Normally he would just push and pull until a person cracked and he learned everything he wanted to know about them via the words that spilled almost involuntarily from their mouths.
Nine times out of ten it it worked. Wilson, Cuddy, Chase and Foreman, he pushed them until he had cracked them open and discovered how they ticked, like finding a toy inside an Easter egg. His patients were usually the same, discover the lies, the foundations would crack and the diagnostic mystery could be solved.
Sometimes it didn't quite work out like that. Sometimes the process was slower, he was still trying to figure Cameron out after all this time and it was frustrating. He had a suspicion the pay off would be worth it, so he remained patient, kept chipping away at her.
He wasn't sure he could be patient with Thirteen. Two frustrations as once? He might explode in a Vicodin induced stupor trying to figure them out but his potential fellow wouldn't be pushed, he had been trying, he'd been down right nasty, he'd even tried being nice, but she wouldn't talk. Wouldn't give him anything.
She'd been hiding for her entire life, he decided, pulling open her locker and glancing over the contents.
Sometimes he had to resort to performing the criminal activities himself, had to push elsewhere, by breaking into her locker. And maybe her apartment. Depending on what he found in here first.
She had a spare set of clothes, pretty much like everyone else, right down to a spare set of underwear, a pale blue bra and thong set that he approved of and he gave himself a minute to imagine her in it before pushing the clothes to one side. She had one book, Emily Dickinson, which he disapproved of and ignored. The book only told him Thirteen read too much.
He grabbed her black leather bag and sat down on the wooden bench behind him, dumping the contents out beside him.
Most of it was expected. Tampons, eye liner, lip gloss, tissues, the condoms made him smirk. He grabbed the little green address book and flicked through it, noting the names, and wondering how many of the guys were exes.
When he looked at the little diary, he wondered how many of the girls were exes too. According to the silver book she had a date on Friday with a girl called Sarah. She was also due to start menstruating the Tuesday after, information he stored for later use. In her wallet was forty dollars, twenty of which he 'borrowed', a credit card, a few random business cards with cell numbers scrawled on them, her driving license, reminding him of her name, and exactly which CV under his sofa belonged to her.
There was an old photo of a woman in her mid thirties, brunette, with a shy smile that looked a little like Thirteen's smile, if he could just recall when he had last seen her smile. There was nothing written on the back and he put it back where it was to go through the rest of her things.
There was a letter with her things. An old letter, the envelope was faded, tattered and torn. Well read, probably more so than any book she kept in her locker. He was careful with it, though he despised any sentimentality, he didn't want to tear the paper and lose some vital information.
He didn't want to tear the paper and lose his balls to Thirteen either.
He scanned the letter, reading quickly, taking in the neat handwriting, and sappy emotions. The amount of love that had gone into the letter made House nauseous but he had to give the writer credit for her language, the prose of it. Not that he was an English major but he he knew enough to get by.
The letter didn't tell him much, only two things for certain. Thirteen's mother was dead, and had known about it long before it had happened. The fact that the young woman kept the letter with her at all times told him she missed her a lot too. He already knew she was softer than the hard exterior she tried to hard to portray.
He scooped the things back into her bag, leaving it there and checking the rest of her locker. A silver bracelet, a gold chain, a bus ticket from a couple of days ago. He remembered her telling Big Love she had needed a new brake pad among over things. He liked these little insights into her life but it wasn't enough. Wasn't the full puzzle put together.
He stuffed her bag into the locker and shut it again. He would try and push her again later, try and pull more information out of her. Maybe lead with the old photograph of her mother and take it from there...