Fandom: House MD
Challenge/Prompt: fanfic100, 087. Life
Summary: Ties in to the ep Forever. House finds out about Chase and Wilson.
Author’s Notes: After I re-watched this ep on Tuesday night, I discovered that thirty-three minutes and thirty-one seconds in is the best ever Chase/Wilson cap I could hope for (i.e they’re standing side by side and looking in the same direction, which like never happens), and I can’t make screencaps. Anyway. I digress. Written all yesterday instead of doing things like Spanish (who gives a damn, right?) and I haven’t done a snarky House POV in a while. x
Chase is still trembling two hours later in those fucking horrible yellow-green scrubs.
Foreman and his disturbing new love of life (like an over-excited puppy that House just wants to kick) have taken themselves off home, to stumble about in his apartment missing the light switches and eating things that don’t require cookery or opening of anything. Cameron clicked off in her cross-sounding high heels a couple of hours ago too, because she doesn’t like him at all today. House reckons that he is no different today than he was yesterday, but really, who is he to judge? Anyway, she’s been making her grumpy face that makes her look unattractive at him, and if she hasn’t been doing that, she’s been making her earnest face, which just makes him want to hurt her.
Cuddy is vulnerable to a point that might make him feel guilty if House went in for emotions like that (which he doesn’t), and he has successfully convinced Wilson that she has cancer. That will make for a fun date; Cuddy doing whatever her motive is, and Wilson trying to think up a tactful way to ask over dessert so, do you have any strange skin lesions and not make it sound like a pick-up line. Then again, Cuddy is probably gagging for it, and Wilson has already proven he has no qualms about sleeping with cancer-ridden females, so maybe they’ll both get lucky tonight. Still, House has to grin, because what would probably have been a pretty good dinner has been wrecked by a few well-placed comments and some even more well-placed stalking. He’ll pretend he isn’t smug about that, but he is.
And Chase is still sitting there, shaking.
Perhaps demanding that he autopsy the baby was cruel, perhaps he should not have done it when he knew that Chase was so deeply emotionally involved, but then Foreman is less than useless right now, with his lack of spatial awareness and shaky hands, and Cameron would only cry in a frankly dull and girly fashion. Chase is at least quiet, even if he can’t stop shivering. House refuses to feel sorry, but can’t quite work out why he’s still here. They should both be at home right now, faintly haunted and even more tired, but they’re not.
A few hours ago, House ran into Wilson in the path lab, running a highly unethical and unsettling stalker-ish test on Cuddy’s dinner spoon (and he’s still faintly wondering just how Jimmy managed to sneak out cutlery from what must have been a pretty classy restaurant- maybe he has a manbag, or a special kind of pocket protector that he has not yet told House about.) (Sometimes House can’t help but notice that none of them ever feel the need to go home.) Wilson was also noticeably not drunk. Apparently, nobody got any tonight.
House knows that he should go back to his suspiciously quiet apartment, apologise to Steve (again) for attempting to kill him, and get some sleep or a hooker (the end result is pretty much the same, either way). He’s not going to crack the diagnosis tonight, dead baby on his conscience or not, and if he keeps mentally beating himself up over this, he’ll turn into Chase, and no one wants that to happen.
So, House is turning away with the intention of leaving when he catches sight of Chase in the lab, leaning against the workstation, head in his hands. House can taste his whip-crack reaction of for fuck’s sake, get over yourself; are you a doctor or a rentboy? but just about manages to swallow it, because if he says it Cuddy will hurt him tomorrow and not in a fun, spanking kind of way. Those scrubs really are vile and they do nothing for Chase, House reflects idly. He hasn’t said that yet either, but it’s sure to come out at an inappropriate moment. House excels at inappropriate moments.
Anyway, he does have the intention of fucking off somewhere far away, when he notices Wilson, leaning against the wall and talking intently to Chase. He never got the hang of lip-reading, and he can’t hear from this far away, so Jimmy could be saying anything from oh for God’s sake pull yourself together to it wasn’t your fault to I am terribly attracted to your girly and suspiciously gay hair, and now I must ravish you. House hopes for the rebuke, suspects that it’s the comforting, and then realises it was probably the come-on when Wilson moves fluidly to cup Chase’s head in his hands and kiss him.
House always suspected Chase, and he knows Jimmy will fuck anything with a pulse (and on one memorable occasion, something without a pulse- oh, wait, no, that was just what he told Wilson’s second wife in an attempt to speed up the inevitable divorce), so he’s not doing what he suspects Cameron would do (in other words, gasp, and swoon in absolute horror and/or surprise). He just about manages an eyebrow raise of vague interest as Chase’s fingers tangle in the back of Wilson’s hair, and at the way too familiar way Wilson pushes the scrubs shirt up, palms sliding up an unsettlingly pale ribcage.
House doesn’t actively care, as such, how long this has been going on, because now he knows and he will find out the details later, and then pretend he knew all along. Obviously Cuddy was never in danger of having her maidenhood besmirched by Big Bad Jimmy (and his sidekick, Surprisingly-Small-Given-How-Many-People-H
House sticks his head around the door as he walks out.
“You may be under the impression that no one can see what you’re doing, but sadly not everyone is as blind and idiotic as Foreman, and we can all see through glass, funnily enough.”
He is forced to be impressed at Wilson’s skill in getting Chase out of those horrible scrubs in the space of about twenty seconds, but instead of commenting on this, he leaves to go get some rest, leaving Chase choking and Wilson laughing behind him.
In his currently rather useless desk of cards, House has: a dead baby, an insane mother, a panicking father, a neurologist incapable of opening a door on his first try and such a perky attitude that it makes House’s teeth hurt, an immunologist alternately wracked with guilt and then vague anger that she can’t carry off properly, an intensivist trying to run from the department and fucking House’s best friend for no discernable reason, a boss with some kind of overly emotional secret that he’s going to have to crack and consequently tease her about, and a best friend currently trying to seduce everyone and developing a new obsession with cutlery. And then he’s got himself, pining over God-knows-what and shooting morphine on Sunday afternoons because the moment of pain-free silence he gets is more than worth the consequences.
The next morning, he informs Chase that he’s playing a dangerous game.
“Wilson will break your heart, and given the laws in this state, you won’t even get an alimony cheque to ease your current tragic state of poverty.”
“Why do you care?” Chase shoots back.
House has to admit he has a point there. He shrugs.
“I don’t,” he replies, “But if Wilson starts avoiding diagnostics because of you, you will find your ass on the first train to Firedville. And I hear it’s pretty much a one-way ticket.”
Chase rolls his eyes and House resists the urge to inflict some kind of pain on him. His department are all brain-damaged and pathetic, and at this point in time, he really doesn’t need this. So he pinches the bridge of his nose, drinks another three mugs of coffee, cracks his knuckles and solves the case. Just to remind everyone else exactly why he’s the centre of the whole fucking universe.