Disclaimer: If I owned this, such chaos would already have ensued.

This is the first of four short stories, each one spawned from word prompts from one of my dear friends. Sorry if it's awkward, it's my first fic. Like, ever. So if you'd like to make your reading experience less painful, please review, or at least comment. I could probably use the criticism.

Sooooo...yeah. This will contain slash. Mostly fluff in the beginning, but stuff gets kinda...dirty towards the end. If you don't like it, don't look. Now fly away.

Onto the story~


FIRE


Roof. Now.

That was the page Foreman, Cameron, and Chase got. Their most recent patient had been released earlier that day (sarcoidosis) and they hadn't even filed an assault charge against House for that minor incident with the IV pole. So none of them could see any reason that would warrant them being summoned to the roof of the hospital. Unless it involved getting pushed over the railing, which, disturbingly enough, they could all see happening.

They were sitting in the conference room when they got the page, and were still silently brainstorming when another came.

Last one here gets to help in maternity.

Chase and Foreman took one look at each other, and then tore out of the room like bats out of hell, leaving a surprised and slightly amused Cameron behind. She shook her head slightly, and left the room at a light jog. She didn't really mind having to work in maternity-since she was, after all, female- but didn't see a reason to give House a reason to give her an equally menial and laborous task somewhere else because she'd been taking her sweet time.

After all, she thought to herself, House'll probably make one of them do it anyway. He's a jerk like that.


When she finally made it to the rooftop, she arrived to find Chase and Foreman slumped against the wall, panting like dogs. Cameron snorted and raised an eyebrow. "Wow. You two must really hate newborns to move that fast."

Chase took a few moments before panting out, "It's less of me hating newborns, more of me hating where they come from. I couldn't deal with that."

Foreman gave a derisive snort, shaking his head in disbelief. "Please. You were just having trouble keeping up with me. Should I tell her about how you tried to pull me down the stairs by my labcoat? Or how when that failed and you tripped going upstairs tried to bring me down with you."

Cameron was just about to laugh at Chase's rapidly reddening face when they heard a voice calling out from somewhere behind them. "Was that House?" Cameron asked.

"I don't know who else would be up here. It's fucking freezing." Chase grumbled.

"Yeah, whatever, Wonder from Down Under," Foreman quipped. He had never been very patient with Chase's whinging about the New Jersey weather. "Let's just find House and get whatever crazy shit he's cooked up to put down his boredom over with."

"Wonder from Down Under? Well done, Foreman, that's almost mediocre. Keep up the crappy work."

Foreman, Cameron, and Chase all whipped around to find House- how in hell had he moved so quiet?- leaning against the door, his signature smirk plastered across his face. He turned and started walking towards the far end of the roof, throwing a, "Follow mommy, ducklings," over his shoulder, but not even checking to see if they were following. He knew they would.

When they caught up to him, they found him fiddling with a pile of paper and dead leaves. Chase noticed that there was a bag of marshmallows, some unbent coathangers, and a bottle of something that was undoubtedly flammable. "House, if you wanted to roast marshmallows, we could've just done it in the conference room. I know you have no problems with damaging hospital property, so why do we need to join you on your little Kumbayah moment up here, on the roof, in the cold?" Chase asked irritably. And in his defense it really was cold. House hadn't told them to bring jackets, but they'd all assumed they would only be up here for a while.

House just ignored him, opting to upend the entire contents of the bottle over the pile. He pulled himself back into a standing position, and fished around in his pocket before he pulled a lighter out of his pocket with a triumphant expression on his face. He handed it too Foreman. "I know you enjoyed setting things on fire when you were younger like all good little hoodrats, so do the honors for us, my brutha."

Foreman glared, but he flipped the lighter open and set the pile ablaze, and they all moved closer, appreciating the sudden rise in temparature. House plopped down and pulled the beg of marshmallows towards himself. He looked up and gave an exasperated sigh when he found that Chase, Cameron, and Foreman were still standing. "Don't make me sit by myself guys," he whined, in a rather accurate impression of a preppy schoolgirl. "The cheerleaders will, like, totally think I'm a loser!"

Foreman let out an exasperated sigh of his own and looked House square in the eyes. "House, I'm tired. We just let a patient go. Could this possibly wait?"

House gave him a long look before saying, "First one to leave gets maternity duty."

There was silence except for the crackling of the fire.

Cameron looked to Chase, to Foreman, and back again before rolling her eyes and muttering something that sounded suspiciously like, "Boys," before turning around and leaving. "I have to pick up my aunt at the airport," she called back. "Have a marshmallow for me!"

She didn't so much as shrug when House yelled out he was putting her down for a week of 2 A.M. shifts.

House looked to his remaining two ducklings, eyeing them expectantly. Chase had sat down and was focused on getting close enough to the fire to get the most out of it's heat without setting his hair on fire. Foreman looked like he was about to make the hardest situation of his life. He finally sighed and mumbled something about having to bring his car in for his service, then walked away, leaving House and Chase.

Chase stared into the heart of the fire. "And then there were two," he said quietly. He took a marshmallow from the bag and speared it on the end of his wire, then put in the flames to toast.

House did the same, saying, "Yeah, just those with the daddy issues left. Should make for some real fun conversation. So, do you wanna talk about your feelings, or should we have a good cry to get us going?"

Chase gave a little half-smile before pulling his marshmallow out of the fire and eating it. "So why'd you wanna do this all of a sudden? And all the way up here?" he asked thickly. The marshmallow was gumming up his mouth and making it hard to talk properly. And damn if the thing wasn't hot.

House shrugged. "I was bored. And the setting fits the mood I'm in. Y'know, the whole, 'I'm lonely, so I think I'll sit on the roof and sing a Woody Guthrie song."

Chase kept his face clear, while his brain was working furiously. House, feeling lonely? Scratch that, House feeling? This did not compute.

Realizing he'd been silent too long, Chase scrambled to recover. "Why were feeling lonely?" he asked, not looking at House as he did so. The man was an expert at reading people.

House gave Chase a serious, level gaze...

...and Chase was suddenly held captive by the fierce gaze of two circles of ice blue. The firelight was refracting off of them and making it look like there was a fire, low but strong, burning somewhere deep inside of House.

"-and I need you to pay for the sonogram," House said. "Now, take responsibility, and marry me."

Chase blinked rapidly, trying to figure out what House had just said. When he just gave House a blank look, the older man just shook his head and said, "Jesus, wombat, when I called you mentally retarded, I never suspected it might be true. Keep up."

When House looked over, he found the younger man smirking slightly, the firelight giving his long blond hair a deep goldish look. When he raised a questioning eyebrow, Chase simply smiled and looked back into the fire. House snorted and reached over to shove the Aussie's shoulder, knocking him over. And if when Chase sat back up and scooted close the fire again, he scooted closer to House at the same time... Well, that wasn't too bad.

After all, he'd gotten an almost-compliment out of the old man.


Reviews/comments are my anti-drug. Sorry if I forgot to mention that before. So unless you want a fellow Chouse'shipper to relapse... *shrugs*