Hello, everybody! :) I'm back with a short two-parter, still mostly hurt/comfort but House and Chase for a change. Because I just love him this season... :)
Second part will be up in a couple of days. - Hope you enjoy!
Reflexively checking the caller ID, Chase answered his cell phone frowning slightly. "Tough case…?" Why else would his ex-boss be calling him on a Sunday night…
He thought he heard the other man exhale tensely in what might have been an odd sort of half-laugh, before House replied shortly in a slightly hoarse voice: "Not how you think. – Need you to come over…"
Chase's frown deepened exponentially. "Over… where?"
A brief moment of hesitation. Then, gruffly: "My place. – Bring some doctor stuff."
When a minute of pounding on the other man's door got him no response, Chase felt along the top of the door frame, hoping House still kept his spare key somewhere around here… He did.
Quickly letting himself in, he was slightly shocked to find House on his couch, pale, sweating, and looking as if he was about to pass out. He had his bad leg elevated slightly on a rolled-up blanket, and a kitchen towel wrapped tightly around his left forearm.
As soon as he came closer to the couch, he could also smell faint traces of vomit. And urine…
"What happened…?!" He quickly set down the medical bag he had brought, trying to visually assess the situation some more.
When House just tiredly looked up at him, but didn't say anything, Chase carefully sat down on the edge of the couch, reaching out to gently unwrap the obviously bleeding forearm. He found several straight cuts that looked relatively shallow and one uneven, ragged one that had apparently gone deep into the tissue and caused the majority of the bleeding.
He searched the other man's gaze, eyes questioning. "What happened, House?" Instinctively reaching out to take House's pulse, he noticed that the skin of his hand felt clammy.
When the other man still didn't talk, he quickly scanned the rest of his body, trying to detect obvious injuries that could explain his condition. Not immediately finding anything out of the ordinary, he eventually eyed his former boss intently, willing him to finally say something.
"House… You look pretty shocky. I need you to tell me what's wrong…" Traces of concern were clearly penetrating his clinical attitude by now.
House closed his eyes in obvious discomfort – and shame maybe? – but he finally broke his silence.
"Been having breakthrough pain since 7 last night. Can't get it under control; can't get up… And I cut myself."
Chase nodded, apparently immediately grasping the situation now. "Okay. How much Vicodin… And how much pain?"
A pained half-laugh. "Too much. – That goes for both…"
Another nod. One was expected, the other one apparent…
"Pain-scale, House. Honestly."
He saw House clench his right hand to a fist. "Around an 8, right now..."
Without hesitation, Chase started to prepare a syringe. "Okay. We'll try a shot of IV morphine and see how you're doing then… Have you ever had trouble tolerating it?" He was already looking for a good vein.
House just tensely shook his head, before suddenly biting his lower lip sharply, obviously swallowing an involuntary sound of pain. Intent on not wasting any more time, Chase determinedly, but slowly, started to push the drug.
Setting aside the empty syringe, Chase's hand immediately went back to House's wrist, checking his pulse while at the same time keeping his eyes on his chest to monitor his respiration.
When House finally closed his eyes in apparent relief, Chase wordlessly started to prepare some lidocaine.
"I'm gonna stitch up your arm now, if you feel up to it…"
Just a weak nod. House's breathing was finally starting to even out.
Injecting the local anesthetic, Chase quickly stitched up the deepest of the cuts, before carefully cleaning and bandaging the rest of the forearm. When he had finished packing everything up again, he noticed House's gaze resting on him. He gave his ex-boss the faintest of half-smiles, before briefly touching his arm again, lightly pinching the skin.
"You're pretty dehydrated, aren't you…" Not really a question. "Think you can keep some juice down? Or do you need a bag…"
House shook his head slightly. "Kitchen. Next to the door…"
When Chase returned with a glass of apple juice, he noticed that House had propped himself up slightly, still looking pained but not as pale as before. When the older man gave a few weak half-coughs, Chase frowned slightly, juice – for now – forgotten. "Can you breathe okay?"
Getting nothing but an eye roll in response, Chase handed over the glass, the concern on his face momentarily turning to slight annoyance. "Well, excuse me for being just a little bit concerned about your respiratory status, after giving you IV morphine on top of I don't even wanna know how many milligram of hydrocodone…"
Apparently unmoved by the sarcastic comment, House simply started to sip his juice, before briefly meeting the younger man's accusing gaze. "Apology accepted."
This time, Chase rolled his eyes at the dry reply.
When he was about to take a seat on the couch table, Chase suddenly noticed that the smell of vomit seemed to be coming from a trash can, hidden from view just behind the head-part of the couch. Focusing on not thinking about the kind of pain it would take for House to actually throw up, Chase wordlessly disposed of it in the bathroom.
When he returned again, House had finished the glass of juice, and was now carefully rubbing his right thigh. Chase only now noticed that he was oddly wearing a shoe on that side…
He bravely nodded towards it. "You wanna get that off…?"
Just an uncomfortable half-nod.
Chase quickly opened the shoes laces, before very carefully sliding the sneaker off the obviously swollen foot, causing House to moan softly and shut his eyes tightly again. Chase eyed the limb, frowning slightly. "Should there be swelling?"
House just shrugged. "There shouldn't be a chunk of muscle missing from my thigh." Words laced with sarcasm.
Fighting the urge to roll his eyes again, Chase started to gently massage the swollen foot and lower leg instead, surprised when House didn't immediately stop him. Without taking his eyes off the task, he finally asked in as neutral a voice as he managed: "What about Wilson?"
House had in the meantime lain back again and was covering his eyes with his right forearm. "What about him…"
"Does he know you're… unwell?"
Just a shrug. "He's busy."
Chase frowned again at that, searching House's gaze, but finding his eyes still covered. "Doing what?" He could hardly imagine that the oncologist would simply leave his best friend to suffer like that…
"Securing his bonds with Mrs Future-Ex-Wilson number four…" He finished with a spontaneous hiss, causing Chase to lighten his touch somewhat.
"But you called him…"
This time, House looked at him briefly, before turning his head slightly to the side again. "Didn't give him the specifics. But yeah… I called him." A reluctant admission.
Chase shook his head, clearly taken aback. "And… he… told you he was busy?!" That didn't sound like Wilson.
House threw him an impatient glance, but his next words were very quiet. "They thought it was a scam."
They. – Of course. Wilson and Amber…
Chase felt a strange pain somewhere around his chest at the other man's defeated tone. Maybe this stupid fight over Wilson's time hadn't been such a good idea after all… He concentrated on sounding clinical again when he asked the next question.
"Have you gotten up at all since last night?"
He got a snort for that one. "Doesn't look that way, does it…" House vaguely gestured towards a large coffee cup on the low table next to the couch. Chase only now noticed that it seemed to be the source of the faint urine smell… The pain in his chest intensified.
After another couple of minutes, he carefully placed the leg down again, eyeing his former boss pensively. "Think you can eat something?"
A small grimace. Then: "I'll be fine now." He very briefly met the younger man's gaze, before looking away again. "Thanks…"
Chase just shook his head. "Nothing to thank me for. – And I'm not leaving you like this. Not until you've had something to eat, and I know you're getting around okay." His suddenly authoritative demeanor left very little room for protest.
House frowned at that, unhappily, before putting on his famous whining tone. "But Mom… I'm really not hungry…!"
Chase simply ignored the attempt at distraction. "Not hungry; or nauseous?"
Reluctantly resigning himself to the other man's apparently unavoidable aftercare, House tiredly sank back against the couch, muttering under his breath: "Mostly not hungry…"
Chase nodded. It wasn't surprising really...
"Okay. But you still need to eat a little. - What do you say, we'll order some soup somewhere and see how that goes…?"
Finally a reluctant half-shrug, but no more protest.
When Chase returned from the phone, he was surprised to find House in the process of getting up. The frown on his face was instantly back. "What are you doing…?"
House very carefully lifted his bad leg down from the couch, using both hands to support the obviously still very painful limb.
"Taking a shower before dinner."
Chase's eyes widened slightly in alarm. "I'm… not sure this is such a good idea, House…" He absolutely didn't appear steady enough to stand in a spray of hot water for any period of time…
"Not gonna pass out." House made his third attempt to push himself up, before admitting grudgingly: "Could use a little help here though…"
With Chase's support, he made it to the bathroom but stopped in the doorway, his breathing heavy, face pale again, a thin sheet of sweat covering his forehead. He hesitated a moment, before simply announcing: "I'll leave the door unlocked…"
Second part will follow soon... Thanks for reading! :)