Authors Note: So I was sitting here, bored out of my wits and watching When a Strangers Calls, when I got this idea for a fic, very loosely based off it. It's also a ChaseHouse fic, so if you don't like slash, you should probably stop here. Other than that, I hope you enjoy :-)
Chapter One: A New Home
Another boring day, he thought, staring around the newly purchased home that he and his partner shared. It had been a huge step for both of them, realizing that the one bedroom apartment simply wasn't enough and that with the money they made, there was no real reason not to move into something more spacious. House hunting had been an adventure all on its own, though considering who was involved it was no surprise. Chase had known that when he and Greg and finally decided that it was the best course of action that actually finding a suitable place would be no picnic. Still, 12 missed appointments and 5 realtors later they had found the perfect place.
It was a nice sized home with more rooms than they really needed, but they both liked it which was enough of a reason to get it. There was a bit more distance between them and the hospital than before, with a bit more privacy for the two of them which was greatly appreciated. Most of their things had been unpacked, only a few odds and ends left to take out of boxes, things that were probably unnecessary but with so much space they might as well keep.
Still, with his day of the young blonde had no desire to continue unpacking as he had done most of it himself already. Wilson had come over the first day to help with the furniture, but everything else had been left up to him, not that he could blame his lover, not really having hands to spare. He could have done without the mocking though. It wasn't his fault his arms weren't used to manual labor aside from moving patients at work. Growing up his father had always hired people for any kind of work that required his family to life a finger.
Not that thinking about any of this was getting him closer to finding something to do with his day off. With House at work for god knows how long he was left with the job of entertaining himself, which he has never good at. It was already 8:00pm and the only thing he had done all day was drag himself off of the couch long enough to shower and make something for lunch. He had been hoping Greg would make it home before dinner, despite the fact that it was a long shot. Of course if he had to be truthful, that wasn't really the only reason he wanted the other to be home.
It was stupid really, something that had bothered him since his early college years, having been forced to move several times during that time. After one incident, Chase had always had a bit of trouble adjusting to his surroundings when moving into a new home. It made no sense really, especially now that so much time had passed it was kind of ridiculous. But having trouble sleeping the last two nights told him that his old fear had never truly gone away. He had convinced Greg that it was nothing, that it was simple restlessness that had him waking up in the middle of the night, too tired to sleep but no energy to do anything else. Of course the blonde was completely aware that his story was probably not that convincing but he hadn't been interrogated so far, he figured House was biding his time, waiting for the right moment to strike or perhaps for Chase himself to come clean. Either way, he was glad that for now at least he hadn't been forced to explain himself.
He was drawn away from his thoughts by the howling of the wind causing the leaves to rustle outside of the windows that stretched from the floor to the ceiling, his eyes darting around as his heart beat quickened. The day had been overrun by night, the sun replaced by the moon and stars which provided a minimal amount of light. Sighing, he closed his eyes for a moment, berating himself for reacting so childishly. Still...pushing himself up he made his way to the kitchen and picked up the cordless, dialing House's office number.
Ring. Ring. Ring. Ri- "What do you want?"
Ah. Good ol' House, always so polite. "Depends. Is sex out of the question?"
"Never. What do you think I keep you around for?"
"Oh, and hear I thought you actually cared. Silly me." A smile slowly made its way to his lips. Just hearing the other's voice put him at ease. "When are you coming home?"
"Aw. Is little Robbie missing me already?"
"Oh yes. I've thought of nothing else all day."
"Well, I can't say I blame you. My charming wit and dashing good looks. Who wouldn't miss me? I should be back in a couple of hours though. Earlier hopefully, if I can sneak past Cuddy and Wilson."
"Okay...Yeah, that sounds good."
House however, caught on to the relieved tone and couldn't help but feel a small pang of concern. "...You okay Wombat? Not scared of the dark are ya?"
Shaking his head, mostly to himself as the other was on the other side of town, he rolled his eyes. "Of course not...just bored thats all. I'll see you when you get home."
"Whatever you say kiddie."
Chuckling, Chase lowered the phone and pressed the off button, placing it back on the charger. He felt silly, calling Greg at work just to calm his own silly fears, and now the other knew for sure something was up, and he wasn't going to be able to hold off another conversation about what was wrong. He'd never live it down.
He jumped suddenly at the sound of something banging, and whirled around, noticing that the weather seemed to be worsening and had knocked over one of the chairs on the patio. "Stop it," he told himself, taking a deep breath. "You're acting ridiculous for someone who's 30 years old. It's just a stupid chair, now go outside and set it back up. No big deal right? Right. You know better."
With slow steps he made his way across the kitchen and to the porch door, staring at the leaves being blown off their branches, the trees that were creating shadows the danced across the walls. Hesitantly he unlatched the door and slid it open, stepping out into the night. It took only a few seconds to pick up the chair, but as he was about to set it right the phone rang. He glanced back for a moment before dropping the fallen item in the doorway and heading back inside to pick up the phone. "Hello?"
Oddly enough, the only reply he got was static, not the kind that came from a bad connection, but more like someone was standing outside and had the wind blowing into the mouth piece. "...Greg is that you?" Still nothing. "Hello...?" Click.
Confusion was written across his face as he slowly pulled the phone away and stared down at the caller idea which read "Unknown Number." Weird...he hadn't the slightest who it could have been, as most of their friends' numbers always came up right away. Shrugging to himself he went to place the phone down and turned to go back out when he paused, his eyes locking on the spot where the now missing chair had been. Taking a closer look he noticed that it now was lodged in the corner of the porch, it's legs caught in the wooden beams. Logic told him that it must have blown back while he was on the phone, after all he had been facing the other way and the wind was obviously strong enough to blow it around. Still, a small part in the back of his mind wondered how the wind had caught it while half of it was already inside of the doorway. Did he really want to know the answer to that? No, no he didn't.
Frowning, he quickly closed the door and locked it, taking one last look outside before pulling the blinds closed. It seemed simple enough. If he couldn't see it, it couldn't frighten him. He'd used this logic as a kid and it had worked perfectly fine then, so why not now. What he really needed was a distraction, something to kidnap his mind and keep it occupied until House came home from work, and thankfully with his lover's taste in tv shows there were plenty of things tivoed that he could watch. Hopping onto the couch he grabbed the remote and turned on the tv, scrolling through the recordings until he came to one of the many episodes of The L Word that had been recorded. Nothing takes your mind off of things like a show about hott lesbians right?
He managed to make it about halfway through the first episode when the phone started to ring again. Without thinking he pressed the power button and brought the phone to his ear. "Hello?" Just like before there was no answer, however this time the staticy sound was missing, replaced by someone breathing into the phone. His eyebrows furrowed as he lifted his legs from the floor and crossed them so he was sitting indian style on the couch. "Can I help you with something?" He couldn't help but glance around, waiting for a reply that didn't seem to be coming until-
"New place hm? Looks nice."
His breathe caught in his throat and his eyes widened as the words were spoken in a voice that sounded like something from a memory that he couldn't place. "Who is this?" he forced out with a quivering voice that matched his trembling hands. Click. "Hello? Hello?? Damnit..." He was met only with a dial tone, signaling the other had hung up the phone. He quickly clicked the phone off and back on, dialing the first person that came to mind. Maybe House was just trying to mess with him, it wasn't out of the question after all, knowing the other loved to play tricks and wasn't exactly the most innocent of people.
He took a moment, trying to slow his racing heart and quietly took a breath, not wanting to sound scared. After all, if it was House, there was no way he was going to give in that easily. "Did you just call here?"
"Why hello to you too. Someone's manners are lacking. And no, I didn't."
"Sorry...," he closed his eyes for a moment, telling himself to just be calm. "Someone's been calling. Probably some stupid teenager with nothing better to do but prank call people. Still, I thought I'd check to see."
"Why Robert I'm hurt that you think I'd do such a thing."
"Oh don't pretend to be all innocent. You're probably just sad you didn't think of it first."
"...Touche. Lucky for you I almost home. I managed to get out of my last hour of clinic duty, which really means I made a run for it before anyone could stop me. So I'll be back soon enough. Think you can manage without me a bit longer?"
"Yeah yeah...I'll see you when you get here."
He hung up the phone, however kept his fingers tightly wrapped around it as if expecting it to ring again. Stupid prank callers...why was it the kids never had anything else to do than to bother those with actual lives? Not that he could say he had much of one right now...after all the complaining he had done about being bored. Still it wasn't as though he was going to pick up the phone and start dialing random numbers, scaring people in their homes for his own twisted amusement while the victims ended up being frightened, the safety of their home becoming less and less.
The next thing he heard was the clicking of the lock at the front door and all he could do was stare, watching as the lock turned and the door started to creak open almost in slow motion until he looked up and saw a familiar face, staring at him with an expression caught between confusion and worry. "Hey..."
Relief came flooding over him like a tidal wave as he smiled, suddenly feeling utterly foolish for having been so panicked only minutes earlier. He watched as the other approached him, sitting beside him almost hesitantly, watching closely as if to read his mind, trying to figure out what had happened while he was gone. "I know what you're trying to do...," he said softly, shifting so he was laying down, his head in the other's lap, smiling when fingers began to run through his hair, taking comfort in the small action. "But I'm fine."
"Really Robbie, you should know by now I can tell when you're lying...and I know there's more to it than just a few prank calls, cause even you aren't scared that easily. I figured I'd give it a couple days, maybe it was just something about adjusting to being here. But I know there's something you're trying to hide." He waited until Chase's soft green eyes stared up at him to continue. "You know you can tell me...Contrary to popular belief, I can listen when the occasion calls for it."
It wasn't that he really wanted to hide things from him, but just the thought of talking about it out loud sent a chill up his spine and caused him to block it out of his mind. Still, the look in Greg's eyes told him he was sincerely concerned and wanted nothing more than to make him feel at ease,and he knew he couldn't deny him much longer. "I know you can...it's just...it's stupid really, something that happened so long ago that I thought I was over...I'll tell you soon, I promise...just...not tonight okay? Besides...I bet you're starving eh?"
He could tell the other wanted to persist, but he gave his best puppy eyed look until he caved. "Tell me you made something at least somewhat edible." And with that the conversation was evaded, at least for now. Chase knew he couldn't hold it off for much longer, but for now he was okay, safe in Greg's arms, and that was enough for him.