Title: Give Me A Sign
Pairing: House/Chase implied Chase/Cameron
Warning: Implied slash – nothing graphic
Spoiler: if you haven't seen episode 6:16 Lockdown be warned, there be spoilers ahead!
Disclaimer: All publicly known characters and names belong to their respective affiliates. I make no money in writing this.
The title of this section comes from Breaking Benjamin, owned by Benjamin Burnley and the Hollywood label company.
A/N: I'm sorry it's been so long since I've uploaded a new chapter...I have no excuse, except the fact that I'm a 3rd year Literary Studies major. And thank you to everyone who has either put this story on their favorites or story alerts, and of course my lovely reviewers. You all make me smile.
Give Me A Sign
It had been a week since the lockdown at Princeton Plainsboro had occurred. House and his team seemed to have changed over night – not an obvious change to those who were not part of the Diagnostics team, or Wilson for that matter, but to Chase, Foreman, House, Taub, and Thirteen it was apparent in everything they did.
House was accepting more cases than normal, it was the end of the week and they were on their second case, a 35 year old Marine with lower abdominal pain and bleeding gums that was rapidly killing him. Wilson called his ex-wife Sam back and they had a date scheduled for the next day. Foreman and Taub seemed to have some unknown camaraderie that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Thirteen called her father and confessed everything she had been keeping from him for the past few years. But it was Chase that seemed to change the most. House watched his employee become quiet and withdrawn – more so than he had been ever since he and Cameron split up months ago.
"Go do a biopsy on that lump," House commanded and watched his co-workers scramble to do as he said; all but Chase who slowly got up, a slightly lost look on his young face. "Wombat, you stay here." Chase stopped and looked over at House, his hands on his hips like he wanted very much not to be cornered by House with no escape.
"Come with me, young grasshopper," House said, leaning heavily on his cane as he limped to his office door. He drew the blinds closed and locked the door once Chase had stepped inside and sat down on House's couch, looking thoroughly exhausted.
They sat in silence for several minutes, House unsure of what to do from this point. He was almost surprised that Chase had actually listened to him and willingly followed House into his office when it was clear that he didn't want to be there. "Are you okay?" he asked finally, unable to take the awkward silence any longer.
Chase looked up at him, his sea-green eyes surrounded by dark bruise-like shadows. It seemed to House that the younger man hadn't been sleeping much in the past week. "When Wilson invited me to go speed dating with the two of you, did you mean what you said?" House thought back but was unsure what exactly Chase was talking about so he just shrugged and hoped Chase would elaborate. "I talked with Allison when the hospital was in lockdown -" Chase paused and stood up suddenly. He began pacing around House's office like a caged animal who was dying to escape. House listened as Chase told him the entire story that ended with Chase's confession "and we slept together," he stopped after that and collapsed back onto the couch, burying his face in his arms. He began speaking but his arms muffled the sound, along with the sounds of choked sobbing coming from the blonde intensive.
House stiffened and slowly moved towards the couch where Chase had curled up and looked every bit the part of the abandoned child he had been years before. House realized in that moment just how broken – how similar they really were – Chase was. First his father, then his mother, now his ex-wife. All of Chase's relationships seemed to be just as bad as his own. It was a startling revelation to be looking at a younger version of himself and watching him break down in a way House never allowed himself to do.
He knelt down and, mindful of his bad leg, pried Chase's arms away from his face and pushed him up to a sitting position. House looked into Chase's red-rimmed, tear-stained eyes and saw himself reflected back at him. "It's going to be okay," he said quietly, "maybe not today, but it will." He felt sort of silly giving Chase relationship advise. Chase seemed to think so, if the cynical look on his face was anything to go off of.
"I know it's going to be okay. I just don't know what the hell I was thinking when I slept with her. There's part of me that still loves her, but that part is getting smaller and smaller every day." House raised an eyebrow, asking Chase a silent question that the Australian seemed to understand. "I think I'm falling for someone else," he answered quietly. The once devastated look on Chase's face did a one-eighty in seconds.
Chase grabbed onto the lapel of House's blazer and pulled him forward. "Tell me to stop. Tell me not to do this," Chase begged, a desperate look in his over-bright eyes.
House opened his mouth to answer but found that part of him didn't want to tell Chase not to do whatever it was he was about to do, even though the look in his shadowed eyes gave him a good idea.
"I'm falling apart, House. And no one seems to care," he whispered before claiming House's mouth in a searing kiss.
After a moment of shock – who knew the kid had it in him? House found himself wondering – he felt himself responding to the kiss with equal intensity. "You've got to rise above this," he managed to say when they broke apart to catch their breath.
"I will, only to fall again," he said darkly, kissing House again more gently and shyly than the last. They both stood and House backed Chase up until his back was against the wall, his hand resting on Chase's cheek.
"Robbie," he said, realizing that he didn't mean to say Chase's given name but that it flowed over his tongue easily. "You're strong, you don't need me to make you feel better."
"But I want you, you make me feel like -" he paused, some kind of light turning on behind his eyes. He put a hand on House's chest, feeling his heart beat rapidly in his chest. "It's Werlhof's Disease," Chase said, as out of the blue as House when he comes up with a diagnosis.
House reached for his pager and typed in a message to the team, telling them to start treatment, a beaming smile on his face. "You're growing up, Robbie. I'm proud of you." House put his pager away and looked back at Chase to see a glow returning to Chase's face. "You said no one seems to care that you're falling apart. You're wrong there."
Chase smiled and nuzzled his face in the crook of House's neck, nipping slightly at the exposed skin above his collar before sucking on the bite mark he had created.
House gasped, "I've never appreciated your oral fixation before now," he said, his voice dropping several octaves with lust. "You don't want to do this right now," House warned, regretting saying the words as soon as they left his mouth, because House wanted it and he knew Chase did too.
"Yes I do," Chase said, attacking House's neck with reckless abandon. "Right here. Right now. Any way you'd have me," he answered, unbuttoning House's button down shirt. House grabbed Chase's trembling hands between his own.
"Robbie, look at me," he said, not letting go of Chase's hands. "Are you sure? If we leave right now and go back to your place you're not going to have any regrets at all?" Chase looked down at his hands that were still encased in House's larger hands.
Looking back into House's eyes, Chase nodded. "House, Greg," he paused, unsure if House would allow him to call him by his given name. "The only thing I would regret is if you're wishing that I'll be some prince charming. Apparently I'm good looking but I want to be with someone who looks past that, someone who-"
House cut him off, kissing him and backing him into the wall at the same time. "I've seen you at some of your worst moments and you still haven't managed to scare me away."
Chase nodded and relaxed into House, several tears of relief escaping from his eyes. "Thank you," he whispered. "My apartment?" he said, kissing House once again nodded.
"Let's go," he said, letting go of one of Chase's hands but threading his fingers through Chase's hand that he didn't drop. "I always said you were the prettiest, Robbie, even after you cut your hair," he said with a smile to let Chase know he was joking.
"Thanks, Greg," Chase said, walking towards the door with a little more pep in his step than the had before.