Chase had his eyes closed, trying to ignore the prattling the others were engaged in. He couldn't really decide if it was making it better or worse to try to ignore everything around him. On the one hand, the noise was making his head hurt worse. On the other, without some form of distraction, he found himself focusing too much on the pain itself. A happy medium, if there was such a thing, would be watching something engaging like television or listening to music.

He thought about grabbing his coffee cup and finding another lounge to sit in, but that would require far more effort than he was willing to put forth at the moment. Despite the pain that had kept him awake most the night, he could feel the pull of sleep as he sat in the hard chair. His arms crossed over his chest, leaning back in a slouch that looked lazy, he could easily imagine drifting off and in a way he hoped he would. He was bone tired.


He almost groaned aloud. So close, yet so far from the sleep he desperately wanted. He cracked an eye open and peeked up. For all intents and purposes, he looked relaxed and probably a bit slothful. "Yeah?"

"Your shift almost over?" Asked the intern from the doorway.

He gave a soft. "Hm." Barely nodding.

"The patient's BP is a bit elevated." The intern informed him, with a trace of hesitation.

"Hm." He sighed, slowly standing up before ambling toward the door. "Of course." He muttered as he passed the other man. "It's not a normal day unless something goes wrong at the last moment."

"It's just elevated a little bit." The intern defended himself, needlessly.

Chase wasn't sure what his name was, nor did he really care. The man would probably work on a different floor next week, so it hardly mattered to him. "It always starts out small, and then it turns into the drama of the week." He sighed. "It never fails."

"I think you're exaggerating just a little, with all due respect." The intern hastily added the last bit. Hoping to head off irritation which Chase was unknowingly giving off in waves.

"You're new here, aren't you?" Chase rolled his eyes and then pushed the door open into the ICU so he could go look himself.

Vaguely offended, the intern waited at the nurses' station.

It did appear to be only a slight elevation, and could be due to pain. But Chase had learned you don't discount anything as simple or 'only' when it came to patients. Frowning, he looked back through the glass wall toward the nurses' station and then back at the patient. Sticking his head out of the doorway he called over to them. "I'll stay over. Just in case."

There really wasn't too much thought into the decision. He could either go 'home' and have to deal with Allison's questions and prying. Then try to go to sleep, which wouldn't come. Or he could stay here and at least be useful.

Lately, it had just been harder to make things work between them. At first, it had been everything he could hope for. At least, once she got over whatever stumbling block she originally had about them being more than just friends with benefits. But, he should have known that having both been trained by House, she'd start picking up on the little things. He tried to play it off, to tell her it was no big deal. He tried to smile and shake his head and explain that it was 'just one of those things' and that she was blowing it out of proportion.

The more he tried to put her off, the more she started to worry at things like a dog with a bone. Until finally, he started to get exasperated and resentful of her intrusions and questions. Leave it alone, Allison! But if there was one thing she was incapable of, besides ultimately 'caring', it was leaving someone alone when she thought they needed help.

He sat down in the chair beside the bed, frowning as his back protested his position, but otherwise giving no indication of his discomfort and settled himself in to waiting with the surgical patient.

It wasn't much of a surprise when Allison appeared at the door, staring at him, as he was staring blankly at the machines. "Are we going?" She asked quietly.

He didn't shake his head. But he did turn his body slightly toward her and raise his brows. "No. Least, I'm not. Patient showed signs of distress. I should be here. You can go on." He reported softly before turning back again, arms still crossed over his chest.

He didn't need to see her to 'feel' the sigh she gave and the way her body would seem to slump down in disappointment. He could easily imagine it all, including the small frown and slight wrinkle between her brows when she was trying to figure out what to do next to 'fix' the situation.

And therein lay the problem. He didn't need to be fixed. It wasn't something that could be fixed. He just wanted to leave it alone. And she? She wanted to talk, about everything.

"Okay." He finally heard the sigh this time. He knew better than to believe that it had been made in defeat. It was just a temporary truce, until he got home. "We'll talk once you're home."

He closed his eyes and then rolled his eyes before giving a soft. "Hm."

"Don't do this, Robert." She said quietly. Imploring him to 'let her in'.

"I'm not doing anything, Allison. I'm working." He said in that slightly mocking tone he occasionally took when she was irritating him.

"Yes, you are. You're avoiding the issues." She had moved past the doorway and into the room, her hands behind her back as she now leaned against the glass wall.

"There are no issues to avoid." He said evenly. "You're trying to create them, where they do not exist. And this isn't the time or place for this. I have a patient that just came out of surgery. Go home, Allison."

"I just think we should talk..." She pleaded softly. "You won't even look at me."

He looked toward the ceiling, as though beseeching a higher power before closing his eyes and then re-opening them in irritation. Then he turned at the waist, to look at her. His arms still over his chest. "I'm busy. Go home. We'll... talk there... though there is nothing to really talk about." He pointed out.

"Something is wrong." She started again.

"Yeah, there is. You won't back off!" He finally bit out, his eyes hardening. "I don't know what is with you lately. You ask if something is wrong. I say no. Instead of accepting that, you have to turn it all into some big drama and act like there is a conspiracy of silence against you. There is nothing for you to worry about. Nothing to fix. Nothing to get to the bottom of. I'm fine. But you are pissing me off because you keep pushing!"

For a moment, he felt bad as her eyes looked suspiciously watery, and then he saw her tighten her resolve. Her lips becoming a grim line as she nodded. "We'll talk at home. There's no such thing as 'nothing'. There's always 'something'. And if we ignore the symptoms..."

"A relationship isn't a disease." Chase said at first loudly, and then lowering his voice toward the end as he remembered the sleeping patient. "You're exaggerating every little thing!"

She shook her head at him sadly, turning back to the door. "No, Robert. I don't think I am. Little things have a tendency of turning into big things... I'll see you at home."

The woman slipped out the door, leaving him alone with the patient and he turned back to the bed. Leaning against the back of the chair, he mumbled. "Maybe..."

Home didn't look at all appealing.