A/N: The title is nicked from EM Forster's novel. I'm not a doctor and the medicine is approximate at best.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. Sad.
"You paged me for a consult."
Only the top of the head appeared between the cupped hands holding the forehead, the elbows firmly planted on the desk.
He briefly checked the x-ray scan and the blood tests results.
"Are you joking? You don't need a consult. This is the easiest diagnosis ever. Pancreatic cancer, apparently stage 3. What did you call me for?"
"I was a bit worried about how to phrase the prognosis."
"I know as much as you do. Likely one year, two years barely possible, less than six months if everything goes downhill fast."
"Chances of remission?"
"None. And zero survival at five years. You should have experience in communicating worse news than this. Is this someone you care about?... Now that I look better, why does the x-ray come from Trenton Hospital?"
"Because I couldn't get it under a false name at PPTH, since all the radiologists here know me. About your previous question: indeed, I find it hard to give bad news to people I care about. Nevertheless, as you can see, I manage."
Finally the head was lifted, and the dark eyes fixed the blue ones without blinking.
"I need you, House."
Cuddy could hear House get into her office without knocking. When he said "Wilson and I are leaving now. We'll be away the whole weekend. See you Monday", she immediately replied "You're insane. Stay here and do some of your clinic..." She lifted her eyes and the breath caught in her throat. House's face was covered with tears.
They were sitting on Wilson's couch, the tv was showing a TiVo'ed Monster Truck show, and they were drinking scotch in the middle of Thai takeout debris.
"So what did you do in the eight hours between getting the results and calling me?"
"I collected information about oncologists specializing in pancreatic cancer. I will want your opinion but I'm considering Dr Gupta at Sloan Kettering." A whisky sip. "Plus I went to talk to my lawyer. I checked my will, my health and life insurance, and made sure you were registered as my medical proxy and next-of-kin."
"What are the plans for the weekend?"
"That was what I hoped you would help me with. I think the healthcare can wait until Monday."
"Ok, I'll deal with the arrangements. I think tomorrow night we'll be in New York. Do you prefer French or Italian food?"
"You choose. Are you sure you can do this? I though you had a dinner date with Cuddy."
"It was actually a dinner, movie and goodnight fuck date. I canceled it."
As much silence as could be allowed for by the crashing havoc of the monster trucks lasted for maybe ten minutes.
"Thank you. Will you stay the night?"
"I don't plan to be away from you anytime this weekend. Also, tomorrow morning you're making pancakes."
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