Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author's Notes: Title of story inspired by a Bap Kennedy song of a similar name. Second House fic evar. Feedback is most welcome.
Spoilers: Wilson's Heart
Summary: She walked over to him, stared down at him with mildly curious fascination. "You don't waste any time, do you?" Post Wilson's Heart; implied Cuddy/Thirteen; maybe some House/Thirteen
A Mighty Ocean
House made sure to hail a taxi cab this time around.
Hours prior to this latest alcohol binge, he had been doing alright and then Cuddy showed up. He had barely said the word 'drink' before Cuddy scolded him. Just to be totally hypothetical now, what if he wanted a drink of water? Wouldn't matter, he supposed. Cuddy would never believe that 'drink' was synonymous for 'water'.
To make things worse, Cuddy now had every one listening to her every command. She was totally taking advantage during his coma! How dare she!
Admonished and berated by the entire diagnostic team, he told them all very seriously to go to hell and left the Princeton-Plainsboro Training hospital with more bluster than necessary.
They tried to convince him that falling back into his old habits wouldn't help matters. Well, it definitely wouldn't change anything either, now would it? So what did they care if he drowned himself in his second most favorite abusive substance in the entire universe? They knew, just as well as he did, the past was past.
Unfortunately, they did care about him and his health. Even Wilson cared, though he pretended not to.
It was Wilson pretending to not care that upset House more than anything. House could deal with truth and honesty, but for Wilson to pretend he no longer cared about their friendship? House knew better; he knew Wilson still cared about friendship, Amber, patient care, the hospital. Wilson still cared deeply and House hated pretenders. The last thing he wanted was to hate Wilson for pretending.
House fell into the backseat of the cab, hugging his cane close to his chest. He had gone back to the same bar, spoke to the same dumbass bartender. It was a good night, considering.
He rattled off his address to the driver, then contemplated how to finish off his evening. He was celebrating, after all. It had been less than a week since he had woken from his coma. He spent most of that week trying to bribe Kutner into slipping some vodka into his IV drip. It didn't work.
Porn was an option. Yeah, he could settle in nicely with a dirty mag or two.
House popped a Vicodin as the cab hummed along.
He threw his apartment door open, oh, at around four in the morning. He was still a bit tipsy and he could normally handle tipsy, but even he had pushed his limits tonight. The thought of puking was most appealing. He resisted the urge to throw up on his visitor's shoes.
"Thirteen! What a pleasant surprise!"
Thirteen could only raise her eyebrow slightly at him. She said gently, "You called me, remember?"
House put on a reflective front, nodded as he recalled. "Right. I actually meant to dial that lovely prostitute service I call from time to time, but 'Hades' Den' and 'Hadley, R.' are listed together on my contact list. I get them confused."
"So, you're the guy who keeps calling then hanging up on me," Thirteen joked lightly. She invited herself in, because House surely wasn't going to. He looked like shit and smelled like far worse.
She made no point to offer help. He had no intention of asking for help and she certainly wasn't going to give assistance willingly. She suspected House had called her on purpose and she also suspected he would wait until the appropriate time to reveal why he really wanted her here.
She dropped her small wallet on his coffee table, took this opportunity to stake out House's lair. The floor was littered with medical journals (which surprised her) and empty bottles of Vicodin (which didn't surprise her). The furniture wasn't extravagant and aside from the piano, she didn't see much else in way of entertainment.
She finally turned to face him. He was leaning on his cane, watching her as she inspected his place. The air between them was comfortably awkward.
"Want some alcohol?" he asked. It was a fair attempt at being hospitable.
"No," Thirteen refused kindly.
"Drugs?" he tried again. He accompanied that suggestion with a look that said, 'don't even think about refusing the drugs'.
For whatever reason, Thirteen indulged him. "Sure. What do you got?"
"Oh, you're in luck! I've got the whole pharmacy tonight!" House exclaimed, swinging his cane around and doing a little jig. Well, as about as close to a jig House could manage under his current condition. He attempted to spin around as well, but only managed to fall into his chair. He didn't know it yet, but Thirteen could tell he was down for the count.
She walked over to him, stared down at him with mildly curious fascination. "You don't waste any time, do you?"
"I spent days in a hospital bed," House muttered. "Cuddy was controlling my pain medication and as much I as vied for this crucial and totally essential necessity, we still don't have a mini bar in every patients' room, so excuse me for being eager."
House continued to ramble on about mini bars. Thirteen located his cell phone.
She found the contact "Hades' Den", but she didn't find "Hadley, R."
House had her listed simply as "Thirteen".
House managed to convince her that lying next to him, on his bed, would be a good idea. He said it was the only way he would stop drinking, stop swallowing drugs and get some damn sleep.
"That's why you're here, right? To make sure I'm okay?" he asked.
"No, I'm here because you called me instead of a prostitute," Thirteen corrected him.
"Maybe I wanted you to be my prostitute," he countered, his tone excited about the prospect. Not even the onslaught of a hangover could keep his sex drive at bay.
However, Thirteen couldn't deny that she wanted to make certain that he would be alright. Also, this was probably about as close to a request for help she would get from House.
So she spread out the covers, laid on top of them and felt the mattress dip to one side as House dropped his tired body onto the other side.
"So, how long have you been boinking Cuddy?"
He had been talking for the last thirty minutes now. It was nearly six in the morning. It was doubtful she would get any sleep herself before work began.
"Hey, I said how long have you been boinking Cuddy?" House repeated insistently. He at least expected Thirteen to visibly twitch, but the girl was good at being discreet. If she was displaying any discomfort, he couldn't see it.
"'Boinking' is not a word," Thirteen replied, having had shut her eyes five minutes ago. She was going to at least enjoy this surprisingly firm mattress and catch a few z's.
"Sure it is," House argued weakly. It seemed even exhaustion was catching up to him. He yawned heavily, before continuing, "It's one of those crazy slang words for lesbi sex."
Thirteen opened one eye, partially, and corrected him, "I told you. Not a lesbian."
"I said 'lesbi sex', implying girl-on-girl action. Nothing to do with sexuality," he replied smartly. "Now answer the question."
"If we must argue this, 'boinking' refers to sex in general, not just 'lesbi sex'."
"So, you agree it's a word now?"
Thirteen sat up, ignoring him, fixing her ponytail and straightening her shirt. She then said, "I have Huntington's."
House sighed theatrically. "I already knew that!"
She rose from the bed and half smiled at him. "I know. I just felt I had to tell you myself." She walked to his bedroom door, prepared to exit. "Get some rest, House. There are still people out there who need doctors; who especially need your expertise. Maybe in a day or two, you'll remember that."
"Oh, don't get all preachy on me. It doesn't become you," House whined.
"Did I force it?" Thirteen inquires, even though she already knows the answer. With that, she says, "Goodnight, House."
Somewhere, deep within House's alcohol bleary subconscious, he replies with a "Goodnight, Remy", then hates himself for using her real name, even in deep sleep.