Title: Employee Relations
Author: plazmah/smitha-r
Rating: G
Fandom(s): House
Pairing(s): Chase/Cameron & Cameron/House (kinda)
Summary: Wilson's advice has its desired effect on House. How will his fellows take to his sudden need to socialize?
Notes: Unbetaed. Takes place after the episode Half-Wit.

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The door handle to the White Horse Restaurant was bitterly cold to the touch. House almost turned back at the sensation, as if it were a precursor of things to come. But through the window the old piano beckoned, not to mention that Wilson's ridiculously touchy-feely advice was still ringing in his ears. Damn that man and his need to give what he perceives to be sage advice, House thought with a grimace Still, the piano beckoned, unoccupied at the moment.

With countless notes running through his mind, fresh from the experience of the musical savant, House pushed the door open and walked in. In any case, it would be worth it to see Wilson's face tomorrow once he found out House had opted to hang out with his underlings instead of him.

---

Chase nabbed the first chicken finger the moment the waiter walked away. "I know we've said it before, but this is an new all-time low for House."

"His complete disregard for the rules, not to mention a little decency, is completely out of control." Foreman added with disgust.

Cameron glanced behind Chase and murmured with disbelief. "Speak of the devil..."

Foreman and Chase looked up just in time to see House walk up to their table, completely nonchalant, and their expressions immediately matched Cameron. House, ignoring their reactions, motioned his cane at Chase. The blond took the hint and slid further into the booth so that House could sit next to him.

Foreman was the first to find his voice. "You're actually going to sit with us? After what you pulled? In case you've already forgotten, I still don't like you."

"There's no new case, is there?" Chase asked, confusion evident on his face.

House didn't even look at them, simply snagged a chicken finger of his own while reading over the menu. "Nope. But a man's gotta eat when a man's gotta eat. I hear the Philly cheese-steak here is fantastic."

"No, I get it." Cameron said in a quiet tone that spurred House to look up at her. "You're pretending like you don't care. But really, you're here to get our forgiveness."

"Oh please, I don't need your charity." House rolled his eyes and went back to the menu.

"I never said I forgive you."

"Great, then we can forget all about the mess you guys made by being way too altruistic for your own good. Seriously, what's up with that? Have I taught you all nothing about remaining single-mindedly selfish?" House replied, taking another chicken finger.

"You're avoiding the argument." Chase pointed out.

House smirked. "And you're just hurt that you hugged me for no reason."

"You hugged him?" Foreman looked at Chase incredulously.

"I thought he was dying!" Chase said defensively, taking a sip of his water.

"Don't feel like too much of an idiot." House replied, finally putting the menu down. "At least you didn't pull Cameron's stunt and play tonsil hockey with me just so you could get a sample of my blood."

Cameron gulped and watched as Chase choked on his water, turning to her with shock. "You... you kissed him?"

Foreman quirked an eyebrow upwards, shaking his head at Cameron. "I know I should be surprised right now, but somehow I'm just not."

"An interesting statement." House interjected, shaking his coat off and rising from the table, cane firmly in hand. "Debate on that point until I get back from the bar; loser buys me imported beer all night long."

---

Chase turned back from the piano and took another sip of his beer. "Okay, maybe it was worth it after all."

"Maybe what was worth it?" Cameron asked with a shake of her head.

"Me being bullied into buying everyone drinks tonight by House. I'm too drunk to care that you kissed him, you-" Chase ignored Cameron's agape expression and turned to Foreman with a wry grin. "-are like my bestest friend right now, and House... well, you can see how that turned out."

"He's impressive, you must admit." Foreman mumbled, faintly watching as House's finger's glided effortlessly across the keys. The man was hamming it up for the crowd, asking if there were any nubile, single ladies who were interested in piano lessons.

"Impressive, maybe. But he'll never change." Cameron argued.

Chase nodded. "True. But if I can get him drunk enough that he's having fun and interacting with people, I think I'd count that as a victory."

"A small victory, maybe." Foreman conceded.

Cameron raised her beer in a toast. "To small victories."

Chase and Foreman raised their beers as well, the clinking noise carrying across the restaurant as House played on.

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