A/N: random though popped into my head, and said to me 'hey, wouldn't it be cool if…?'
Said the Sunflower to the Seed
Nicotine scratches against the inside of his nose and a warm body sprawls down heavily next to his.
"Hey," the stranger says, and House tilts his head and scowls at the young man, all dishevelled hair and clothes and a gauntness to his features that makes his high cheekbones seem familiar.
"Mind if I bum one?" House asks, just to see if he can. The man's fingerless gloves scrabble for one for him at the bottom of the pack, but House tells himself he doesn't care enough to feel guilty when he notices the thread-bare quality to his clothes and the way the man looks like he hasn't eaten decently in years, and ignores the way the other's fingers tremble slightly as they flick on the lighter.
"Mason," he says as he hands House the cigarette, and he greets back with his own name.
"That your dad?" Mason asks, as an elderly man waves at them from a hospital window and calls out 'House!'.
"Nope. Wrinkles over there's come to the clinic to see if anyone can sort out his gross diseases. You know, down there."
"Old people sex? Nasty." Mason smiles a little funny. "So you're a doctor? Cool."
"Very cool. I get to play around with all the best diseases."
"I bet your real dad must be proud, huh?"
There's a hint of sadness to Mason's smile, and it makes Greg think back to the reports he read about what happened to his real dad; how the stupid man had gotten himself involved with drugs and the bad people that came with them and was force-fed the wrong end of a drill through his head almost seven months before Greg was born. The police had written that it was a suicidal act, but House had made a living from piecing together the improbable and knew a shoddy fake cover-up when he saw it (his mother had laughed bitterly when he showed her the report, and said something about 'those stupid yanks with their noses so far up their assess they never bothered to see the truth').
"Guess so," House says, and offers no more. What's it to him if a strange homeless guy has daddy issues?
Mason grabs the hand not holding a cigarette and shakes it, clapping his shoulder in a gruff, kindly way. "It was good to meet you, Greg." He stands and leaves, with one last look at House before he shakes his head and walks away.
Greg has never believed in coincidence. For the reset of the day the name Mason lingers in his thoughts, and he realizes it's the first time he's heard that name outside of his real dad's death reports.