Fandom: House MD
Pairing: House/Chase (House/Wilson, Wilson/Chase, Chase/Cameron)
Summary: Snapshots inspired by canon/fanon clichés.
Author’s Notes: johanirae asked for a non-angsty House/Chase inspired by House bouncing a ball off Chase's head. I am almost certain this is not what she wanted, but I am also working on another one for her, so it's ok. That one isn't terribly angsty at all. And I don't know if this one is. Anyway, my point is johanirae, I will write you another one. A better one. Some time.
Also: you all get to be my betas. I typed this up really fast from a notebook so please; find me typos and Britisisms (sp?) that I forgot to remove.
There’s a line of white Vicodin on House’s desk, pills lined up end to end while their owner concentrates on them and picks which one he’d like to take right now. They all look the same to Chase- but then he is not a narcotic addict and the subtle differences will always be lost on him. Instead, he stands half-frozen in the doorway with a file clutched too tight in his left hand, like he’s intruding on something dirty and private he shouldn’t be seeing. Then again he feels like that around House all the time. House’s thin veneer of apathy doesn’t do enough to hide the weakness and vulnerability bubbling mutinously underneath. To look at the wrong angle is to see something you shouldn’t. Chase knows that Wilson is tormented all the time by the parts of House no one is supposed to see.
House picks his Vicodin- apparently no different from all the others, but what does Chase know- takes it, and then takes another one to amuse himself while he scoops all the pills back into their bottle (and then one more just because he can).
“All right,” he says, something a little like bliss uncurling slowly and subtly over his face, “Give it here.”
Chase hands over the file, hands trembling, but not so badly anyone would actually notice.
Chase twists a coffee stirrer from one side of his mouth to the other, pretending he can’t see Foreman rolling his eyes, and pretending he can’t hear House making comments on how unsettlingly dextrous his teeth are. House is penning symptoms on the board quickly, his handwriting black and messy.
“So,” House says, uncapping a different marker, “Given that the next symptom on this eclectic list is going to be death, and that one is mildly permanent, perhaps you’d all better start thinking more like doctors and less like trained monkeys.”
Chase wants to open his mouth and say things like but most of the time you treat us like trained monkeys, who are we to disobey? but he doesn’t have the balls. House uses his red marker to draw lines under the most serious problems (kidney damage, respiratory problems and loss of motor functions). Ugly slashes of colour to highlight just how close they are to killing their patient. Yet again.
There is no patient and no sign of there being a patient. House is out on his balcony with Wilson, and the two of them are discussing medicine or arguing or making out or eating or whatever it is that they do together. Chase doesn’t know and he doesn’t particularly want to. His head aches.
Cameron, who is more secretary than immunologist at the moment, is answering House’s mail for him, sipping a mug of coffee and forging his signature with terrifying casual accuracy. Chase and Foreman are constructing long lines of dominoes on the floor because they have nothing else to do (they’re less good at faking House’s spidery scrawl).
Time passes so slowly and eventually Chase and Foreman get to arguing over who gets to push over the first domino and Cameron says they’ll make too much noise and they both mock her half-heartedly for a while, then go back to trying to work out who gets the honour of destroying their work of the last two hours.
House stumps back in looking rather pleased with himself, notices their black lines of boredom, and taps over the first domino with one sneakered foot. They watch the plastic pieces snap back and forth.
“Whoops,” House says remorselessly.
It’s late and Chase is tired but he needs the overtime pay, so he’d stayed behind to do extra hours in the hospital ER (they always need intensivists). He’s left his car keys in diagnostics, though, so when he’s finished he removes his bloody labcoat and makes his way back up to the fourth floor. There’s a light still on in House’s office.
Chase scoops his keys up and puts them in his leather jacket. He glances through the blinds. Hurt is crawling across Wilson’s face, as he loses yet another bet or another argument or another patient or another wife. Chase can’t tell which from this angle, but he’s fairly sure it’s one or all of those. He can’t see House. There’s a little too much shadow and blinds going on.
Wilson’s mouth is set in a grim, firm line like he’s forgotten how to smile (and it’s entirely possible he has, so much has happened to him over the last- forever that Chase pities him). (Almost)
“Why do you let him do this to you?” Chase whispers, but he knows all too well exactly why Wilson does.
With the shower on too hot Chase presses his face into the tiles and says ‘fuck’ several times, very loudly, banging his forehead against the wall in frustration. Every time he shuts his eyes he can see him and Cameron wrapped up in some boring missionary style porn film. And when he opens his eyes he can see him and Cameron in a slightly less boring porn film, and he runs an awkward hand over his face.
“Fuck,” he mutters again.
He feels mildly nauseous, and he has work in about an hour and there are these really strange toothmarks on random parts of his body. It’s kind of uncomfortable. The lines her nails have left on his shoulders have really started to itch. They’re red and painful and God, he’s never going to live this down.
Lisa Cuddy is stressed-looking and generally exhausted in a dark magenta suit that really brings out her eyes. She’s pacing and there are lines of patients forming, all looking sick and miserable and coughing pathetically. It’s a horrible sight and Chase’s stomach sinks. He knows that House has only sent him down here to punish him. Chase isn’t yet sure quite what his crime is but he’s fairly sure that he’s got like twenty ones on the list for House to pick from.
“I’m being House today,” he informs Cuddy, and watches her face show conflict as she weighs up the possibilities of letting House get away with this and having a working doctor in the clinic for the next two hours, against spending the next two hours paging House and shouting at him while he makes disparaging remarks about her cleavage. Chase really isn’t surprised when she shrugs and points him in the direction of exam room one. Lesser of two evils and all that.
Normally, Wilson starts the newspaper crossword, then loses interest and leaves it lying around in diagnostics, where Chase and Foreman bicker over who gets to fill in the rest (Chase usually wins). Then, eventually, when they are forced to go and do actual work, House completes it (generally with the wrong answers).
Chase is bored and carefully writing in the answer to number 14 down. House is supposedly reading through a patient file, but he isn't. It's one of those days when there's nothing for it but absolute lethargy. The black lines of the crossword imprint themselves onto Chase's fingers, bold and dark and smudgy.
It's about then that House bounces his tennis ball off the back of Chase's head. It's unexpected and totally unwarranted violence, and Chase turns around to protest about this completely unfair treatment.
"Oh, right, sorry," House says, smirking, tossing his tennis ball up and catching it again, "I forgot. You can't afford to lose your few remaining brain cells."
The staff locker room is a place Chase generally avoids, if only because his paranoia means he won't shower in there in case House takes it into his head to come and surprise him. He knows that House has done it to Foreman. On more than one occasion. Anyway, today he's got blood on his shirt and needs to change it before House drives him mad with his tasteless jokes.
The shower is going when he gets down there, but Chase resolutely does not try to find out who it is. Instead, he swiftly changes his pale yellow shirt for a green one, reknotting his tie with shaky fingers. He's tired.
"Dr Chase." It's Wilson- of course it is- in nothing but a white towel, water running down the clean lines of his body. Chase's stomach does a strange twisty thing he doesn't entirely like, but he does manage a smile and a brief greeting. Before he turns his attention, studiously, to folding up his ruined shirt (in front of his groin, but that means nothing, honestly) focusing on the shirt stripes and trying to think of something- anything- else. Cameron naked. Foreman naked. Vogler naked. (Hey, now he's getting somewhere.)
And then, of course, his treacherous brain decides that he'd like to be assualted with images of House naked. Chase makes a small, stranged sound and runs for it. Wilson waits until he's gone before giving a satisfied smirk.
Unresolved Sexual Tension
There are all these lines that should and should not be crossed, and Cameron sometimes has a go at shattering them, which never works, and Chase sometimes tries ducking under them a little, with slightly better results, but all in all they keep their distances (at least until the drugs kick in.) Chase almost likes the invisible lines separating them all, except maybe House and Wilson, whose shadows blur and merge into one and Cameron pretends not to see and Chase almost goes out of his way to watch.
Anyway, the point is that Chase knows exactly what he wants, although he makes no effort to get it (that's him all over really- apathetic to a fault and then remembering when it's too late that he's supposed to care).
Chase should be on his way home because it's dark and late and there's nothing for him here, but instead he hangs around and hides and does nothing and watches Cameron leave and watches Foreman leave and watches House draw the blinds in his office. But Wilson's car is resoundingly not in the parking lot (presumably he's got somewhere better to be) and Chase bites his fingernails for a moment before taking the initiative.
The blinds are casting shadowy lines of light and dark on the floor and House is seated in his chair like a king on his throne, and he doesn't look at Chase for the longest minute. Chase's fingers curl into his palms.
"You took your time," is all that House will say.