x.x Sorry it took forever for me to finish this last chapter. But hey at least it's done =D
So this last chapter is from the episode "One Day, One Room". I just thought it would be a nice place to finish this story.
I hope you guys really liked it; please rate and let me know what you think!
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Chapter 10: Passing Afternoon

It had been a week since House had spent the night in jail after the trial. Rehab was behind him- since Voldemort had been slipping him Vicodin the whole time anyway. He continued his work at the hospital, but had to abide by the deal he made to Cuddy with the extra clinic hours and such. And oh did he make sure she knew he hated it; bribing patients to leave, diagnosing them before even stepping foot into the exam rooms. All of it was done even when Cuddy was in front of him. Life went on as if the whole situation with Tritter never happened.

But that didn't mean it was forgotten. Occasionally House's mind would wander back to that day and he would wonder if he was really going to be okay. And having three patients in a row walk in with STDs didn't help calm those thoughts in the slightest. So to get away from it all, he went to the jogging park- the "last place Cuddy would ever look" as he explained to Wilson once. However, Cuddy did find him and he wound up having to go back anyway.

And once again, his antics continued- offering a father and his sick son fifty dollars if they left the clinic. Two more people took up his offer until Cuddy dragged him to her office. There a deal was made to help him stay: she would give hi, ten dollars for every patient he could diagnose without touching them. For a while, that kept him in line and at work- for the most part. However once the results of those STD tests for the three patients arrived, he was back to his normal boring routine- at least until they were gone.

The first two patients were easy to send on their way; all he had to do was throw in a sarcastic remark about having them watch an after-school special like Dawson's Creek and make the patient feel like an idiot. Just like he always had been doing. At least until he got to the third patient.

"I have an STD?" she asked, her eyes slowly growing wide.

"Yeah," House replied simply, swinging around with a sheepish- yet fake- smile on his face, "You're actually the first one today. Lucky day- well, not for you but you gotta feel good for everyone else."

A sudden sob was what caught his attention again. House turned and looked at the blond teenager with a furrowed brow. Oh come on… "It's chlamydia. As bad news goes, it's about the best." But the girl didn't stop crying; she sniffled and reached a hand up to cover her mouth. The doctor wasn't showing any sympathy for her since one she was a teenager and had a case of "SWS"- sex while stupid. It was her own fault for making that mistake. Besides, it wasn't like she was going to die from it. "Oh settle down. It's treatable. It's actually curable."

More sobs and even trembling came from the girl. Something else must have happened to her, but that didn't faze the doctor in the slightest. Yes it made him suspicious- curious, even. So he decided to try and be a little more kind to her- even though he wasn't going to like it. House rolled his eyes a bit before offering a cup of pills for her to take. "All you gotta do is take these pills-"

But as he extended his arm, the girl's hands flew up and slapped his arm away from her. "Don't touch me!" she yelled, glaring at him with her tearful eyes. Then she became tense, her eyes practically giving him the death glare. That was when it clicked and House felt like an idiot… before his heart dropped and his stomach tied in knots. Flashes of memories from the night Tritter had arrested him came to his mind before he had the chance to stop them. And to see the girl there looking angry and scared at the same time reminded him of himself.

"Oh, God…" The girl dropped her gaze finally, her arms moving to wrap around herself. It was House's turn to become tense. I can't deal with this- not now… I can hardly take care of myself let alone someone else that's been… He swallowed a lump in his throat and tried to relax before he said, "Stay here." And with that, he turned and walked out of the exam room and toward Cuddy's office. She looked up at him and then he said, "I need someone to cover a patient."

Cuddy paused for only a small moment, noticing the slight tremble in House's voice. Blowing it off as a plan to get him out of clinic hours, she rolled her eyes. "House, you're committed to-"

"She was raped."

Even after hearing himself say it, House became tense. Cuddy froze in her seat, staring at him with a look of almost disbelief, yet a lot of sympathy. She knew he wasn't ready for that yet and she had tried to keep an eye out for House ever since she found out what happened. And to give him a patient that went through the same thing he did… Cuddy wasn't sure if it would be a good or bad thing. So far, though, it was proving to be bad.

"You think I'm the right doctor for her?" he asked, attempting that same sheepish look. It failed miserably; he was still very shaken up by the sudden flashback he received in that exam room. Cuddy's gaze returned to meet his and she shook her head slightly.

"We'll get her another doctor," she replied, moving to stand up. House nodded and was about to move when the Dean of Medicine addressed him again. "You okay?"

"Peachy," he replied with strained sarcasm. He shouldn't have been disappointed; the girl was going to be put in better hands. Yet he was angry- not only at her, but himself. Angry at the patient for reminding him of what he was trying to get over, and angry at himself for not being able to overcome what Tritter had done. He can't hurt me anymore, he reassured himself, I'm going to be fine, he can't touch me anymore…

His mind kept going even as he went on to check other patients. And no matter how much he tried to tell himself he would be okay, his mind would retort and argue that he was being a coward and that Tritter won. And House didn't have to go to jail for him to win- that was the worst part. I'm not going to escape from this.

"House," Cuddy's voice called. The doctor stopped and turned, trying to give her the most bored expression he could muster in his current state. "The patient wants to see you- no one else," she said in a hesitant tone.

"Why?" he asked, "there's a lot of other people who-"

"She's refusing to see any of them. She only wants to see you." House's brow furrowed and he averted his gaze. I can't do this. Cuddy tilted her head to the side slightly to get a better look at her friend. "Just try and talk to her. Maybe it'll help you-"

"I'm fine." She was taken back by the sudden reply. Though he said he was, Cuddy knew otherwise. So how would she get him to go? Challenge him. "Prove it by talking to her."

He knew what she was planning right when he snapped at her. House tilted his head back, as if asking 'Do I have to'. Before he knew it, he was sitting on his stool in the exam room, bouncing his cane while the girl sat on the other side of the room. Neither of them said a word after House had walked in and the situation went from tense to awkward within two minutes. This is a waste of time, he thought and then finally spoke up. "Why do you want me?"

She merely shrugged, "I don't know." That wasn't the reply he was looking for. There was no reason to make him go to that room to talk to her if she wasn't going to talk or even to tell him why she wanted him- of all people- to be there. Besides, he didn't want to treat her- and he told her that.

"You're just saying that so I'll see a psychiatrist."

"True," House replied, nodding his head slightly, "Except for the word 'just'. I'm saying I don't want to treat you so you'll see the psychiatrist and because I don't want to treat you." Yes he was being hypocritical; he never went to see a psychiatrist for what happened to him, but House wasn't a fan of talking to a therapist. For him, it was easier for him to talk to Wilson rather than a complete stranger.

Apparently, the girl wasn't taking that for an answer. Pushing herself from the wall, she moved back toward the examination table and rested her hands on it, her eyes still focused on the crippled doctor. "Why don't you want to treat me anymore?"

"I never wanted to treat you." he paused. "The fact that you were raped…" he let out a small sigh, hoping the teen wouldn't notice his tension. "… holds no interest for me. It's nothing personal." Liar. It was mainly the personal reason. Not against her, of course. Just because he was going through the same thing that she was. "There's nothing to treat," he added, shrugging a shoulder lightly, "you're physically healthy."

She was disappointed, but she knew she wasn't going to win the argument. So the teenager nodded. "Okay." House then nodded as well, moving to get up from the stool. "But I want you to be my doctor."

He stopped and looked back at her with confusion. "Why?"

"I don't know," she replied. She looked so lost and confused- it just kept reminding House of himself. But at least he had reasons for why he acted the way he did. "Well you gotta have a reason. Everything has a reason."

Her tone was very sincere. "I trust you."

He wanted to laugh. "Ah you see, that's a bad reason. 'Cause I'll lie to you. I'll tell you anything just to get you out of here."

"I don't care. I want to talk to you."

But why?! Why me- of all people? How am I going to help you when I can't even help myself? Again, he sighed but that time it was out of frustration. "Look, you were raped. All control was taken from you. You're trying to find that control again. You want me because I don't want you."

It didn't register how he had been explaining it until she asked, "I'm raping you?"

He flinched slightly, shrugging his shoulders and nodding his head to the side. "In a very noninvasive, more annoying than traumatic-"

"Get the hell out of here!" she roared at him, turning and moving back to her corner of the room. House merely rolled his eyes and turned toward the door. "I'll send in Dr. Stone." But as he was leaving, he looked back at her. What the hell is with this girl? he thought before finally moving to leave.

------

"How long has Stone been in there with her?" House asked, looking through the glass at the patient.

Cuddy looked up at him from a file. "Are you concerned?"

"Do you know how many people get raped every day? If we were to care about every suffering person on the planet, life would shut down."

"How about just the ones we meet?" House didn't look up from the file he was reading when the words were emphasized. "They deserve our sympathy more than the other people?"

Cuddy kept her gaze on him. "So you're solution is not to give a damn about either of them. How do you do that? How do you take that theory and put it into practice? I thought you of all people would have been able to help her."

"Why, because we have that one thing in common?"

"Yes!"

He rolled his eyes. "She doesn't want to talk to me about it. All she does is waste my time-"

"I need a crash cart! Stat!" Dr. Stone's voice called from the exam room.

Both of the doctors looked back, House being the first one to move toward the door, but Cuddy was faster and slipped past him and into the room. House stopped at the doorway, catching sight of the blond girl twitching on the floor, foam slipping from her mouth. "What happened?" he asked.

"Pills," Dr. Stone replied, "Benzos. We need to get her stomach pumped."

"Respiration's shallow," Cuddy said, kneeling by the patient.

"What did you say to her?" House asked Stone.

Startled by the concern and the not so subtle accusation, she shook her head, "Nothing that would make her want to-"

"Heart beat's irregular."

"What did she say to you?" House asked Dr. Stone again.

"Nothing. I gave her a couple of sedatives, turned around, and she grabbed the whole bottle."

Liar. "You must have said something."

"I said plenty- she said nothing. I was with her for over an hour. She didn't say a word."

The crippled doctor's brow furrowed. Clearly, she wanted to talk to only him. Unfortunately, it took her swallowing all of those pills to get it to register to everyone- even House himself. It was pretty pathetic- then again, with the things he had done, he wasn't one to judge.

So while she was being kept in the hospital, he stayed with her. Of course he didn't just sit there; he had his PSP to keep himself occupied until she would wake up. Catching movement out of his peripheral vision, House looked up and saw her try to move her arms. They had to be restrained since she had pulled that stunt in the exam room. After turning his game off, House got up from his seat and went to check her pulse.

"You gonna do that again?" he asked. She shook her head. The gesture was simple and could have been taken as a lie, yet for some reason House believed her. So he started to undo the restraints from around her wrists. "You're going to be okay. Physically."

"Which is all that interests you," she mumbled, watching as he limped over to the other side of the bed. He paused and they both looked at each other. "But you're here."

"Under orders." he half lied. And apparently, she saw right through the lie. "Why would you tell me that?" she asked.

"'Cause I don't like hypocrisy."

"But you don't have a problem with cruelty?"

He checked her eyes before replying with another question. "Which brings us back to, why do you want me?"

And for a reply, he got the same three words: "I don't know."

"You tried to kill yourself because you couldn't talk to me. You must have a reason."

"Why does there always have to be a reason? Can't we just talk?"

Blue hues shifted toward the phone and he nodded his head toward it. "There's a phone. Talk to a friend, a family member. Call the police." I wish I had those options right away… But his only reply was a sigh. All right fine… I'll give it a shot. Otherwise she'll never leave me alone. "Do you want to talk about what happened to you?"

"No."

"Want to talk about your STD meds?" What?! Why would she want to talk about that of all things?

"No." Good answer… sort of.

"You don't really seem to want to talk."

"No I do."

"About what?" Dare I ask…?

"I don't know- anything."

His brow rose and he shook his head. "The weather?" She nodded in reply. House paused, staring at her out of pure confusion. Waste. Of. Time. "You were raped and you want to talk about the weather?" That weather was far from my mind when I had been raped. Not being able to hear his thoughts, she nodded, which made House shake his head and stand up. "I'm not talking to you about the weather."

And with that, he put her bonds back around her wrists and walked out of the room.

------

"You help her!"

"She wants you!"

"God knows why."

House rolled his eyes as he looked at Cameron and Foreman. "She doesn't know what she wants."

"She knows she wants you. You're the first person she's spoken to about this."

"The fact that I was at the wrong place at the wrong time should be trumped by the fact that I'm useless at this." He simply couldn't talk to her; he just wasn't ready for that. Besides, since when did he become a therapist?

"No you're not," Cameron argued.

"She just wants normalcy," Foreman started, "if she wants to talk about the weather, let her talk about the weather. She just wants to feel like the world didn't end."

Where was this concern a week ago? House thought, shaking his head. "Right. I'll tell her that everything went on without her. Babies were born, people got married- thousands of people will remember the day she got raped as the happiest day of their lives."

The other two doctors either slumped their shoulders or rolled their eyes at the sarcasm. But the only one that caught the bitterness in his tone was Cameron. She had the idea of what happened between House and Tritter for a while, but never took the time to address it to her boss. Not to mention that he seemed to be doing a lot better now than the week before. So Cameron kept her mouth shut about it- but that didn't mean she wouldn't hint at it. "You need to have her talk about what happened."

"No he doesn't," Foreman argued.

"Pretending it didn't happen-"

"Wrong, pretending this didn't happen is the best thing she could possibly do." House wanted to laugh. I tried that already; it didn't go over so well. Then again the bastard that raped her probably wasn't a cop that stalks and hurts innocent people. Yet even after all that I still can't forget- I know I never will. Which means I'll never get over this. Great.

"She has to make this real," Cameron said to House, snapping him out of his thoughts.

"You know what we should be trying to make real?" Foreman intervened, "The few good moments in our lives, not the crap."

"Maybe you're right. Except there's no way she can pretend this didn't happen." House's gaze shifted toward Cameron at that point. "So she has no choice but to process it." His eyes widened slightly at the realization. He would have to do the same thing; make it real because it really did happen. The whole time he was trying to push what happened with Tritter and even his father into the back of his mind, hoping somehow it would be forgotten. But it was real, it happened and he still had to face that fact.

But how would he know if that would work?

------

He couldn't understand; he tried using Cameron's method by getting the patient to talk about what happened to her, but she refused to tell him. Then he went on to tell her it wasn't her fault just like Wilson had done for him. Yet she told him she already knew that. And out of a desperate need for a plan, he even tried to tell her that life went on just like Foreman was telling them. Still, House got nowhere. All she told him was that time changed everything, yet he had been dealing with the situation with Tritter for almost two weeks. Nothing had changed; he was still a coward trying to forget everything that had happened and failing miserably.

"Why do you trust me?" he finally snapped.

"I don't know," the teen retorted, "I just do."

"That's not rational!"

"Nothing's rational!"

"Everything is rational!"

"I was raped." So was I. "Explain how that makes sense to you."

At least he knew the answer to that problem- with the help from talking to Wilson, of course. "We are selfish, base animals crawling across the earth, and because we've got brains, if we try real hard, we can occasionally aspire to do something that is less than pure evil." For some reason, he had felt like he told her what happened to himself. Apparently he had given her a hint since she spoke up.

"Has anything terrible ever happened to you?"

He turned his gaze to her from the window and held out his arm almost in defeat. "What do you want me to say?"

"You wanted this conversation. You wanted to talk about something that matters. Talk."

Getting raped doesn't matter; it happens to people every day. You of all people should know that. House was just lying to himself. Getting raped mattered- obviously it affected him greatly. But his reply wasn't anything other than making her sleep. He felt he had to give some kind of response, though. What was there to say? Actually, there was a lot, but was he really ready to open up? Even he wasn't sure. He needed advice. And of course the first person he went to was Wilson.

"She's waiting for your answer?" Wilson asked as he sat behind his desk.

"She's asleep," House replied before turning his head. "I sedated her."

Wilson's brow furrowed lightly. Obviously there was something he wasn't understanding. "Why do you care what you say to her?"

"Because I don't know how to answer these questions." Jimmy, help me again..

It's not as complicated as it seems, House… "It's a simple question: Has your life sucked? Tell her the truth. Tell her you were shot. Tell her-"

"She doesn't want to hear the truth. She's looking for something."

Wilson paused and then leaned forward in his seat. "She's not you, House. You may be the one looking for something. Maybe she just wants to hear that she's not the only one with a crappy life. She's looking to connect with you. And that's what's scaring the hell out of you." House just looked at his friend. "Tell her the truth."

"There is no truth," he muttered, turning his gaze toward his cane. "She's asking for my personal experiences so she can extrapolate to all humanity. That's not truth. It's bad science."

Stop thinking logically, House… "It's not science at all. Tell her the truth."

"But am I-"

"I wouldn't be telling you to do it if I didn't think you were ready."

You think I'm ready, but I don't know if I'm ready… Then again, Wilson was usually right about those kinds of things. Yet House still went to check and see what his ducklings would say. Cameron told him to say that his life was good- which it wasn't. But she told him that the patient wanted hope and all that warm fuzzy happy feelings that House didn't necessarily support. So he went to Foreman next. Of course, he told House to say the opposite; that his life sucked- which it didn't. Foreman said that she wanted to know that she wasn't alone when it came to what happened and "came out the other end". And he said to act like he was healed- which House definitely wasn't. So that only left Chase who was such a big help. His suggestion was just to keep her asleep and for the time being, that was the second best idea out of all of them.

"Thanks, you've all been a huge help," House muttered sarcastically.

"There's no wrong answer," Chase continued, "because there is no answer."

"Wrong. We just don't know what the right answer is." And with that, House got up and limped back toward the girl's room once again. There was only one option he had left: tell the truth… well, somewhat anyway.

------

"It's not as bad as what happened to you," he started as she slowly woke up. Rubbing at his neck, he turned toward her but didn't look at her directly. "I don't think. I don't know what happened to you." She started to sit up, becoming more alert as he eased himself into the story. "But given how lousy you're responding, I assume it was worse than getting abused by your grandmother." … Seriously? We're dragging poor oma into this? Okay, all right, she hasn't told you anything yet- why should you be honest with her?

"What did she do to you?" she asked slowly, adjusting her posture once more.

His gaze lowered and then shifted to the side. "Parents traveled a lot. They'd leave me with her. She liked things the way she liked them. And she believed in discipline. She was right, I suppose, because I hardly ever screwed up when she was around. Too scared of getting forced to… sleep in the yard or take a bath in ice." He really hoped she didn't realize he was partially lying- let alone leaving a huge part of the story out. Before she would get the chance to ask, he said, "Your turn."

Don't ask me anything; please don't ask me anything… It was hard enough for him to tell her that part of the story since it was true. But it had been his father that did those things- along with the nights alone with him either in the house or on those trips that he would go on. You've been a bad boy, Greg… He sat down in a chair, trying his best not to tremble or reach for his aching leg.

"Your parents, they never stopped her?" she asked.

It wasn't what he wanted, but it was an easy question to answer. "I never told them."

"Why not?"

He bounced his cane lightly in the ground, finding a distraction from the thoughts that seeped into his mind. "Usual reasons. I was afraid they wouldn't believe me. I was afraid they'd think I'd done something wrong." There was an uncomfortable silence- at least to House it was uncomfortable. Sure part of the story was false, but most of it was still a dark secret he planned on keeping. But talking to this girl- this complete stranger- about it… for some reason, it made him feel lighter. Like a weight was being lifted off of his shoulders. It was still awkward, nonetheless. The girl was staring at him as if searching for something and he didn't like it. After bouncing his cane again, he quickly said, "I opened up to you. You open up to me."

"What did you call her?" she asked softly.

"Oma."

"And you kept calling her that after this?"

Crap. "Dutch for 'grandmother'. She was still my grandmother. And she was still Dutch."

Slowly- almost as if disappointed- the girl shook her head. "Is any part of that story true?" You've been a bad boy, Greg… He averted his gaze, unable to look at her with that expression on her face. "All of it."

She still saw through the lie. "You wouldn't keep calling her Oma. Something would have to change."

She's getting too close to the truth. "You don't know me."

"You wouldn't keep calling her Oma!"

"Look, you're overreacting-"

"Don't dismiss me!"

"I'm not dismissing you. I'm saying you're not acting rationally."

"I'm angry because you're lying to me!"

"No, you are-" Suddenly, she threw her hands up angrily before snapping. "What can I do? What the hell can I do that you're not going to dismiss as just being because I was raped?"

Finally, House got the courage to look up at her. She was glaring at him again, but his gaze didn't falter. He couldn't tell her what happened; really, it was nothing personal against her. House wasn't ready to speak up- and clearly neither was she. "… Nothing." was his reply.

Her expression softened and she let out a defeated sigh. "Your story, is it true?"

Once again, his gaze shifted to the side nervously. "True for somebody."

"But not for you."

You don't know me… "These things happen. It happened to somebody. What do you care if it happened to me?"

"They're not in this room."

"No! They're out there! Doctors, lawyers, postal workers- some of them doing great, some of them doing lousy. You gonna base your whole life on who you're stuck in a room with?"

"I'm going to base this moment on who I'm stuck in a room with. It's what life is- a series of rooms. And who we get stuck in those rooms with adds up to what our lives are." What the hell does that even mean? House thought as the two looked at each other. She just wasn't thinking rationally- yet he still stayed in that room and listened to her. Why? He didn't have to. Well actually he kind of did since Cuddy was sort of forcing him to. Before anymore could be said, the door behind him slid open.

"House," Cuddy's voice called. And for once he was relieved to hear it. He turned and limped toward the Dean of Medicine and closed the door behind him once he left the room. "You gotta get me out of this." Please, Cuddy. "There's nothing to diagnose, there's-"

"You only tested her for STDs?" she interrupted.

House rolled his eyes. "I had seven morons who forgot their raincoats. It's all they asked for so I didn't waste the lab's time." He paused when he noticed Cuddy lower her gaze. His brow furrowed lightly before asking, "Why?"

"I wasted their time. She's pregnant."

Damn… Slowly, he lifted his head and looked at the girl inside the room. Two things were going through his head: One, she definitely had it way worse than he ever did. And two, House was going to have to be the one to break the news to her. He didn't have to be told that, he just knew.

------

"Do you understand?" he asked. But all he got as a reply was silence. Not that it bothered him; to have her find out she was pregnant after being raped was a pretty devastating blow. And for some reason he actually felt concerned about her. "Are you okay?" he tried again, but then flinched a bit at the question. "I mean, I know you're not okay. But are you more or less not okay than you were five minutes ago?"

That redeemed his asshole persona a little bit, but the teen didn't seem to be upset or offended. Tears threatened to fall from her eyes and her voice quivered when she spoke. "About the same."

House nodded. Better than being worse… "Good." His gaze then lowered, "The termination process isn't pleasant-"

"I don't want to terminate."

He didn't understand. She was raped and she was carrying another reminder of that day in her body. Why not get rid of it? She went on to explain how abortion was murder and that every life was sacred, but was that baby's life sacred? Was that rapist's like sacred? Was Hitler's life sacred? Were Tritter and his father's lives sacred even after what they had done to him? That's why I'm not a huge fan of religion; it's not rational.

"Stop it! I don't wanna chat about philosophy!" she exclaimed, reaching up to clutch at the sides of her head in frustration.

House's shoulders slumped. "You're not killing your rape baby because of a philosophy."

"It's murder. I'm against it. You for it?"

"Not as a general rule."

"Just for unborn children?"

"Yes." The pause gave him time to ease the tension in the room. "The problem with exceptions to rules is the line drawing. It might make sense to kill the ass that did this to you, but then where do we draw the line? Which asses do we get to kill? Which asses get to keep on being asses? The nice thing about the abortion debate is we can quibble over trimesters but ultimately there's a nice clean line- birth. Morally there's not a lot of difference. Practically, huge."

She looked at him for a moment longer. "You're enjoying this conversation."

A smile made its way over his face as he chuckled quietly. "It's just the type of conversation I do well."

"But the other type? The personal stuff?"

House didn't see the point in talking about his personal life. It was surprising he had one person that knew and was open to talk to share it with. So why was he starting to expose part of it to this girl that he only met that day? "There are no answers. And if there are no answers, why talk about it?" Her gaze broke from his finally as she reached up to wipe some tears away. "You're healthy," House continued, "You shouldn't be here."

Quickly, she shook her head. "I don't want to go."

A reluctant sigh came from the older doctor. If she didn't want to go, he wasn't going to force her to leave. "Fine, I won't discharge you." Then he paused and an idea came to mind, causing another smile to appear. "Want to go for a walk?"

------

Religion was always a touchy subject for people. But for House, it was an easy topic to debate on. That moment probably wasn't the best time to spring it on the poor girl, but hey she was the one that wanted him to talk, so he was talking. She didn't know why God let her get raped. So he lets you keep your rape baby for no reason. Then it turned out he was challenging her. He hurts you to help you.

The debate was only making her upset, but he had a point; she was throwing her life away. All over some belief that God was justified in letting her get raped. It wasn't making any sense to him. At least until she confessed her intentions. She believed she was raped because the ass that hurt her was going to be punished for it. It gave her a feeling of comfort to believe that his actions would affect him later on in his lifetime.

So did that mean Tritter would be punished later, too? For what he did to me and everyone else? If that was the case, though, then why did other people have to get hurt in the process? He understood her reason for comfort, but the logic still didn't make sense. Perhaps he just had to drop the logical side of the argument to understand. Drop the logic and focus more on how she felt; whether it would help her. Screw that asshole that did this to her- screw Tritter and my father. They don't matter; what's done is done and all we can do is move on.

"Do you think the guy who did this to me feels bad?" she asked.

"Would that help you? Make you feel better?"

But when he tried, she looked offended. "Why do you always do that? Ask why I'm asking questions instead of just answering the question?"

"The answer doesn't interest me. I don't care what he's feeling. I'm interested in what you're feeling."

Her expression seemed to soften. "You are?"

"I'm trapped in the room with you, right?" She smiled lightly as her reply. But House still added, "Why did you choose me?"

She took a breath. "There's something about you…" her voice trailed off, a tear falling from her eyes. "It's like you hurt, too."

She knows. His gaze lowered for a moment. Or she's going to end up finding out. And for some reason that thought didn't scare him. To have her know what happened to him- to know the truth- it wasn't scaring him anymore. And the reason was because she was hurting too- from the same thing. Slowly, he turned in his seat so his back was to the table. Her gaze didn't leave him, but his gaze stayed averted. "It was true."

There was a pause, a go ahead to let him continue. But he didn't take it; he was still hesitating. If you don't say it, Tritter will win. Your father will win… "What was?" she asked.

"It wasn't my grandmother, and it was… more than just physical abuse. But it was true…"

He felt her lean forward and closer to him, offering a sort of comfort that he wasn't alone. And for once, he actually believed that he wasn't. She suffered, too; they had that in common and they could share that with each other. Well, he felt he could share what happened with her, anyway. "Who was it?" her voice was quiet, almost hesitant to ask.

House's gaze stayed on the ground in front of him. There was still that feeling of shame- shame for what happened with his father and with Tritter. And the shame of the fact that he allowed it to happen. That would stay with him yet, but to overcome part of that he would have to tell her. "First it had been my dad…" he swallowed a lump in his throat. "Then… a few weeks ago, it was some perverted cop." For a few seconds, his gaze moved toward hers. Sympathy was in her eyes, but it was different from what he had seen in Wilson or Cuddy. She actually knew how he felt. She knew what he had gone through. And that alone brought him comfort.

"I'd like to tell you what happened to me now," she said quietly.

Once more, House lifted his head and looked at her. It wasn't about fairness; not that since he opened up to her, she had to open up to him. She was feeling that same comfort that he was; since he was comfortable with telling her what happened to him, she was comfortable with talking to him about what happened to her. It was because they were both ready to talk that got them to open up so quickly. And since she was there to listen when he opened up, he would be there for her. "I'd like to hear it."

------

"She terminated. She's being discharged," House muttered to Cuddy while playing foosball with Wilson in the break room.

Cuddy nodded her head slightly. "She's going to be okay.

House scoffed lightly. "Yeah, it's that simple."

"She's talking about what happened. That's huge. You did good."

But still, the crippled doctor seemed to disagree. "And everyone'll tell you that's what we gotta make her do. We gotta help her, right? Except we can't." Wilson paused in his game and glanced up at House, who took the chance and whipped the ball into the open goal. "We drag out her story, tell each other that it'll help her heal and feel real good about ourselves. Maybe all we've done is make a girl cry."

"Then why bother helping her?" Cuddy asked.

House's gaze was still on the foosball table, but he knew that they both were looking at him. "Because I don't know."

"Yes you do," Wilson replied quietly. "Because you were trying to find your own help; she suffered like you did. And you wanted to help her in order to help yourself."

The silence told them that Wilson was right. Yet they didn't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing; good obviously because it showed that House was really moving on from what happened. And bad because of what he had said: maybe he was just trying to force the story out so everyone could say that he was recovering when in all reality all they did was make him cry- so to speak.

"Did that help you?" Wilson asked, tilting his head in an attempt to get a better look at his best friend.

"Maybe," he replied, shifting to limp toward the door before looking up. "You said that it was up to me to make things normal. By talking to her it could have helped." He gave a small shrug of his shoulder, turning his head to look back at them. "We'll just have to wait and see."