Disclaimer: I don't own House Md, obviously.
This is chapter one of my 100+ one word prompts. This is a different list than the main one floating around.
Main Pairing: Chouse This chapter is a fluffy House/Ducklings family one
Note: these chapters will range from family, friendship, and relationship. I will put a warning at the top of each relationship chapter in case you do not want to read a slash chapter. Not all of these chapters are directly related to each other.
The relationship between a doctor and his fellows is always confusing, and not always set in stone. They are there to learn, and he is there to teach, that much is understood. But lessons do not always come in a friendly package, nor are they always wanted.
The relationship between Dr. Gregory House and his "ducklings" was quite special. While House would never admit it out loud, but they were like a family. Cuddy was the closest thing the hospital had to a mother. Wilson claimed the title of the caring uncle- always there to lend a helping hand, or a tidbit of advice.
House was in a way, a father to each of them. All of them were going through different metaphorical stages of growing up. Foreman was getting to the point where he was almost ready to move out, almost, but not quite. Cameron was stuck in the awkward preteen years of self doubting and discovering herself. And Chase, well, he was no more than a child who had been forced to grow up too fast due to unfortunate circumstances.
If there was anyone that House felt a special attachment to, it was his youngest ducking. Chase really did seem to be stuck as a child in an adult's body. Sure, he got through Med School, but that didn't mean he was truly a grown up. He relied on the instinct of do what people want, and you won't get hurt. Something he had no doubt picked up from Rowan, and his mother.
House had mused several times over Chase's dual mental state, and how it tended to manifest very subtly, in his habits, such as his pencil chewing and tapping, or in his clothing. There could be no other explanation for Chase's taste in fashion other than he had never outgrown the toddler stage of "I'm a big boy. I can dress myself!" How else could the man walk around in pistachio colored pants or own a highlighter yellow tie?
His clothing always did seem out of place on him, and the thing that had attracted House's attention the most was his lab coat. A seemingly innocent thing, but it bothered House to no end with it's sleeves just a little too long, and frame just a little too wide so that Chase always looked like he was playing dress up - or hiding.
While he couldn't show it, Chase was his favorite. The one that needed the most nurturing, yet all the while refused to show his neediness. It was always there though. His need for approval and understanding. The almost silent begging to be acknowledged whenever he did the right thing.
The way his innocent eyes would meet House's from across room when they were stumped on a case, as if the elder held all the answers, and could make everything all right again as soon as the rest of them caught up to the 'brilliant Dr. House's Mind.' House could never forget the crestfallen look on the Aussie's face the first time he found out that even House wouldn't always be there for him.
That look broke House's heart simply because Chase had once been a child, always eager to please and do the right thing, who had been forced to figure everything out on his own, from his absent father to his alcoholic mother, who was here now, his responsibility, and he had let him down.
He could even see why Chase had been the one who went to Vogler. For so long the blond had lived knowing only 'I'll get hurt if I don't hurt them first.' Sure, it had upset him to know that Chase had actually been the one to sell him out; but it made him feel for the younger even more. It made House more determined to show Chase that there was good out there, and that he could be a part of it. House wanted to show Chase that he could open himself up to someone for once without the worry of being hurt.
House had once, long ago, determined that he would never be a parent. For one thing, he was terrible around children. Another, they were so trusting, and gave love out so freely. He couldn't stand to be the one who broke their little hearts. But life has a way of mocking your plans. If you say 'I won't do this, and you can't make me!' Life simply laughs and says 'Watch me make you.'
Indeed, life seemed to have found a way to make him a parent. As he looked out through the clear glass of his office into his lounge at his three charges, he smirked to himself, and realized he wouldn't have it any other way.
I hope you enjoyed it!