A/N: I've never posted 'deleted scenes' for a fic before, but I kind of liked this one, so I thought I'd stick it here just for kicks. It's supposed to come right after Cameron and Foreman confront House on his way to the chapel, telling him about the sulfur in the blood. Unfortunately, after writing it, I realized that it was a bit too OOC for both House and Cuddy, much as I tried to make it work (and much as I enjoyed writing the snark), and figured the fic would be better off without it in the end.


He continued on, leaving Foreman and Cameron behind to probably gossip about his current mental state, and was about to slip into his own reverie about what he was even thinking listening to a pair of lying delinquents when he was interrupted yet again, this time by a pair of Jewish boobs on high heels. Well, it wasn't the boobs, really, that interrupted him, but they sure provided a sufficient distraction.

"House!" Cuddy shouted, stomping over to him, her heels clacking loudly on the floor. House stopped, raised his eyes to the ceiling, and leaned on his cane. "I've been trying to get a hold of you for two hours. Did you turn your pager off?"

"Oops," he replied with a shrug.

Cuddy sighed. "Your patient doesn't have valid insurance."

"Of course he does," House replied, knowing even as he said it that it probably wasn't true.

Shaking her head, Cuddy explained, "The information he gave was fake. I'm not entirely sure he even gave a real name."

"Okie-dokie. Should I stop treating him, kick him out onto the street, and let him die?" he suggested, irritation growing at both Cuddy for adding another problem to the mix and William Gibbons, or whoever the hell he really was, for putting him in this ridiculous situation. And he supposed he was irritated with Wilson, too, for being too busy with his balding cancer kids to lend a hand, and Chase, who had vanished to check the burger for poison and hadn't returned. And he was a little irritated with himself, too, for letting everything get complicated. Much as he liked the puzzle, this was more like a game of Twister that assumed you had thirteen free limbs to spare. House didn't even have the standard four.

Cuddy still hadn't responded. She looked unsure, weary, and exasperated. He knew she was in a difficult position; he just didn't really care.

"Tell you what," he offered. "I'm going to keep treating my patient because, well, he seems like a nice enough guy and it would make me look bad if I let him die. And you're going to forget to inform me about this little development until after we're sure he's not going to die. Kay?"

Cuddy sighed, watching him critically. "You're really pushing it, House."

"And in the future you're not going to bother me with irrelevant information when I'm in the middle of trying to save someone's life," House continued.

"House!" she shouted. "That's enough. We don't make exceptions. If someone doesn't have the insurance, the hospital gets no money. Do you understand? Do you know how much money you've cost me already? You might as well just turn the entire hospital into a free clinic!"

"Let it slide for me. As a favor," House requested, voice gentler. "Please."

Cuddy looked as though she were still trying to rein in her anger. "A favor? You just don't want to drop the puzzle halfway through, before you've figured it out." House didn't say anything. He hoped that his silence would be enough for her to calm down and give him his freedom to work, like usual. Cuddy shook her head, and he could tell that she was about to relent. But before he could send up a cheer of victory, she snapped, "Fine. But I'm adding twenty extra hours of clinic duty to your schedule. Finish them by the end of the month. And if you don't get me the correct insurance when this guy's better, you're paying for all of his expenses out of your own pocket."

House decided it was time to bargain. "Ten hours."

Cuddy put her hands on her hips and glowered at him. "Twenty."

"Fifteen."

"Twenty."

"Seventeen."

"I'm going to start going up if you keep arguing," Cuddy snapped. "Twenty."

Then she turned and walked away, heels clacking on the linoleum floor. House closed his eyes, not quite sure that this had been worth the extra clinic hours.

Oh well. Snapping his eyes open, he continued on towards the chapel, an empty syringe tapping against the rattling bottle of Vicodin in his pocket. Too bad about the extra hours.

But he could always pawn them off on Wilson.