Title: Decay and Renewal

Author: norbooboo

Genre: Alternative Universe/ Friendship

Summary: Change is messy, difficult, and painful, but sometimes good can come from bad and acceptance from adversity. When a bomb inflicts damage on the hospital and two members of the diagnostics department will things ever be the same?

A/N: I am just playing around with these characters, not intending any infringement. This story does not take place in any particular point in the canon House storyline, jumping around as it pleases and is therefore strictly AU. For clarification I will say that the Cameron/Chase romance never matured and is not a factor in this story. Hopefully any major divergences from the show will be explained in the story itself. Thanks for you patience.

Decay and Renewal

1. This Return is Peaceful

The accident, that's what they referred to it as, but of course it had been anything but an accident. For Carl Toomey, a janitor laid off by Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, everything had worked out just as planned. The bomb he had placed in the parking garage had caused a maximum of monetary damage with a minimal loss of life. Of course, bombs were tricky things and some life would have to be sacrificed. One person was killed in the blast and ten others perished when the roof collapsed.

Eric Foreman would have been one of those ten if his co-worker hadn't shoved him out of the way of the falling concrete into the safety that the elevator with it's steel reinforced cage provided. Robert Chase had not been quite so lucky. After pushing Foreman out of the way, inertia was working against him making it impossible to escape the debris that fell in large chunks.

So it hadn't been an accident that left Foreman with a broken arm and it hadn't been an accident that left Chase in a coma for two weeks. It had been no accident that Foreman was the one to assess the amount of brain damage that had been inflicted and it was not mere chance that the damage was extensive. Where once there had been a bright talented doctor, there was now a child in the body of a man. Still bright, still eager to please, still Chase, but damaged beyond repair. Things change and that is no accident. Chase changed and Foreman changed too.

Spending as much of his time with the younger man as he could; as a neurologist and as a grateful and bewildered recipient of heroism no one thought Chase capable of, Foreman found himself becoming attached in a way he never thought possible. Was it an accident that Foreman found a brother in Chase? It seemed too cold to say so.

A bomb tore apart PPTH, tore apart many lives, but everything must eventually come to rest. Perhaps they don't return in precisely the place they were before, but they do return and flourish again and this return is peaceful.