Disclaimer: I do not own House...though I would like a "bitchin" cane...

Notes: This story takes place immediately after the Tritter incident, before the "One Day One Room" episode.

Barely surviving has become my purpose, cuz I'm so used to living underneath the surface- "Storm by Lifehouse"

"No ma'am…" he quipped, emphasizing sarcastically on the ma'am. He reached into his pocket searching for something, "You do not have mono…however, you do have halitosis…" he held out his tic tac container, "Tic Tac?"

The blond woman in front of him glared at him, obviously not amused. He exhaled in annoyance as he signed his chart as Gregory House and handed the paper to her. He got up and left without another word. He was ready to go home and was not in the mood to continue doing more clinic hours for Cuddy, his right leg was throbbing hard and the pain was finally acting up. He had to get home and get his spare Vicodin before it got any worse. He didn't even bother signing out. Let Cuddy believe he was still being a goody saint. If he signed out of the clinic, someone would notice and quickly notify Cuddy, he was not in the mood to be hunted down and have her pull him by the ear back into the clinic. He suppressed a grin as he tried to picture her doing that.

Ever since the Tritter incident, Cuddy has been on his ass about doing clinic hours because he owned her…because he owned everyone. It was something that House just wanted to move on from and forget, but it seemed that no one would let him forget, would let him move on from it. Everyone saw him as an addict, a cry for help, a sick addiction to Vicodin and a man that was destroying his life. He scoffed, his life was already destroyed…he was just dealing with his issues and the pain with how he wanted to deal with it. It was not affecting his job like Cuddy and Wilson believed it was. Vicodin never interfered with his job…it was the pain and the detoxing that was interfering with his job. He winced as he remembered one of his last detox moments…he almost maimed a little girl and Chase…had stopped him. And how did he thank him? A sucker punch to the lower jaw. He was surprised later that the punch sent Wilson and not Chase to Tritter confessing. He was never sure if Wilson just beat him to it or if Chase never really intended to confess to Tritter…that he really learned his lesson from Volger.

As he left the building, he bolted out of his thoughts. Thought of the devil, he saw Chase walking ahead of him, with his messenger bag strapped over his shoulder heading towards the parking lot. He hid a smile. Even though he had a cane and bad leg, he could still somehow manage out-walk most of the people who work here. Wilson was the only one who could manage to walk side-by-side him, or perhaps he was the only one that was comfortable to. He snuck up behind Chase, like a stealthy predator lurking behind his prey, and stuck out his cane over Chase's left foot. Chase's eyes nearly stumbled out of his socket in shock as he nearly lost his footing. He quickly managed to retain his balance after some silly stepping moves and sighed in relief as he stopped himself from tripping. He growled in annoyance as he turned to the man he immediately suspected it to be: House, who looked disappointed that his prank had failed.

"Lemme guess, Wilson left early so he didn't have to worrying about tripping into oncoming traffic?" Chase asked sarcastically.

House held back a small chuckle; Chase often did not know that his comebacks amused him. "What do you mean?" House's face showed mock innocence, "I would never harm dear Wilson!"

Chase rolled his eyes as he tried to hide a smile and continued walking towards the parking lot, "Goodnight House."

House's shoulders slumped, how boring, he would now have to go home without being fully entertained. Where was Wilson when you needed him? He saw his blue motorcycle sitting in the handicap spot and hurried to it as a shot of pain shot through his right thigh. It was starting to get worse and House prayed that he could make it home in time. For a second he thought of asking Chase for a ride but almost laughed at the mere thought of it. He still had his pride; he wouldn't scoop so low and besides, like Chase would actually give him one. He saw his nameplate above his parking spot sparkle briefly by someone's headlights as it drove by. He grabbed his keys and went to tuck his cane on the bike.

"Gregory House?"

House turned around to see a man hiding within the shadows. The parking lights were dimmed and limited to certain areas but it was enough for House to illuminate some features on the man's face…the bush mustache, the thick eyebrows, and it was enough to see that this man was angry. House was annoyed; it seemed that everyone he came into contact with seemed to be angry with him. He guessed it just a certain effect he had on people.

"Who?" he glanced back at the nameplate, "Oh damn, must've parked in the wrong spot today…" He stopped as he saw light bounce off the object in the man's hands. Oh, wasn't he just looking for love in all the wrong places…it seems that good luck fortune has left him this year. House saw the man smirk before he pulled the trigger. From the second the man pulled the trigger, House's fear took over and he went numb. He couldn't feel his body. He suddenly noticed that he was on the ground and that the man's eyes had widened before quickly running away. Probably thought he wouldn't have the balls to shoot him and just intended to intimidate him. He suddenly felt pain in his right leg but nowhere else. He knew he didn't get shot there…did his leg give out causing him to fall and have the bullet miss him? He wince as more feeling came back to him…it felt as if there was pressure on his leg. He lowered his eyes towards bottom of his body and almost widened his eyes…Chase was laying there…clutching hard at his chest. What was Chase doing here? Did he…

He heard commotion and he averted his gaze and saw a group of concerned people heading their way. They obviously heard the gunshot. He ignored the growing, agonizing pain in his leg and grabbed Chase, pressing both of his hands onto Chase's bleeding wound as if he could find it…there was so much blood, too much blood everywhere…

He glanced back up, "Get a gurney! We need to rush him to the ER NOW!" House bellowed. He looked back as Chase's trembling and panting starting to slow and his eyelids started to droop.

"Damn it Chase, don't you fall asleep on me!" House pressed his hands harder onto Chase's wound when suddenly the realization hit him like a lightning bolt. It numbed him as people came and grabbed the now passed-out Chase from his arms, strapping him onto a gurney. He did not notice the EMTs checking over him and shouting for his attention as the others wheeled Chase away. He failed to notice Cuddy kneeling in front of him with tears welling in her eyes as she begged for what happened. He did not notice that his hands were covered in Chase's blood that his jeans were soaked in them. He failed to notice the pain trying to overcome his numbness. The only thing that kept running over and over in his mind, the one thing that he was concentrated on was on one thought:

Chase had taken a bullet for him.