Off to See the Wizard

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"House. House, look at me." The trouble with working for someone as tall as him is that she just about has to stand on a table to get his attention.

"Why? Have you sprouted wings?"

"What happened to your face?"

"It's called 'aging.' Ask mommy and daddy to explain it to you."

"Did someone -"

"Oh, that! Wilson just did what you did. I should've known to keep my hands to myself."

"Even if I believed that, the person who hit you was right-handed."

"Nope, just right-hooked. Seriously, you've noticed Wilson's a lefty but not that his ass is dreamy?"

"I'm not homophobic, so if you're trying to freak me out, that won't work." She gives up; this is obviously not going anywhere. "Do we have a case today, or not?"

"You tell me. Go forth and scour the ER. Or bug Foreman, since I can't without risking going right back to the pen."

"And you're just going to sit here with your feet up."

"Nope. I'm going to see if Wilson wants to lock his office door and have hot sweet make-up sex right there on the desk."

"If he does ... you should tape it."

House almost chokes on his coffee. She gets out before he can recover well enough to strike back.
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"Doctor Park. Can I help you? I presume you're here for reasons pertaining to House."

"Uh, yes."

"He told me that you hit Miller, and why. If it helps, I believe you."

"Because House does?"

"Because Miller's ... had a problem for years. You hear the rumors, you know what's happening, but the guy picks women he knows will either put up with it or run. I'm glad he chose wrong this time."

"I appreciate that, but ... that's not why I'm here."

"Really?"

"Is House going back to prison? He got into some kind of fight, and -"

"No, he didn't."

"Have you seen him today?"

"Yes. It's ... not what it looks like. I can't promise you he won't eventually end up back in jail, but I can tell you that this particular incident is nothing to worry about."

"Unless he lied to you about it. He told me it was you who -"

"Yes. Of course he did. He's also told people I have a secret superhero alter-ego, that I paint my toenails lime green, and that I was a serial killer in Nevada. Trust me: no jail for this one."

"Got it. Sorry I bothered you."

"It's all right. You're getting used to House. If there ever were a handbook for that, it would be written in Swahili."

Doctor Wilson's a sweet guy, really. Kind of like her dad. And he's a fool if he thinks she doesn't notice how he's been keeping his right hand hidden.
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"Any luscious treats from the emergency room?"

"No. Just one guy who turned out to have undiagnosed epilepsy."

"Great! I'm going home."

"No."

"No?"

"You're not used to hearing that word yet? I helped Foreman bring your stuff back yesterday. There were letters. This morning, I contacted someone you refused to treat."

"And they're still alive? Obviously, they didn't really need me."

"I got the family. The patient's in a coma and nobody knows why."

"Coma is good. I mean good, in the sense of coma patients not lying to me. Or punching me in the mouth."

"I asked Doctor Wilson about that. Not that I believed he did it. I just didn't want to turn down Chicago if you were going straight back to jail."

"And you're still here; ergo, he told you I wasn't."

"He didn't make any promises. And he kept his right hand beneath his desk."

"There are plenty of reasons for a man to do that, you know."

"You're still trying to gross me out?"

"Fine, yes. Wilson socked me. I had it coming. Give me that file, young minion."

She hands it over, and realizes she's breathing freely today for the first time since, since ... she can't remember since when. How this thing with House is ever going to work, for her or the patients, she doesn't know. The only thing she's certain of now is that she's going to stay and find out.