Lady Paperclip (paperclipbitch) wrote,
Lady Paperclip
paperclipbitch

Oh Jesus. There's crack and then there's insanity.

Title: Sweet The Sting
Fandoms: House MD/Doctor Who
Pairing: House/Doctor Ten (with slight Rose/Chase undertones)
Written for: justian, who wanted House/Ten, with someone being ill, fluffy angst, and gratuitous fainting.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: [Pre]slash
Summary: How are House and his team supposed to work out what’s wrong with someone who isn’t even human?
Author’s Notes: Conceived of and written in a little over 24 hours, which I think is quite impressive, even if it does make for quite bad fic. Everyone is slightly out of character, I don’t know what the hell I did to Cuddy, and Chase inadvertently became canon!Chase (i.e boring and kinda unhelpful) but what the hell. It’s crack.

Also: my medical knowledge is like zero, and I used my only-half-remembered GCSE biology (in which I got a B) in order to back up the sickness, so we’re going to focus on the fact that it’s alien, ok? *snickers* Now I’ve put you off…



Is it sweet your sting? It is real your infusion? Can it heal where others before have failed? If so then somebody shake me sane, ‘cause I am inching ever closer to the tip of this scorpion’s tail. Love, let me breathe, breathe you in, melt the confusion until there is- there is you.
Tori Amos

“It’s dehydration,” House announces without looking at Cuddy or at the file she’s holding out.

“It isn’t,” Cuddy replies.

“Then it’s a cold,” House tells her. “Who’s the world-renounced diagnostician in here? Oh, right. I get confused sometimes.”

“It isn’t dehydration, it isn’t a cold, and you are going to treat this patient,” Cuddy tells him.

“What, because you wore the blouse that lets us see that your underwear matches your shoes? I appreciate the effort, but it’s not conducive to a good working environment. I could go blind.”

“No.” Cuddy sounds like she’s speaking through gritted teeth. “You’re going to take the case because you won’t be able to help yourself.”

“What makes you think that?” House asks, deeply unimpressed.

Cuddy grins and he realises, too late, that she’s been hiding an ace up her sleeve (or down that rather tasteful bra, as the case may be).

“Because,” she says, unable to keep the glee from her voice, “This patient has two hearts.”

~

“I keep telling you, Rose, I’m fine,” the Doctor insists. Then he bursts out into uncontrollable and ugly coughs.

“Yeah,” Rose says with heavy sarcasm in her tone, “Because all healthy people sound like they’re trying to choke their lungs up.”

“You’re such a mother hen,” the Doctor tells her, but he’s starting to sound breathless so Rose decides that she was perfectly justified in insisting he be hospitalised, and she informs him of this. Before the Doctor can retaliate, however, they are interrupted.

A tall man shuffles in, leaning heavily on a wooden cane. His demeanour manages to scream both apathy and pain.

“I have this friend,” he begins without introducing himself, “Who never seems to be able to commit. To anyone.” He turns to Rose. “I’m surprised you haven’t met him yet. You’re just his type. Female and breathing.” He turns back to the Doctor. “I always maintain it’s because he’s got two hearts- one that he hands out in a particularly irresponsible way, and one that he keeps, because he is ultimately selfish.” He pauses. “However, that’s just a metaphor I use because it pisses him off. You, on the other hand- you actually do have two hearts. Do you have a string of ex-wives too?”

“Never seemed to find the time,” the Doctor replies, smiling one of those boyish smiles he specialises in. “Which is ironic, really. But there always seemed to be another galaxy imploding, that sort of thing. You’re Dr House, right?”

House nods.

“And your file claims that your name is ‘the Doctor’.” He sounds a cross between amused and cynical. “But I was assured that you don’t belong in the psych ward, so go on. Amuse me.”

He takes a bottle of pills out of the pocket of his jacket and pops one. Rose looks in concern at the Doctor, but he’s still smiling faintly.

“He’s coughing,” Rose supplies quickly.

“Wow,” House drawls, opening blue eyes wide. “So glad I dragged myself all the way up here for that.”

Rose opens her mouth to ask him what the hell is wrong with him, but then notices that the Doctor is actually laughing.

~

The pencil drops out of Chase’s mouth to clatter on the glass tabletop. The look of disbelief on his face amuses House no end, but he doesn’t have time right now to chew him out over it, so simply gives him a look.

“Radiologists must have screwed up,” Foreman is saying.

“Nope,” House says, writing calmly on the whiteboard, “And I also knew that you were going to say that. Be creative for once; would it kill you?”

“But this is impossible!” Cameron says, flipping through the file on the table. “It’s got to be a hoax.”

“Yes, yes, I know, everybody lies,” House intones. “Very clever, little minions. However, in this case, no one is lying. At least, not yet, so let’s have some new and exciting thoughts.”

His team look at the board. In blue marker, House has listed the symptoms (hacking cough, breathlessness, dizziness). In green he has listed the things that are unusual about their patient. He finishes writing two hearts with a flourish.

“And he’s also irritatingly cheerful,” House adds. “Reckon we can fix that?”

~

“You do realise, Rose,” the Doctor says, “That these doctors have no knowledge of Gallifreyan physiology or medicine, and are therefore next to useless.”

“Oh.” Rose thinks about that for a moment. “But you did say that I could take you to a hospital.”

“Would probably have been better to take me to one similar to the ones on New Earth,” he explains gently. “Only without the murderous cat nuns. They weren’t much fun. And can you imagine the hairballs?”

“Oh,” Rose says again. “Well, maybe we could-”

“Too late, we’re in the timeline now,” The Doctor says. He doesn’t sound entirely displeased about it. “Although I have no idea how we wound up in New Jersey.”

“I’m sorry!” Rose says. “I was just trying to help.”

“I know,” he grins at her, “And it was lovely of you to try.”

They’re interrupted again by a blonde doctor in a labcoat. He is unsettlingly pretty, Rose thinks, and then hopes that she isn’t blushing.

“I’ve got to take some blood,” he says, almost apologetically. The Doctor grins and rolls up his sleeve, offering his arm out.

“Go ahead.”

Three bent needles later, and they realise that Gallifreyan skin is a little tougher than they anticipated.

~

“This,” Chase says, “Is hopeless. The DNA doesn’t match anything found on Earth. How are we supposed to be able to treat someone whose DNA isn’t human?”

Cameron pushes him aside so that she can look at their patient’s blood under the microscope. It’s red, at least, but it doesn’t look right. The red cells are too large, the whites the wrong shape. And there are these weird black oval shapes that Cameron is sure shouldn’t be there, but then how would she know?

“I can’t see House being happy with us turning up and announcing that we can’t treat this guy because he isn’t actually human,” Foreman says. He’s looking at the various x-rays. Their patient has a few too many bones, an extra heart, and there’s something slightly wrong with his right arm from the elbow down. But as far as Foreman can tell, that’s all completely normal.

“But it’s true!” Chase protests. “We don’t know how to tell what’s wrong with him. Who’s to say that there is anything wrong?”

“Chase,” Foreman says warningly. They can’t admit defeat yet. It won’t end well. “What we have to figure out is what’s normal and what isn’t.”

Cameron sighs. It’s going to be a long day.

~

“Lisa!” the Doctor says delightedly. “Long time no see! I knew there had to be a reason we wound up in New Jersey.”

Rose frowns in confusion. A dark-haired woman is standing in the doorway with an almost wistful look on her face.

“It’s good to see you Doctor,” she says, “Although you’re looking a little… different.”

“I had an accident or two,” the Doctor admits, getting off the bed to give her a tight hug. Rose fights down jealousy. “You’re looking wonderful.”

Lisa smiles and blushes slightly. The Doctor turns to Rose, smiling broadly.

“This is Lisa Cuddy,” he explains. “She used to travel with me a few years back. When I was in my eighth body.”

“You had unbelievably girly hair,” Lisa laughs, and her awkward edge fades.

“She left me to go to medical school,” the Doctor finishes. Rose turns to look at Lisa in disbelief.

“I know,” Lisa shrugs, “But I couldn’t stay risking my life every day forever.” She still looks a little embarrassed.

“You’re the Dean of Medicine now, though,” The Doctor says, grinning. “Pretty swanky.”

There’s a pause.

“I never thought I’d see you again,” Lisa admits, softly.

“You know what they say: never say never,” the Doctor tells her, and then starts coughing again.

~

“His temperature is way above normal,” Cameron says.

“For a human,” Foreman points out. “How do we know what’s normal for him?”

“So you’re saying that he doesn’t have a fever?” Cameron sighs. “But if he gets one, how will we know?”

“When we can fry an egg on his chest, he’s feverish,” House says, stumping in. “What have we got?”

“Nothing,” Chase tells him. “Useless scans, tests that we don’t understand the results of. We’ve called Wilson in and it isn’t cancer. There’s nothing wrong, or, if there is, we have no way of knowing.”

House looks frustrated.

“It’s just a cough,” Foreman says. “Why do you care so much?”

“Because he’s an alien,” House replies, like it’s obvious. “Just think of how much money I can make when I sell the story to the press.”

~

“Is this normal practise,” the Doctor asks conversationally, “Dragging the patient from their bed and making them wander about in the snow?”

“You’re bound to develop a new symptom in a minute,” House shrugs, “And then I have something more to work with.”

“Oh.” The Doctor frowns, and then his face twists into a big smile. “Brilliant.”

It is bitterly cold out here, and they are both wrapped up in big coats. House’s cane feels unsteady underneath him on the icy ground.

“Rose will be wondering where I am,” the Doctor says after a moment.

“She won’t,” House replies, “I sent Chase to buy her a coffee. They’ll be swapping peroxide stories for hours.”

The Doctor laughs, and then starts coughing again.

“Ok,” House says, suddenly business-like. “We can’t tell if you have a fever or not, but your lungs are outwardly fine. A little excess fluid, not much else. But your constant coughing implies that you won’t stay that way. And should you have black oval specks in your blood?”

“No. Not as such.” The Doctor looks faintly concerned. “That can’t be good.”

House pops a Vicodin in the silence.

“Does your leg hurt?” the Doctor asks quietly.

“It’s cold,” House says distractedly. “It always hurts.”

The Doctor puts a hand on his arm to stop him, and pulls a metal cylinder out of his pocket. The tip is glowing blue, and he runs it gently over House’s leg.

“Infarction,” he mutters. “Operation to remove the damaged muscle.” He frowns. “Ouch, that’s nasty.”

He tucks the cylinder away.

“Sonic screwdriver,” he explains, catching the look of disbelief on House’s face. House just looks at him.

“Why the hell would you make a screwdriver sonic?”

~

“I should get back,” Rose says, palms wrapped around a white mug. “Thanks for the tea, though.”

“No problem,” Chase replies, taking a sip from his own mug. He bites his lip, trying to work out how to phrase what he wants to ask. “So, how long have you known this… Doctor?”

“A couple of years,” Rose replies. “And don’t start asking me what I know about him, ‘cause I don’t know anything.”

“Come on,” Chase says, leaning a little closer, and somehow wishing Cameron was here instead (she’d know how to get information out of Rose), “Anything at all.”

“I dunno. He travels around in Time and Space in a phone box. He can do this thing called regenerating, instead of dying, so he becomes a whole new person instead. That was a laugh.” Rose shakes her head, looking depressed suddenly. “And he’s like, really, really old. Centuries old.” She frowns, obviously trying to remember anything else that might be useful. “Oh, and he’s got psychic paper and a sonic screwdriver.”

Chase looks at her in a bemused fashion.

“A sonic screwdriver.”

Rose bursts out laughing.

“Oh yes,” she says. “But it’s less tacky than it sounds. Promise.”

~

“So, you’re travelling around the universe with a nubile young blonde thing-” House begins.

“Hey,” the Doctor says. “Rose is a lot more than just a nubile young blonde thing.” He has snow in his hair and it’s cold out here but even House can tell that he’s looking paler than he was earlier, and his cough sounds worse than it did before. House wonders idly whether he should take the Doctor back in again before he actually does get much worse, because Cuddy would be deeply unimpressed and probably give him extra clinic duty.

“Am I developing enough new symptoms for you?” the Doctor asks, as the two of them finish their fifth circuit round the parking lot, and start walking back towards reception. “I wouldn’t want to go back until I’m plenty sick enough.”

“I don’t know what you have,” House tells him, straight out. The Doctor grins.

“Of course you don’t,” he says. “It’s probably just a cold. Or dehydration.”

“It isn’t,” House replies. “What are you a doctor of?”

He gets a grin in return.

“Oh, you’ll have to know me much better before I tell you.”

They walk through into the main reception, trailing snow after them. Cuddy comes striding over, looking faintly frantic.

“House, what the hell did you think you were doing?” she demands. “He’s sick, he shouldn’t be-”

“I’m fine, Lisa,” the Doctor says, taking a step forward, and then collapsing. House drops his cane as he moves to catch him.

“…Or not,” he mutters, as Cuddy unleashes a Death Glare at him and he shifts to prevent the alien man from falling.

~

When the Doctor finally wakes up, the first thing he sees is Rose. She looks very pale and worried, and he tries to take a breath in to tell her that he’s ok now, but discovers that, unsettlingly, it’s virtually impossible to breathe. He manages to give her a smile and feels her squeeze his hand.

“Had me worried there for a minute,” she says, voice shaking. The Doctor coughs in reply, but she seems to understand. Turning his head, he can see through the glass hospital walls to the corridor outside, where Lisa is screaming her head off at House. She always was overprotective. House, for his part, does not look penitent at all.

“They’ve been doing that ages,” Rose says, following his gaze. “She was really worried about you.” Her hand ghosts over his face. “You’re burning up you know.”

The Doctor is starting to feel distinctly strange, and tries to say so. It comes out in a garble of syllables, but at least he’s talking again, and he struggles and coughs and a moment later his breathing eases.

“House said he wouldn’t bring me back in until I got some more symptoms,” the Doctor informs her. “I think I’ve got about three. Bargain, really.”

“You could die!” Rose insists.

“Nah,” the Doctor says, screwing up his nose, “I don’t think so. I’m still quite fond of this body.”

~

“He’s going to die,” Foreman says, tapping a marker pen against the edge of the whiteboard with an annoying metallic sound.

“Better not let House hear you say that,” Chase says. “Besides, Rose says that when he’s about to die, the Doctor can do this ‘regeneration’ thing.”

Cameron is silent and shocked looking. Foreman quietly pities her. It has been a long and near-incomprehensible day.

“Virus,” she says suddenly. “It’s a virus. It’s got to be. That’s what the black things in his blood are.”

Chase nods and Foreman writes VIRUS? on the board. Cameron bites her lip.

“It can’t be an Earth virus,” Chase says slowly, sounding as though he feels insane just saying the words, “Because as far as I can tell the Doctor isn’t really affected by the same illnesses as humans. We need to find out which cells it’s affecting and where it’ll go next.”

~

“He’s feverish, his lungs are filling up with fluid, and he can only stay conscious for short periods of time,” Cuddy says slowly, anger obviously drained away under worry and exhaustion. “Tell me how this is better.”

House shrugs.

“I’ve got more to work with.”

“He’s from Gallifrey,” Cuddy says patiently. “He’s not going to suddenly turn out to have lupus, or vasculitis. He’s not like your regular patients, House.”

“Then why the hell did you make me treat him?”

“Because I thought- I thought that you might be able to help him!” Cuddy snaps at him. “You remind me of him sometimes. You’re a genius, but a lot of the time you don’t remember that not everyone else is. You think you’re so much better than the rest of us, us mere mortals.”

“… Was that supposed to be a compliment?” House demands. Cuddy shrugs, her eyes filling with tears.

“Please, House,” she says, “Do whatever you can. Just fix him.”

~

“A virus,” Cameron says, like they haven’t all heard this a million times before, “Attaches itself to a cell in the body and corrupts it, forcing it to create more virus cells. Then the dead cell bursts open and the new virus cells go out into the body, corrupting more and more, and making the body sick.”

“We do know this,” Foreman says, watching her pace. Chase is chewing a coffee stirrer and looking deep in thought.

“So it’s an alien virus,” he says. “We need to find out who or what he was in contact with before he started coughing.”

Foreman is running out of the door, the other two fast behind him.

~

The Doctor wakes up to find House looking down at him.

“You’ve got a virus,” House says shortly. “What have you been in contact with recently that might have given it to you?”

The Doctor tries to think. His brain can move at a much faster pace than a human’s, and he’s got a higher IQ than anyone in the surrounding galaxies, but he can feel his thoughts slipping away like water through his hands.

“No one,” he hears Rose say, “We’ve been in Ancient Rome. He started coughing a few days after we arrived.”

The Doctor tries to think but can barely remember anything about that trip. He thinks about stuffed dormice and sunlight and Rose wearing a toga, and a grin quirks his lips.

“Nice place, Rome,” he says vaguely. “Lots of good food. Never ending supply of wine.”

House ignores him. “So you’re saying that there is no way he could have picked up this strange alien virus there?”

“Probably not.” Rose sounds scared. “Is he going to die?”

“No,” the Doctor insists, even though he can barely open his eyes. He feels unbearably hot, and he doesn’t hear House’s reply as he sinks back into darkness again.

~

“This is not a normal virus,” House announces as Wilson walks into the lab.

“You’re actually looking at the samples yourself,” the oncologist remarks dryly, “The world must be coming to an end.”

“Leave the sarcasm to me, Jimmy, you haven’t got the hair to carry it off,” House tells him, and then indicates the slide under the microscope. “The virus is quite happy spreading itself around and corrupting cells, but it isn’t multiplying itself.”

Wilson has a look himself, frowns as little black blobs move around in the blood cell sample.

“Then why hasn’t it died out?” he asks, stepping back to look at his friend. “Surely it would stop spreading, if there were only a certain number of virus cells?”

House taps his cane against his palm.

“What if the cells are all coming from one place?” he says slowly, screwing up his face as he tries to think. “What if there’s just one place producing the virus, and it’s all spreading from there?”

“Unorthodox, but possible,” Wilson says. “Are we thinking one cell, or…”

But House is already walking out.

~

“Where’s Rose?” the Doctor asks as he wakes up again.

“Sent her off with Chase. Told her a coffee would do her the world of good.”

“Rose doesn’t like coffee,” the Doctor says.

“Then she’s clearly insane,” House replies. “Can you think of any viruses from your world or whatever that only spread from one place? That are only produced in one specific spot, and they spread from there?”

The Doctor frowns.

“You’re asking me to help out with my own diagnosis?”

“You’re the only one who seems to know anything about your home planet and genetics,” House tells him. “So tell me who I’m supposed to ask.”

“It could be an implant,” the Doctor says, tapping trembling fingers against his blanket. “Someone gets it into my body somehow, and then it spreads the virus from there.”

He gestures over to where his brown suit is neatly folded on a chair. House makes his way over and turns out the pockets until he finds the sonic screwdriver.

“If you’ve got an implant, will this show it up?” he asks. “Our scans haven’t found anything unusual.”

“You humans and your faith in your dreadful technology,” the Doctor mutters. “Come on, before I pass out and lose the ability to be helpful.”

“You’re being helpful now?” House enquires, twisting the screwdriver as per the Doctor’s instructions, and running the beam carefully over the other man’s body. But it doesn’t show anything up.

“It’s got to be there,” the Doctor mutters, an edge of desperation in his tone now. “Unless- oh, that’s brilliant. It’s been designed not to be picked up by any kind of scanners. Probably close to a bone or something so even an x-ray won’t pick it up. Oh, that’s so clever.”

“Oh yeah, because as long as you die in a really cool way-” House begins, and then a thought occurs to him. “What about touch?”

“I wouldn’t be able to feel it. That would be stupid, too easy to discover.”

House shakes his head.

“It’s subtle, but fifty bucks says that it’s close to the surface and I can find it.”

The Doctor gives him a very shrewd look.

“Is this your way of saying that you’re going to strip me naked and feel me up?”

House smirks broadly.

“Well,” the Doctor says, “At least you’re upfront about it.”

~

The Doctor is unnaturally hot under his hands, and House tells himself that his fingers aren’t shaking. His smooth, pale skin is slightly sweaty under his touch as House feels his way down the other man’s back, vertebrae for vertebrae, rib by rib. The Doctor has freckles right down his spine and his breathing is shallow, as though being rolled onto his front has made him take a turn for the worse.

“Saving the best til last?” he enquires wickedly, coughing slightly.

“Anyone would think you were enjoying this,” House remarks, pressing his fingers down a little too hard on the Doctor’s shoulderblade.

“You are too good at this,” the Doctor breathes out softly, and House grits his teeth and resists the urge to lick sweat off the man’s spine. It’s been a long day and this is exactly why he doesn’t meet patients. Especially brilliant and unsettlingly good-looking patients.

So he doesn’t say a word and instead continues to look for whatever it is that they need to get out of the Doctor before it kills him.

“If Rose walks in right now-” the Doctor begins.

“Then we can ask her to join in,” House tells him. “I’m sure she’d strip if we assured her it would make you better.”

“Leave Rose alone,” the Doctor says, sounding half-asleep. “She’s got a boyfriend. A boring boyfriend admittedly, but a boyfriend nonetheless.”

“That’s really never bothered me,” House tells him, reaching the base of the Doctor’s spine and beginning to move down over one hip. And he feels it. The slightest bump possible, but it’s there, and he runs his finger over it again. Close to the bone, barely bigger than his little fingernail.

“Found it,” he announces, using a marker pen to draw a circle around the area so that the surgeons know where to look. “You owe me fifty bucks, and you need to get prepped for surgery.”

The Doctor sighs heavily but remains silent as House steps back to call the nurses to take the alien away to surgery.

“You’ll be fine,” he says, “The virus should die out once we’ve removed the source.”

He feels light-headed and wrong-footed, and ensures that the nurses have arrived to take the Doctor away, before going to tell his team that they can go home early today.

~

A couple of days later, when House has shouted at a lot of people and gone into the clinic even though Cuddy has told him that he doesn’t have to, he’s standing on his balcony. Wilson has got a lunchdate with another nurse (doesn’t take long, and the divorce is still relatively fresh) and he’s taking advantage of the silence and the cold air.

“I… am fixed,” the Doctor announces, walking through the door behind him. “Thought you might like to know.”

“I read the file,” House replies shortly. “Surgeons removed the implant, virus died out, and now you’re all ready to go back to fucking about with the universe, or whatever it is that you do.”

“Going to find out who tried to kill me,” he says. “Can’t risk that happening again if you’re not around to rescue me.”

The Doctor comes to lean on the balcony wall beside him, looking with interest at the view beneath them. He pushes a fifty-dollar bill along the wall to House, who folds it wordlessly and puts it into his pocket.

“I wanted to say thank you,” the Doctor says.

“I don’t do this job for the thanks,” House replies, still refusing to look at him.

“I know.” The Doctor keeps looking at him until House is forced to turn and face him. “I wanted to say thank you anyway.”

He’s standing way too close for comfort, and House is about to either close the distance between them or say something to break this all apart when fire explodes down his right thigh. He bends double, hand pressing to his leg, swearing through his teeth and groaning in agony.

“This is your fucking thanks?” he shouts, trying to push the Doctor away, but the other man grabs his wrist and refuses to move. He’s got that weird screwdriver thing pointed at House’s leg. A moment later, it stops buzzing, and the agony subsides a little.

“What the fuck did you do to me?” House demands, in too much pain to be anything less than angry and blunt.

“Well,” the Doctor says, “While I was lying about convalescing and watching Rose flirt with that intensivist of yours,” his tone holds deep disapproval, “I thought I might review all the different functions of the screwdriver.”

“And it turns out that it’s also helpful as a torture implement?” House suggests.

“It turns out,” the Doctor says, and glee is painted all over his face, “That there’s a frequency on here that helps regenerate nerves.”

The dull throbbing in his thigh sharpens momentarily.

“What?” House asks, throat dry. “You mean-”

“I’ve just started the regeneration process of your thigh muscle,” the Doctor says, grinning. “It’ll take time, but you’ll be healed.”

House wants to say ‘thank you’ but it doesn’t come easily to him. The Doctor gently places a finger on his lips as he chokes on the words.

“I don’t do this for the thanks either,” he says, and then he’s walking away.

“You remind me of Wilson,” House says. “Always wanting to fix everything.” He leaves the but only breaking it even more unsaid, but he thinks the Doctor hears it anyway, because the smile on his face slips a little.

When he’s gone, House sighs and makes his way back into his office, because it’s too cold outside. A moment later, he hears running footsteps, and the door to his office bursts open. This time there’s no awkwardness and no moment of confusion. This time the Doctor just runs across the room and pins House against the glass wall.

“Forgot something,” he says breathlessly, and kisses him.

~

About half an hour later, House is seated at his desk, listening to his ipod and rubbing at the constant ache in his thigh. A dark-haired man in an ankle-length military coat runs in, looking halfway frantic. House has no idea who he is but one look tells him the man’s purpose.

“He’s gone,” House says, leaning back in his chair.

“Ah.” The mysterious man sighs. “Shit. How long?”

“About fifteen minutes,” House replies.

Shit.” The guy looks around, as though he wants to kick something, but instead settles for shoving his hands into his pockets. “I’m always one step behind with him.”

“And you’re also trespassing,” House adds helpfully, “Which I know is a fun hobby and all, but-

Mystery Dude isn’t listening. Instead, he holds out a rectangular white card, which House reluctantly takes.

“If he turns up again, I need you to call me,” he says quietly but urgently. “Please.”

House looks from the card (Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood Three) to a pair of desperate blue eyes. And for once, he doesn’t say ‘no’.

Tags: character: greg house, character: lisa cuddy, character: the doctor, pairing: house/ten, tv show: doctor who, tv show: house md, type: crossover
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