Disclaimer: House doesn't belong to me, just borrowing the dude.

If you're nice you will review. *shifty eyes*

Doctor Whitley stood by his patient's bed, medical chart in his hand.

A decade working in a prison hospital has yielded many gruesome cases, including one inmate whose carotid artery was severed by the crossbow bolt of an irate neighbour, fashioned from rolled up paper and a piece of the plastic lunch tray.

But through all the years of treating the numerous stab wounds, fractures, contusions, infections, and anything else that have been results of prisoner interactions, none were as horrific as the man who lay in front of him now.

Gregory House.

You don't enter the medical field without hearing his name in hushed whispers bandied about in medical conventions, whether out of awe or fear, mingled with the occasional 'ass' or 'jerk'.

Doctor Gregory House.

The eerie silence of the hospital room is broken when House gasps and draws a laboured breath, and a whimper escapes as he exhaled. The monitors bleep.

There's nothing fearsome about him now.

Whitley sets the file down, removes the stethoscope from around his neck and uses it to auscultate his patient's lungs. Crackling and gurgling greet his ears. Whitley reaches over and adjusts House's oxygen intake. He glances at the monitors. Satisfied, he notes it in the chart, before beginning the examination. He lifts the blankets that envelop the fallen diagnostician.

A myriad of broken and dislocated bones - some old and poorly fused, others new and splinted - all of them painful and leading to new waves of complications.

The canvas of burns on House's body adds itself to the chorus of suffering. Whitley's trained eyes and experience with previous patients immediately make out their causes, from the brand on the inside of House's arm – 5,2 – to the scarred over back, a result of boiling liquids being mercilessly poured over skin, and the gnarled fingers victims to the common iron. The more severe burns have required skin grafts. Whitley hopes House's body has time to overcome the rest.

He turns his attention to House's sutures and lacerations, ensuring they are dry and properly washed. The swelling has gone down on the one on his arm, extending from the elbow and running along the ulna. The one on his chest is still draining. House's wrists, scarred and damaged by different restraints over the years, have become gangrenous and needed the surgical debridement of the dead tissue.

Whitley cannot decide if his faith in humanity has been all but completely destroyed by the injustice House has suffered, or whether it had been restored by all the injustice this man has endured.

The patient shivers from the loss of the sheets that covered his body, and the physician dutifully replaces them, ensuring they do not snag against the tubes that snake out from his body nor cover any of the weeping wounds. House slumbers on, sedated, weak and blissfully oblivious.

When House first arrived at the infirmary, a battle to keep him stable had ensued between the medical staff and the hypothermia that consumed his body. The hypothermia soon gave way to pneumonia and a raging fever, hence the need for the oxygen mask obscuring most of his face.

Doctor Whitley checks the catheter collection bag, takes another look at the monitors bleeping about his patient's head, notes a few more things in the medical chart, and quietly leaves the room.