civilized to be true. I'm enjoying myself. Don't spoil it, House.


As House drove them back across town, he glanced over at Chase. "Would you like to come back to my place?"

"I think not, House. I have an early call tomorrow."

"Alright, your place it is."

They drove in silence for a few minutes, until Chase said, "You know I'm not going to invite you in, don't you?"

"I know," House smiled. "And you know I'm going to try to get in anyway, don't you?"

Chase smiled back. "I never doubted you."

After another companionable silence, they arrived at Chase's building and miraculously found a place to park in front. After they stopped, Chase turned to House and said, "I had a really good time, House. Thank you."

"At the risk of sounding like a soap opera, it doesn't have to be over, you know."

Chase smiled. "Yeah, it does, for now. I suppose…I wouldn't mind doing this again, though."

House swallowed his immediate comeback – Yeah, since I was paying – and came up with a less sarcastic line. "Can I walk you to your door, at least? Wilson was adamant that I should act like a gentleman."

"I'll have to thank him, then. You've done a rather good approximation so far. And no, I think I can find my way to the door without any help."

"Sure you don't want to invite me in?" House gave his best eyebrow waggle. "I can make it worth your while."

"Maybe you could at that, but the answer is still no."

"Can I at least kiss you goodnight?" When Chase didn't make a frantic grab for the door handle, House took that for a 'yes' and leaned toward the passenger seat. Chase leaned too and their lips met.

Chase was expecting House's tongue to make a spirited attempt to locate his esophagus, but instead, House's lips just touched his and withdrew. It was gentle, respectful, almost… Well, it was nice. This wasn't the House Chase thought he knew at all.

This House was kinda weird, actually.

He leaned back into his seat and gave House an appraising look. "Was that the best you could come up with for the occasion?"

House grinned without a trace of sarcasm, which was something else Chase wasn't used to. "If I gave it my best shot, you'd never send me off alone into the night."

Chase smiled back. "Then give me a medium shot."

They both leaned in and this time their lips and tongues got more involved. To his surprise, Chase could definitely detect some heat to the proceedings. Thank God it wasn't sloppy, though – he wasn't ready for that. Yet.

House finally broke it off. "Better. You have potential."

"Thanks. It didn't suck for me, either." Chase caught himself just in time and held up his hand to prevent House's response. "I did it again. Don't even bother to go there, House."

"Well, not tonight, anyway."

"Hold that thought." With that, Chase got out of the car, leaving behind a startled and very pleased House.



You'd hurt me if I stopped here, so I won't.

Next chapter: soon.