CLICK, BABY, CLICK!
Summary: Cuddy needs to raise funds. A hospital Christmas calender is the solution! Sexy pictures of Plainsborough's sexy Doctors. Guess who Chac the photographer wants to make the special "centerfold" feature?
Rating: M. Adult. NC-17 Pre-Slash, Slash, language.
Pairing: House/Other (Chac)
Disclaimer: I manipulate the sexy House and others to my hearts content. No fee's, no earnings,...just fun!
"Are these all the physicians?"
Cuddy's very attractive visitor shuffled through the photographs and short write-up's of a selection of her male on-staff M.D.'s. Some he set aside, some he left in the original pile.
"Those are all the doctors willing to participate." She said.
Chac Alezandro nodded, flashing her a small smile. He was a tall, slim, nicely built fellow in his mid-twenties who was, by reputation, a crack photographer. His very dark curly hair, which he kept neatly clipped close to his scalp, and almond colored skin suggested a South American background.
Sharp brown eyes summed up the two dimensional faces in the photographs he had chosen and set aside. He looked more closely at them one by one. "It's a good mix. I know it seems a little shallow, and to some maybe undignified but a lot of hospitals are trying this. Most have had a terrific success."
Of course, he had to promote his trade. What else would he say, Cuddy thought. Still, Plainsborough needed to renovate the Clinic from top to bottom and it being a free clinic, the money for such a project tasted of unnecessary waste to her rich contributors. Why renovate a perfectly usable clinic in fair condition for a bunch of free-loaders? That was not of course the way the words had been phrased at her most recent fund-raiser (a dismal failure) by those rich contributors, but Cuddy easily read between the lines. The clinic brought in no dollars. It served the poor well enough. Their hard-interest-earning money could be more frugally used elsewhere.
A fellow Dean from the mid-west had suggested this route. Cuddy had resisted the idea for a while but one day when walking through the small clinic, seeing the over-crowding, the cracks in the tiles, the flaking paint, the outdated equipment and drab looking nineteen-seventies wall art, she had succumbed.
They needed at least six or seven million dollars to completely renovate and refurbish Plainsborough Free Clinic. Cuddy had made the call.
And here her solution stood inside her office, his trained eye scanning the photos of the male staff willing to help.
"Really?" Cuddy asked. "How much of a success?"
Chac thought about it. "Well, this is my third calender this year - most hospitals want it to come out for Christmas, which will be possible for yours. Last year I did four and some made anywhere between three and five million dollars when all was said and done." He looked at her. "You'll have to find ways to promote it's sale. And start early in the year. Send copies and order forms to every contributor, peddle them to suppliers, to patients, staff, staff's families, the big shopping malls. Get orders from book stores, especially the big chains - Christmas sales are the big money maker. Everywhere you go, every trip you take between now and December, take boxes of them with you and promote, promote, promote."
Cuddy knew the routine. Half of the responsibility of being a hospital Administrator was raising money. You had to be a boss, a doctor, a diplomat, a counselor, a friend, and a saleswoman. You wore whatever hat was required at the time and acted like you knew exactly what you were doing.
It was early February so she had the time. Cuddy hoped she'd be able to pull it off. Seventeen doctors had agreed to participate in the thing, and Chac had cast aside six of them. He held up each photo, commenting, "'Doctor Chase'. He'll be a good draw for the younger crowd. Bedroom eyes but enough of the inexperienced youth in his look to suggest sexual innocence."
Chac noticed Cuddy's blush. "It's just part of the art, and the sell. I'm already thinking ahead to the type of photo that would make him look the hottest. Respectable head-shots are not going to get you any money."
"But naked pictures..?"
"Nude, not naked. And of course there won't be any full frontals, these aren't pornographic, just...beautiful human bodies. Tasteful male forms - there's nothing better." Chac smiled to himself. Then answered, "Yes, I'm, gay." to her politely un-asked question. "That's why I really enjoy my work. I like men."
"I'm a bit partial myself." She said.
"Wow." Chac said, "He's gorgeous." He read the name, "James Wilson." I'll have to think a little on him, he could be the Feature."
"Sorry. I always include an extra few pages in the center of the Calendar - between June and July - you know, the hottest months."
Cuddy smiled. The juxtaposition was a little obvious. ""Featured" how?"
"Extra photos. A lay out of photos of the sexiest male, somewhere between ten and twelve pictures in total over four to six pages. It's makes my calenders sell better than most. Of course my competitors are starting to adopt the idea, but...whatever, it's always been a big hit."
"You think you might use Wilson?" Cuddy hoped so, Doctor Wilson was a very good looking man.
"Looks that way so far." Chac went through the rest of the photo's. "Johnson, St. Pierre, - he's cute - Yates, Kassab?...mmmm...East Indian man-pretty, nice even features, great eyes...maybe." To himself, "There might be just one who..." He closely scrutinized the last four of the hospital manifest two by three's, then fingered Wilson's picture again. "Yeah, yeah probably Wilson."
"When can you start?" Cuddy asked. "Most of these Doctors work long hours. I can work out something on their days off if you like..?"
"Whenever works for me. I work around my subjects schedules. I can do the shoots here, at their homes, in a park, anywhere that best suits them though I do need at least one sitting for each of them in the hospital and in my studio."
Cuddy shook his hand. "Fine. All right if I give them your cell number and you can work it out with them?"
"Yeah." Chac scribbled it on the back of his business card. "I can start today."
Cuddy smiled. She was getting more and more into the idea.
Her smile faltered when House pushed her door open with his cane and walked in already talking, "...or I can't get any work done! Where is my computer?"
Cuddy had forgot to tell him. "Oh, right. Sorry. We've been having network trouble and the technician guy said he had to take a few towers and do some sort of tests on the motherboards, or something. They'll be back by the end of the week."
House perched himself on the arm of Cuddy's office couch and absentmindedly twirled his cane. "How am I suppose to do research without my computer?"
"You mean download porn and compare the boob-jobs?"
"It's a kind of research." House insisted innocently.
"Uh, huh." Cuddy noticed Chac staring at House and realized she had not introduced them. "Chac, this is Doctor House. House, Chac Alezandro."
House barely glanced at the guy. "My pleasure - Cuddy, I need my computer."
Cuddy's face set. She escorted House to her door. "The on-line poker can wait. If you're desperate, we'll get you a laptop. Now go do something you're actually getting paid for, like work." She pushed him out.
Cuddy turned with a ready apology, "Sorry about that. House can be a little in-your-face sometimes."
"He's a doctor here?" Chac asked, still staring after House's retreating, limping back.
"Yes. A very good doctor, just not a very nice man."
Chac raised his eyebrows at her. "I beg to differ. He's pretty fine. Why isn't his picture with these?"
With something akin to shock, "House??" Cuddy asked. "I...didn't even think to ask him." She shook both hands as though waving potential trouble away. "You don't know House, he would never, ever go for something like this."
"Will you ask him?"
"Did I say House can be in-your-face? Because I meant he can be a LOT in-your-face. He can be so in-your-face you feel like he's standing behind you at the same time-"
To no one in particular; to the room, or just to himself, "-he's perfect." Chac softly said.
"What? No, no. You do not want House."
Puzzled, Chac asked, "Why? You don't think he's good looking?"
Cuddy tilted her head and conceded, "I suppose he is in some irritatingly, obnoxious, brat fashion nice looking, but he's...so...so..."
"-Absolutely smoking hot." Chac finished. He was still looking at the direction where House had disappeared. "Seriously sexy."
Cuddy shook her head, still uncertain of her hearing. "House??"
"He has to be in the calender." Chac said. "He has to be the Feature." He insisted.
Cuddy almost swallowed her tongue. The man was serious. "Are you kidding me? We do want this thing to sell..."
"With him in it, it'll sell. It'll sell like you won't believe." Chac looked at her disbelieving face. "Trust me. I know what I'm talking about."
"Even if you think he'd make a good model, he'll never do it. He hides from scrutiny, he dislikes his picture being taken, he despises artifice - he hates people!"
"It doesn't matter what he thinks. What matters is what I think, and what I can make him think. Models are lumps of clay. All you need is a skilled hand to turn them into works of art."
"But House is a doctor, not a model."
"He's a subject. I'm a photographer. When I'm finished with him, every woman - and gay man for that matter - in New Jersey over the age of twenty who sees this calender is going to get wet over him."
Cuddy was speechless.
Chac could see she needed more convincing, of the monetary kind. "Don't you get it? We're doing a calender about doctors willingly sacrificing their time - and clothes - to raise money so a teaching hospital can rebuild its free clinic so the poorer people it serves will have the best equipment and attention, yadda, yadda, yadda...
"House is gorgeous. He's got a perfect face for the camera and I can make him look amazing! And, if you'll excuse my political incorrectness, he's a cripple. If he, a disabled doctor, is the Feature...it will turn peoples hearts into jelly. Imagine! - a disabled doctor working hard for the poor..."
"Listen! A doctor - himself disabled - volunteering for a project to raise money for his patients; some of them disabled. It sounds dishonest, but it's the perfect con. That's all art really is. A con for the mind, the heart or, in this case, the wallet."
Chac now and then still glanced down the hallway where House had disappeared, all but smacking his lips at the thought. "Just picture it. A disabled physician - a gorgeous, sexy crippled doctor - poor thing! - limping around curing people - the very idea is erotic. People'll turn their pockets inside-out. You'll make way more money if we use House. Maybe you'll even have extra money to do more than fix your clinic. House has to be the Feature. He's tall, handsome, nicely built, incredible eyes, legs that won't quit - he's delicious."
Cuddy had a hard time making her tongue move. Use House?...it was insane. "Ah, okay, I...guess we can try. But I know this man. He is not going to agree, I'm telling you..."
"Let me talk to him."
Cuddy shook her head, but Chac had come highly recommended, and he had nearly convinced her. She conceded. "Sure. What the hell."
Cuddy explained to Chac where he could find House's office. "Good luck." And after he was gone, "You'll need it."
Chac entered House's office and walked right up to his desk.
House, left off bouncing his baseball off the wall, and swivelled to return the fellow's stare.
Neither of them said anything. House pitched his ball back and forth between his hands. "You sick?" He finally asked the young man from Cuddy's office standing before him.
Shaking his head, "No."
House stood, grabbed his cane and limped to his stereo. "Good. Then you don't have to stay here. Bye, bye." House dismissed and began flipping through his vinyl album collection. But the fellow didn't move.
Finally House choose a record, put it on the old-fashioned turn-table, lowered the diamond needled arm down onto the grooves and listened as the soft chords of America undulated around his office.
House returned to his seat. The young man had not moved an inch. House, warily watching the man watch him, seated himself again.
Instead of leaving the young photographer placed both palms on House's desk and leaned over seductively to stare at him. "You," The young man from Cuddy's office finally said, "have I think the bluest and sexiest eyes I have ever seen."
House stared back, frozen for just a second. "Oka-a-a-y-y," House's eyes screwed up as though in pain. With no little sarcasm, "Am I blushing? 'Cause I'm leaving now." House took up his cane and walked out of his office. The younger man followed.
Realizing he was being tailed, House tried to hurry.
Young man easily kept up.
House, nearly out of breath, burst through Cuddy's office doors, jerking a thumb behind him to his stalker. "Okay," He said to Cuddy, "Who is this creep?"
Cuddy got up, "He's not a creep. He's the photographer I hired."
"If you're getting your portrait done, keep him out of my office. He just made a pass at me."
Chac laughed a little.
Irritated that the guy appeared to be enjoying his discomfort, House held his cane up in a threatening manner, "I hell with this cane, boy-toy."
"Put it down!" Cuddy snapped. She calmed down and explained to her over-reacting employee. "The hospital is doing a Christmas calender, and Chac here, in his - sorry Chac - good hearted ignorance, thinks you might be interested in volunteering to pose for it, along with Wilson, Chase and some others." She waited for the House-flavored mocking she knew was coming and was mildly surprised when none did.
House just turned to the photographer. "Well, Chac Here, I'm not. Thanks, goodbye." House left.
Cuddy sighed, but felt relieved. "Sorry. And I told you so." She said to Chac.
But Chac was not discouraged. "That sexiest eyes line usually works." He saw his newest subject-to-be was going to prove more of a challenge than anticipated. To Cuddy, "I'll get started with the rest but,...could you try to work on him? Oh, I'll need a visitor's pass so I can do a few shoots in their offices and around the hospital."
"Yes, to the Pass, but," Cuddy spread her hands in appeal. "can't you just use Doctor Wilson for the Feature? He's charming, he's really nice, he's good looking, he's...really nice!"
Chac shook his head no. "He is a babe, and I'll definitely use him if Doctor House refuses. But I really would prefer Doctor House as my Feature. He's..." Chac almost smacked his lips, "...sultry and seductive, but in a very I-play-hard-to-get-but-in-the-end-you'll have-me, yummy way."
Cuddy threw him a look that left no doubt she thought hin a little crazy. But, nodding she headed for House's office, catching up to him just as he entered his diagnostic domain. "I need you to do this." She said to him.
"You need me to give lectures. You need me to work the clinic. You won't get those either." He raised his head. "On the other hand, how many clinic hours to NOT sit for a photo with...what-ever-his-name-is back there?"
"He wants you."
"Not frisky right now! I don't want him. Tell him to ask Wilson." House sorted his mail. "He's the cute one, like a big eared puppy wagging his tail at everybody. Plus I suspect he's maybe got a foot or two in the closet. A supple wrist anyway."
"House, we need the money. We desperately need a new clinic and Chac, for some insane reason I can't fathom, thinks your face will make that happen."
For House it was simple, "Tell him he's wrong."
"I did. I also told him you were nuts and it didn't make a dent. He's as obsessive as you are."
House tore open and discarded one envelope after another. "Hire a different photographer."
"You owe me."
"So you keep telling me. How many more "payments" 'till we're even?" His leg throbbed and he plopped down in his chair.
Cuddy tilted her head, seductively. "It'll help you get dates."
He pretended to be hurt. "I get dates."
"I mean ones not on your speed dial who charge by the hour." Cuddy thought for a second. "I'll do you one better than your offer. IF you sit for the photo's," she underlined the 's', "I'll give you a month off clinic duty."
"To publically humiliate myself - I mean the kind of humiliation that sticks with you? - no thanks."
She perched herself on the corner of his desk and crossed one leg over the other. "Six weeks. Including one week off with pay."
He stared at her shapely calves. "Will that get me a date with you?"
She grinned. "Come on...six weeks without annoying patients with their bruises and blisters, no having to eyeball crotch rot, no boring sprains, no looking up people's noses..."
"Not enough to willingly flash my tush to the world."
Cuddy wasn't sure why Chac thought House was the right candidate but she had to say she tried. "Eight weeks including two weeks off with pay." She leaned over slightly so House got a close-up of her cleavage, "And it's a nice tush."
House, staring at her breasts, hesitated. Eight weeks and an extra vacation was more than tempting. "Flashing the wonder boobs was a nice touch." House said. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. "Fine. But only because you like my tushy."
She stood up. "Thanks. And I was kidding."
"No you weren't."
"Yes I was."
House gathered up a hand full of folders and exited his office. Cuddy's eyes followed him.
"You're looking at my ass right now." House commented on his way out. "You're a liar."
Chac watched his newest, and most grumpy, subject walk through his studio door. "Come in." Chac said, bringing his attention back to his lenses. From the corner of his eye, though, he watched Doctor House limp over to a straight wooden chair set against one wall. He sat in it stiffly, tucking his cane between his legs and resting his hands on the handle.
Chac got the feeling it was a habitual gesture for the disabled doc'. House didn't say anything.
Chac, anxious to gage what sort of resistence he would encounter with the handsome doctor, refrained from small talk. He kept his eyes and hands busy with his camera, the tripod and carefully cleaning the many lenses and filters he was planning to use.
"Can we get this over-with, Chuck." House said.
Fourteen seconds. Whew. This was going to be one by one from the jawbone.
"Uhm, Chac. And this is going to take several hours. First sitting here, maybe two, and then at least one at the hospital."
The doctor sighed and looked around the plain, square room. He started twirling his cane, already bored. "I thought there'd be windows." He commented.
Chac was glad for that at least. It meant the guy was at least willing to stay and be civil. "If I want natural light, I go outside. Inside I make my own light." He looked right at his subject. "That way I'm in control of it." He left his work table and made a calculatingly casual approach to the reluctant, but very sexy, doctor.
The way Doctor House was huddled in his chair, wary and watchful, Chac was reminded of a crouching coyote - curious but ready to flee.
"Light, color, shading, shadow. All of it designed to bring out what I like." Chac let his eyes fall across the doctor's features and down his body hidden beneath the layers of cotton shirts and loose, almost ill-fitting denim pants. "To shape what's already shapely, only...more so. To shade, color, angle and curve a man the way I want to see him. The way I think others will enjoy too."
House was listening. Chac wasn't sure if was curiosity or not. "In other words," House said, "to make them believe in what isn't real. To lie. Sounds almost religious."
Curious comparison, Chac thought. But the chit chat was effective. He wanted to disarm Doctor House. Relax but not distract him. He wanted House to become interested, somehow, in the work they were about to do. Chac knew from experience that if House hated the whole process, it would show in his eyes or register in the tiny lines of tension around his mouth. Chac's eye might miss those unwanted feelings but the camera would pick them up and render them true. They would remain alive through each developing stage and starkly displayed on the prints for all to see. It would be a wasted effort.
His studio door opened again and a petite brunette woman entered. As she did, the phone rang in the adjacent small office. She ran to get it. A conversation could be heard but ended quickly. "Sai's is on his way." She called. "About ten minutes."
"Good." Chac said back. "Our subject is here, Michele."
"Okay." She said.
Chac returned to his lenses, tilting his head toward his just arrived assistant. "Michele's my part-time make-up artist. Sai, who was just on the phone, is wardrobe, hair and indoor set man. He's got a great eye."
"Clothes? I thought these were suppose to be-"
"Yes, there will be some nudes. But, with you, we need to..." Chac thought,.."you need to make an entry." He smiled to himself in anticipated delight. "I want to introduce you to their eyes, let them see you working, fully dressed, then in another setting, relaxed, casual, with a little less clothing, and then a little less until we give them the complete treat."
Chac glanced over when he saw Doctor House look away toward the door. Undoubtedly feeling embarrassed, and having seconds thoughts. "I know I'm going to regret this," House asked, "but what does the "full treat" involve exactly?"
"The nude shots of course."
House had already agreed to it but Chac suspected the doc' had hopes to skip it somehow. Maybe House was planning an early exit - bathroom excuse or something and a limpy-gimp out the window.
Good thing I'm on the fourth floor.
"I don't want..." House started, and when Chac looked over, "a woman here while..."
"She won't be." Chac assured him. "Only between shots, if I need her. You don't mind Sai being here?"
House shook his head once. A tidbit agreement. It was a start.
House tried to do the poses, look in the directions Chac instructed, display on his face the requested emotions, to not sit too stiffly, to not look annoyed, not look angry. It was impossible.
"Doctor House," Chac rubbed a thumb and finger between his pinched brows, a headache behind his eyes hinting it's painful intent. "Are you trying to blow this? Doctor Cuddy is really counting on this for the hospital-" Guilt often did the trick.
"-I know." House said. "I have to be a good doctor for her and pose in the nude for a bunch of strangers, so she can get her new lab or her new MRI or her new computers or her new clinic. I'm used to her demands, I'm used to be used - lectures and wasting my time in clinic duty for a bunch of sniffling idiots. I'm even used to curiosity about my leg. What I'm not used to is swallowing my dignity and exposing my scar to thousands of curious strangers. Even for a fee!"
Chac looked at his doctor-coerced-model. House's eyes were dark and angry. He looked tired, and kept rubbing his thigh.
Chac was silent for a moment, considering how to proceed. House's outburst told him something. Guilt was not going to work here. And House wasn't just unhappy having to do the shoot, he was hating it. An a little afraid. When Doctor Cuddy warned him of House's resistance, he had no idea...
Chac took a long look at Greg House's face. The man was clearly in ignorance of his own physical appeal. No, doc' House was not a pretty boy. His face was lined and intense and rough. His expressions ranged from indifferent to "get the hell away from me". But the face was also fine boned, the cheeks just prominent, just there enough to catch every shadow, framing his features in a dance of dark and light. The ever present five o'clock shadow, the living emotions that never stopped changing, and those fuckingly blue, perfectly gorgeous eyes, all together translated into one of the most unexpectedly attractive men he had ever seen in his career.
All that was required was a natural touch up.
House had caught him, actually, when the doctor had first rudely barged into Cuddy's office. The face had captured his own brown eyes and not let go. The anger, the quick dismissal of him, had raised hackles on his back for a few seconds. But then House had listened to Cuddy, obeyed her and limped out the door.
In that moment, the change he had witnessed in the doctor, from righteous frustration that had softened to contrite vulnerability, was all Chac had to see.
His mind couldn't shake the man off.
Chac knew his craft very, very well. House, his vibrating personality, along with the looks, the touching disability in a man of such position and reputation, simply oozed sexuality. Chac knew his camera could capture it. He could make Greg House the sexiest man in New Jersey before it was time to decorate the Christmas trees.
He decided at that very moment it had to happen. It had to be House. That face under his lighting, his manipulations, his gentle encouragement and his camera...he'd almost came with the idea of it.
Chac walked over to House, gestured to the doctor's leg with his eyes. "Need a break?"
House nodded, calm now. He limped to the washroom and closed the door. It gave Chac a few minutes to figure new strategy. He would have to engage House's mind for this to work.
He would have to let House in on his particular photographic treatment. This was his differential and Chac understood now that House would require stimulating conversation to keep him interested. House would need to be enticed from his socially hardened shell. Chac would offer the good looking doctor a challenge and maybe even some fun.
Chac considered some avenues for achieving just that as he watched Greg House exit the washroom and reluctantly seat himself again on the bar-type stool. House twirled his cane in his right hand, looking everywhere but at the camera lense.
Chac watched House from the corner of his eye. The man had no goddamn clue how good he looked. How sexy he appeared, just sitting on the stool in those jeans. Chac reminded himself to ask Sai to dress House in something tighter. Those muscles legs needed to be hinted at, drooled over, dreamed about before being shown in all their loveliness.
Chac fiddled with his camera, making certain the shutter was on silent mode. When subjects were unaware they were being photographed, it often made the resulting pictures that much better. Their faces opened up, they became at ease with themselves and their surroundings. Strain melted away, eyes became softer, posture more relaxed, more supple. Sexier.
Just like House was now. The famous doctor was distracting himself, playing with his cane - Chac wondered how often he did that? It seemed a mannerism that was as much a part of him as was the limp.
Chac let the camera, it's lense turned to House on the stool, snap photo after photo. This would be his opening photo: Doctor at Play.
And then, others...(at House's desk maybe): Doctor on the Job. Teaching Doctor - A Difficult Case, Thinking House, Motorcycle Physician, (He would have the cane somewhere in every shot!). Chac let his mind wander to what would undoubtedly be the most tricky shoots: Nude Doctor, Nude Doctor's Gorgeous Legs, Nude Doc' on OR Table, Vulnerable Doctor Needs His Pain Med's, Doctor of the Furiously Beautiful Blue Eyes, Single and Sexy Doctor House!...
Chac smiled to himself, indulging in it, delighting in the visions of his art and the marvelous Feature he'd stumbled over. The appetizing sex that was going to drip off the photos of House once the work was complete...women and men will come when they see him!
Chac was going to turn taciturn, reclusive, angry, good looking, sexy Doctor Gregory House into the hottest fucking thing going.
To be continued in Part II