Ch. 1

It was a little late for lunch, but the two doctors sat at the PPTH cafeteria, taking a moment to eat and recharge their batteries after what had turned out to be a long day for both of them.

"So, when are you going to ask her out?" the oncologist asked plainly as he smacked his friend's hand away from his fries.

"When are you going to stop offering pieces of your liver to selfish bastards who call themselves your friends but are really just using you for your spare parts?" House retorted, not missing a beat, as he went for the fries again, expertly evading Wilson's swat and stealing a prize.

"Really? You are going to warn me about selfish bastards who call themselves my friends? Are you sure you want to go there?"

House looked up, the comeback line already formed in his mind, but he decided instead to stop deflecting.

"I'm not - the ball has been in her court since the conference - and she decided to volley it to the private dick - so…"

"House, they broke up two months ago. Don't you think it's time-"

"Saved by the midget," House responded, as he watched Taub come hastily towards them.

"The patient went into cardiac arrest, it wasn't bacterial," Taub announced. It had been their third go-around at a diagnosis this afternoon. The patient had presented with classic symptoms for infection. Her vitals had weakened considerably in a short period of time, and naturally, House opted for treatment as a part of his diagnostic process.

"Interesting," House responded, resting his chin on his cane.

Wilson looked from House back to Taub.

"Have you checked her thyroid function?" Wilson asked, trying to recall the list of symptoms House had reviewed with him on the way to the cafeteria.

"We have medical licenses, you know," House snarked at his friend. He looked back towards Taub.

"Foreman's at her house now, and 13 is at her office, checking for toxins," Taub reported, before his boss could ask.

"Well, then," House replied, opening his eyes wide for effect, "they are going to miss all of the fun because it's adrenal - have Chase do a deep tissue biopsy to confirm."

Wilson looked at House and tried to follow his friend's thought process. Usually he could tell when an image or a phrase led him to an idea in regards to a diagnosis, but this time Wilson had no clue as to how House got there.

"Kidney functions were fine on the blood tests," Taub started.

"Yeah, three hours ago," House responded. "That was before the antibiotics you pumped her with for the bacterial infection busted her kidneys." House stood up and leaned on his cane towards Taub, "You can run another kidney panel and have her die while she waits for the results, or do the biopsy and start treatment before she flatlines again."

Taub was off before House had finished the sentence.

House had stolen another fry and dipped it in Wilson's little mound of ketchup before following Taub to the elevator when he heard Wilson call after him, "So, when are you going to ask her out?"