Gregory House, M.D. (doctorgreghouse) wrote in willingtoliefor,
Gregory House, M.D.

Let the Whipping Boy Ride


Notes: Now COMPLETE! House and Chase have fled the pris-- er, PPTH, and are now on their way to Harvey's Bar & Grill, to be continued in a separate thread. Please see the notes from this post, folks, to set up the conditions for their return. ;)

Also: some interesting themes have come up toward the mid-point/end of this thread. Warning for mild intensity and vague/slight references to molestation.


Who: House, open[ducklings, Wilson, blood-sucking lawyer, anyone].
When: Let's try and keep it semi-coherent, at least: the Thursday morning he comes back to work, after the encounter with Cuddy and his day off.
Where: Diagnostics conference room, his office
What: Better stock up on your nitroglycerin, kiddies; House is -- almost -- his trouble-making self. Although he's still in increased pain, and wondering what recent events mean for him emotionally. Tread with caution. This could also lead into that DDX thread we've been dying to get started.

Notes: This was FUN... and also pretty accurate, ahaha. But one caveat, my friends: although the Vicodin extraction method here is 100% accurate[and safe, actually], the descriptions of extracting DXM from cough syrup ARE NOT RECOMMENDED, which is why I didn't describe them in detail. I know because he knows, if that doesn't sound too stupid, but a)I've never actually done that, and b)I don't WANT to. It's dangerous and... well... just dumb. But we all remember the Migraine Medication Process™, don't we? ;)


What's your secret weapon? Will it set us free, fully free to use each other?

If Satan had started handing out ice skates in spiffy red and black to match the decor -- the day Greg House showed up at Princeton-Plainsboro at exactly 9:13 A.M. -- House himself was oblivious to that fact.

He should have been gleefully capering around the hospital, knowing that The Boss wasn't looming over his shoulder, knowing that his team wouldn't rat him out if he skipped clinic duty, pocketed a bottle full of Vicodin[or even, really, another vial of hydromorphone; the stash Wilson had found had been the tame stuff], or sent some poor intern off to do his dirty work. He should have been furiously grumpy, the leg having kept him up half the night, tossing and turning and cursing: something wasn't right there, whether it be re-growing nerves or a prelude to another infarction... he hadn't been able to squirm into an MRI just lately, and the worry gnawed at him, even if it was mostly subconscious. He should have been sitting at home, leg propped up, listening to his stereo and just generally... zoning.

But here he was. Surely not thinking about the shattering changes that may or may not be happening. Surely not letting his mind drift to how absolutely, incredibly ridiculous he was, all of this was, and how he hadn't realized how long he'd wondered, even idly and vaguely and without even knowing, what it might have been like to touch. To taste, even.

Not pondering the hole he'd dug for himself, not even trying to ponder what this might mean... or not mean. Not even trying to contemplate what it would mean for him if she came back from her consult to say to him in that coolly dismissive way, We were drunk, House[not 'Greg', of course, it surely wouldn't be, in that sentence], it didn't mean anything. You're a complete bastard... you think I want my life dragged into that?

Surely not.

But either way, like his infarction, the blockage had been removed, one way or another: the poison, intolerably painful obstruction blasted out of the way, for good or shit-tastically bad. Whether it turned out to be a "life-saving" bypass, cleaning out the toxins that had been killing him, or a cut-loose clot that'd simply fly through his veins and stop his heart... well, all that didn't matter just yet. Nor did the fact of what might happen if any of his team got an inkling of... well, exactly what had happened that day in the office.

Neither did the fact that there was one tiny diagnostic detail that he couldn't quite remember...

Wow. Medical analogies go way too far sometimes, don't they?

He'd spent a good deal of the first half-hour he'd been in his office alone trying to improve on his Vicodin-launching device: They give Nobel prizes to idiots, and ignore the true genius. Figures. Twenty-seven single yellow sample boxes of Avelox™, twelve CDs, a handful of marbles, the oversized black-and-red tennis ball, six rulers, six packets of medical-grade lubricant in silver foil[for the counterweight, of course], three rubber bands, five pencils, half a roll of Scotch tape, two phone books, a length of shoelace, four taped-together tongue depressors, a book of matches, an empty soda bottle, and a Ziploc bag later... success!

He snatched the half-full bottle out of mid-air, and basked in his own genius... for exactly four minutes.

Then: bored. Again.

He got up, flipped on the TV to some brainless show[Springer] for background noise, and then sat back down at his desk, tapping his fingers.

God, he actually missed her. What a fucked-up world. Not that he'd ever, EVER admit it.

He'd heard rumors of a potential new case, something about recurring clotting problems not responsive to heparin or warfarin[although, he thought that bit might be a steaming load of horseshit], or maybe it was acute respiratory failure. Either way, he was restless, sketchy, flexing his mental fingers to turn this focused passion to something. The puzzle. The challenge. The ability to do what he did best: come up with the answers.

But until then... well. What to do?

There was that interesting new theory he'd been kicking around...

Both opiates and dissociatives have strong side effects which can limit their usefulness in pain treatment. When the two are combined, however, a synergistic effect occurs, and patients can lower the dose of both drugs to the point where side effects are minimized. DXM seems to enhance the painkilling ability of opiates without adding to the side effects, and in practice the patient can lower the dose of opiates while maintaining analgesic effect.

Well... not much different from inducing himself a migraine, eh? He'd been researching the dissociatives just lately. For his own obscure reasons.

Not at all anything to do with the increasing, un-ignorable pain in the leg. Nope.

House stood up, limping over to the chair where he'd dumped his knapsack and rummaging through it for a little white plastic bag, bringing it back to his desk where he sat, interestedly contemplating it, for a few minutes. The pleasure of anticipation. Then, out came a couple of plastic tumblers, a two-buck bag of ice, a pair of coffee filters, and a beaker from the lab downstairs. The rest of the contents of the bag he set aside, whistling briskly until he remembered his stereo and turned it on loud enough to annoy the folks in the next few offices over. Good, loud music.

If I told you once, then I told you twice
That I would have paid just about any price

Crush up the Vicodin; add it to water in the beaker, heated up on the coffee pot's baseplate. Shake it around a little. While that's sitting, mess around with a bottle of Robitussin[The kids call it "Robo", he sneered to himself, snorting audibly], some lighter fluid, and pure citric acid. Take the beaker off the heat, let it cool a little bit, then throw some ice into a tumbler and set the beaker into that; cool the liquid down, baby. Shake it up a little, fit a filter over the top of the other tumbler and pour the crap down through. A little high-school chemistry and a spoon while that's draining, and you've got a syringe full of extracted DXM. Not a wise idea at all, but he was doctor, diagnostician and experimenter, and hey -- what's life without a little risk, after all?

Half an hour later, and he rinsed the filter with some cold water, shook the contents of the Vicodin tumbler, and grinned at the sheer lunacy of pharmaceuticals. It was fun, the discovery, the awareness of existing outside the rules... and outside the fear that paralyzed most people from breaking any ground at all. A teaspoon of sugar and half a packet of blue Kool-Aid mix, another brisk shake, and he swallowed down the clear liquid, shaking his head like a dog out of water and making an absolutely horrified face. More hydrocodone, less acetaminophen... but it tasted awful.

I found a river that doesn't run to the sea
I found a river through the dead lands
I found a river that's been beaten by the sun

Returning to his desk, he tapped out the syringe, found a solid chunk of muscle -- in the meat of the shoulder, where most subcutaneous injections usually went -- pulled his lips back from his teeth in that famously scary Wheee, and NOW for something completely different! expression, mopped the skin with a swab, and pushed the extract in. So now, we just sit back and see where the party takes us. House was pretty sure that there might actually be an article somewhere, in this experience: if he could pin down a requisite dosage of off-label cough suppressant use to aid in chronic pain -- and find a way to combine them without the bullshit clinical trials, in a perfected complex substance -- a lot of medical "professionals" would not only be turned on their ear, but... well. The thought gave him great glee as he pondered the format, the research... and the look on one whole hell of a lot of people's faces.

Of course that was entirely the point of what he was doing. Of course.

He was just starting to feel the first creeping tendrils of the Vicodin[Christ, half an hour faster than normal ingestion, he noted half-consciously, in that way he had, almost idly], and had hiked his leg up onto a chair to watch the three-hundred-pound drama mama on Springer start throwing chairs, the sound on mute, rolling the tennis ball between his hands and tapping on his Game Boy with two fingers.

Give me something. Anything. 'Cause right now, I'm good with not thinking too much harder about this.
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Thud-dump, Thud-dump, Thud-dump, Thud-dump.

Usually, he wouldn’t mind clinic duty. In fact, he usually embraced it because it was a step back from the sometimes unbearably difficult cases the Diagnostics team would take on or would receive from Cuddy. But today, most of the shift was rather slow, until this current patient came in complaining of bruising and swelling of his abdomen. The patient said he had fallen down a few flights of stairs while carrying groceries in to his 6 story walk-up apartment.

“Hmm, well your heart and lungs sound fine. But we’ll have to take some X-rays in order to confirm the broken ribs. Believe it or not, there is a possibility that…even though your in so much pain, It simply could be sever muscle bruising. I know it sounds a tad far-fetched at the moment, but It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen it. Your lucky that’s all the damage a nasty fall like that caused you, few people have been so lucky. I’ll send a nurse in to you within the next few minutes to draw the papers you’ll need up on the 4th floor. She may also want to draw some more blood, just to cover all the bases test wise.”

Taking out a pad of paper from the breast pocket of his lab coat, he prescribes some painkillers and leaves the rest for the team on the 4th floor to deduce. If it was broken ribs, a cast of some kind would certainly be needed. Offering a reassuring smile to the patient, Chase excuses himself from the exam room and hands off the patient’s chart to the nearest and less busiest of the nurses on shift. “Get some more blood drawn, and send it up to the lab for the works. Something tells me this guy didn’t fall down some stairs”. Crossing the Clinic lobby, he leans against the desk slightly. “Doctor Robert Chase signing out, please write that down.”, he best go see what the team was up to, if anything. Turning to the nurse whom had taken the clipboard from him, he nods in her direction. “If anything out of the usual comes up on that blood work, page me”, and after the nurse nods in understanding, Chase exit’s the clinic and makes his way towards the Diagnostics staff room.

Hands in the pockets of his lab coat as he walks, his dress shoes making no noise what-so-ever against the usual squeaky Hospital floors. Wearing black dress pants, a light blue button down dress shirt along with the usual white coat and black shoes. It only took a few floors via elevator to reach the floor which the Diagnostics team’s main office resided. Pushing his way through the glass doors, only to find the staff room empty, he couldn’t help but raise a curious brow.

Where was everyone?

The whiteboard was clear, so no new cases.

Hearing rustling from House’s office, he wondered why someone would be in there, it certainly couldn’t have been House, not at this hour of the day. It was way too early for him. Usually, if he made it in by noon, It was a very good day all around. Peering through the door, he was surprised to see that it was indeed House at his desk. Which means:

a) He was too tired to go home, and crashed in his office. Though…what wouldn’t explain the change of clothes.


b) Hell just froze over.

Either way, something had to be up. Rapping lighting on the door before entering the office, he couldn't help but grin in amusement at the sight of House watching something as cheesy as Jerry Springer.

“Mornin’ ”
He blinked as the door opened, not having been paying much attention to anything other than... well... his own brooding, really. Mostly remembering, thinking about things I have no business thinking about. The Vicodin was doing its merry work in his bloodstream, and considering the amount of DXM he'd pumped into his shoulder, this was definitely going to make for an interesting morning.

"Look, it's--" --yaaaawwwn-- "--Saint Robert. Get tired of the runny noses? Boss isn't here, you know. You could be playing foosball in the rec room." A conspiratorial whisper, leaning forward. "I won't tell."

Yup, House must had definitly crashed. He looked exhausted. Though, Chase would be too if he was living with House's pain day in and day out. Anyone normal would have snapped by now, Vicodin or not. Crossing the room, he takes a seat in the lounger in the corner, proping his feet up on the stool.

"Yeah, you could say that, I suppose. Its been a slow mornin'. Clinic is like a ghost town, its...rather creepy actually. Did all the diseases in the world get cured and I not get the memo?", a smirk on his facial expression. If only the world could be so lucky.

"If the boss is away, how come your here? I mean, I'm surprised your not off playing hooky somewhere."
"If all the diseases in the world had been cured, I wouldn't be here," leaning back a little and closing his eyes as the first... weirdness from the DXM started to kick the Vicodin into overdrive, "You'd be out of a job, and the sad little staff of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital would all be stuck with the Plague of Moron."

Sighing, a long half-amused noise that turned into a scowl. "Where is everybody, anyway? Party in the locker room? I'm not paying Cameron to look goo-- well, okay, maybe I am. But I could still use a poor underprivileged immunologist 'round these here parts."

I'm here because I have to be. Because I need the puzzle. And because if I sit at home I'll be sitting at home thinking about the office, and... well. They-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. And we don't want that, do we. Nope.
Watching House suddenly close his eyes and lean back as if awaiting a painful spazem or otherwise to pass him by, Chase leans forward slightly and watches in concern. "Well, its not like there arn't people here already with that particular 'plague'. Over half the people in this Hospital either high dislike or down right hate their jobs, and wonder around here like mindless Zombies on the prowl. I'm waiting for the day when I walk through the main looby and its like one of those horror flicks.", speaking in a jokingly tone.

Grinning, amused by his own thoughts, he chuckles softly. "Not sure where everyone is though, I haven't seen anyone because I was on Clinic duty, remember? Besides, do we even have any new cases to work on?"
Mmm, maybe a little too heavy on the DXM, there, Greg. Tripping in the office. How cool is that?

"I'm sorry," opening his eyes and cocking his head with a squint, "Were you talking?" Blink, blink. "Oh. Right. Sorry, I had you confused with Tommy Trailer Trauma there for a minute."

He stood up, rubbing the back of his neck, to push the volume control on the television up a notch or three with the end of his cane. "Sadly, the Dread Dean Cuddy left without leaving me a file. I'm thinking about reporting her, you know. I keep seeing it on those brochures in the women's bathroom: 'Have You Been Hurt By Someone You Know and Trust'?"

A snort.
Blinks, slightly confused at House's behaviour. Is he high? Wouldn't be surprising, or the first time he's done it at work. Cameron walking in on House tripping in the locker room, anyone? He's not the most...well, whatever. He does his job well.

" problem, I guess.", leaning back in to the chair and glancing from House, to the television, then back to House. Something definitly was off. "Well it sucks that there is no case to work on, because its getting restless around here. As for you reporting Cuddy, though? There's a turn around. Doubt she'd stand for it. She would most likly in turn double or triple your clinic hours to make your life hell on earth.". Turning his attention back to the television, then after a moment or two motioning to it, "What are you watching, anyway?"
He paused, and then spent a moment or three glaring dsramatically at Chase. "You are far too literal, you know that? Oh, and that reminds me." Another dramatic scowl, this time at the conference room door.

" 'Clement' is written on the ceiling of the conference room. Some idiot thought it'd be funny to give us all whiplash trying to read their damn graffiti." He sipped at the bottle of soda he'd left sitting on the edge of his desk, amidst the general debris. "Can you go and make sure I'm not hallucinating... and maybe clean it off, if you're not doing anything vital?"
I hate it when he glares, whether he's mocking me or not, its annoying and is like when I was child and getting frowned upon by an adult. Or had disappointed someone instead of royally pissing them off. If just felt weird. "Wouldn't be the first time I've been told that...its called 'playing along'!. I have a sarcasic side too, ya know?"

Glancing from the conference room doors, then back to House. "...and just because I'm good at hiding it, doesn't make me gullible. If you want me out of here, just say so."
House paused in his examination of the end credits of the Springer show to look over at Chase and raise his eyebrows. "Wow. I'm impressed. And here I really thought you were gonna let me have the setup to tell you that it was actually "gullible" that was written up there. Way to go, Robert."

Finally he sighed, rubbing his face. Experiment One: not enough DXM to inspire true dissociative effects. Tired, a little, and the Vicodin surely kicked me in the ass better than usual. But I'm gonna have to try this again. Leaning over, he replaced the spent matches in his home-made launcher, resetting the Vicodin bottle. Bored. Fucking bored, bored, bored. "Why don't you go find me someone to torment? You're no fun anymore."

Chuckling softly at House's response, he shakes his head. The expression of disappointment that his little joke had flopped was amusing in itself.Like a college prank gone wrong. "I used to play that joke on my cousins, so its not exactly new to me. No worries though, it doesn't mean your loosing your touch or anything."

Grinning slightly, he crosses his arms overs his chest. "Tormenting is your job. Ya see, I merely coasted through that class in medical school. And why all of a sudden are you callin' me by my first name? You sound like your pissed and are about to 'ground' me or something."
An appraising squint. "Well, I was leaning more toward spanking, personally, wanna close the blinds?"

Hefting the cane thoughtfully.


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I can't believe I'm doing this, I CAN'T believe I'm DOING this.

But House was House, through and through and to the end, and it was a huge surprise even to him that he didn't feel vindicated in any way at all that he'd read Chase so very and expertly well, that this might just be the crack in the door that it might take for Chase to trust him... and by trusting him, his judgement, and by virtue of trusting him when he admired him[House] so obviously, learn to trust himself.

And who would ever have thought that Greg House might risk his job, in order that one of his underlings might re-gain the faith to keep his.

Okay, Greg. So you started this. Not much different from anything risky you've done any other time, right? This one just might have much more lasting consequences.

Truth? If he'd imagined spanking anyone, this had NOT been high on his list of possibilities. And he certainly wasn't aroused by this situation; in fact, he thought his balls had crawled up somewhere around the general vicinity of his spleen.

But he was in for it, now.

"Good," noticing how raspy his voice was, how strained. Making an effort to make it commanding, even a fraction of how it usually was. "We're gonna go to ten. Easy enough, right? I bet they gave you way more in seminary... shit, my dad used to average about thirty-five." He swallowed again, hard. "You are gonna count. And once we hit ten, we're done. Over. Finished. And then we're gonna skip out on this popsicle stand and go get a beer. Fair enough?"

Stepping back. "Ready?"
I can’t believe he’s actually doing it, he’s risking his job and reputation to help me, why? I thought he cared for no one, with the exception of course of Stacy, his mother, Wilson and possibly his rat.

“…a hundred lashes per prayer missed or skipped while praying the rosary, with a yard stick…”

Ten would be alright, enough to make the guilt begin to subside. Enough to count as some sort of debt repaid.

“A beer, its only 10:30 in the mor---…oh, screw it.”

I could really use a drink actually, several even. Time of day be damned. I’m so playing hooky today, I need the day to absorb this whole last half hour with House. Its like being in a bizarre, upside down world at the moment.

Inhaling deeply, he nods ands buries his head into his arms and braces himself. Don’t let him be easy on me, or it’ll mean nothing. He could hear the cane being raised and whooshing through the air and to the back of his thighs. A load crack could be heard as the cane hit’s the material of he pants. One.

Crack. Crack.

Two. Three., the searing pain becoming more and more intense with each crack. A tingling sensation had begun where the cane had struck.

Crack. Crack

Four. Five , he’s tempted to rub his rear with his hand to ease some of the pain. Restraint Robert, Restraint., Father Michael’s voice booming in his head as a flashback of him and Chase alone in the rectory materializes.

Crack. Crack. Crack.

Six. Seven. Eight, letting out a grunt of pain, at this point his knees start to buckle, wanting to call it quits but he allows House to press on. Two more, only two more Robert.

Crack. Crack.

Nine. Ten. Loosening his grasp on the desk, he allows his knees to finally buckle as he slowly slides to the floor, breathing heavily, beads of sweat developing on his forehead. After what seemed like several very long moment, he turns his gaze up to House with a slight nod and a sigh of relief that it was over.

“Thank you.”
Allison Cameron ought to have learnt her lesson from the last time she'd walked into House's office uninvited ("It's not what you think!" -- well, honestly). Instead, she decided that if the blinds were closed for the reasons she thought they were, then it was nothing she hadn't seen before and therefore nothing to worry about. Besides, even House wouldn't be reckless enough to be doing that in his office.

She had a file in one hand -- sixteen year old male, spiking fever, unexplained seizures -- as a sort of offering to House. It'd been too long since they'd had a case, after all, and maybe House would be so desperate he'd take this one

Which was why she felt no fear when she opened the door to House's office, calling out his name as she did so. As the light from the hall spilled in the room, however, and she began to get a glimpse of the figures and their actions, the folder she'd been holding slipped to the floor, history and labs floating gently down to the ground. "Oh my God," she cried, one hand instinctively rising to rest at her collarbone -- later, she'd hold it over her mouth, but for now, she needed to scream. "House, you're hurting him! What the hell are you doing? STOP IT."

The scene surprised her: she'd thought her boss was many things, but "sadistic" was not one of them. The thought kept looping through her mind as she stood there, frozen, for a moment oh my God, he's hurting Chase, he's beating Chase, help help help. As the word "help" cycled, she finally remembered that Cuddy was back, that Cuddy could stop this, that Cuddy would know what to do.

Without waiting to see if her cries for House to stop would be heeded, she began running for Cuddy's office. Within a few seconds, she'd made it to the stairwell, taking the steps two at a time.
I can't believe it. I did it. And he... holy fuck, but I was right.

House hadn't realized that he'd been sweating himself, his hand greasy on the handle of the cane, that he'd actively been scared: usually, when Greg House had a theory that he was that certain about, he dove into it headlong, and hell with the consequences.

It's because you actually care about Chase, that traitor voice reminded him. Really care. And who would ever have thought it?

But it was over, he had been right, and if the look on Dr. Chase's face was any indication... well... House closed his eyes, breathing out hard and adjusting his grip on the cane. "You done good, kiddo," trying for just a little bit of flippancy... but failing miserably. "We're quits. How ab---"

He actually jumped when the door opened; and it was only after two long seconds that he realized what a fucking damning tableau this must be: Chase, half on the floor with one hand still weakly grasping the desk, his face muddled -- just a little, just a little -- with silent tears, his breathing just the tiniest bit ragged and his face flushed ever-so-slightly red... House himself standing over his underling with a still half-raised cane in one hand, the last echoing crack still ringing through the office.

God DAMN it. Fucking goddamn it. I knew it was too fucking good to be TRUE.

He stood there stupidly for a moment, before opening his mouth. "Cameron, wait a fucking minute!" Shouting, his voice tinged with disgusted rage; oblivious to the fact that he might just be garnering more unwanted attention. "It's not what you fucking thi---"
Wiping the swet from his brow with the sleeve of his dress shirt, he fully collapses and slumps againest the front of House's desk. His ass felt raw, slightly numb but worst of all really, really fucking sore. Not able to sit proberly,he rolls over onto his stomach in hope of some relief.

You brought this upon yourself, Robert.

Trying to steady his breathing, he raises a hand to brush his blonde hair away from his swetty brow only to realize that he had actually been crying. Wiping the remaining tears away with the back of his hand, he had hoped if House had seen the tears, he wouldn't think any less of him.

He has one hell of a swing, I'll give him that much.

His heart jumping into his throat as the door leading into the cooridor suddenly opens and Cameron enters all 'Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.' at the sight she had just witnessed. Oh my God, what have I done?! If Cuddy finds out, House is as good as sacked, and its my fault!

"NO! Cameron, WAIT!"

Trying to stand up to chase after her, but failing miserably and toppling over himself which causes him to fall to the floor again.

Okay. This is turning into more of a hallucination than I'd hoped for, and a hell of a lot fucking faster than I'd've liked, too. So. When faced with a diagnostic emergency, what's the first priority, no matter the disease? Keeping the fucking patient alive long enough to be diagnosed.

As far as House was concerned, there wasn't anything lingering: he'd followed through on the thing he'd found himself up to his eyeballs in, he'd proved himself right -- again, there'd be more than enough time for gloating, later -- and eventually, there would be room to understand his Fellow better. But right now, he felt almost amusingly "co-criminally" bonded to Chase; like so many college-pranks-gone-wrong -- but Christ, so very much, much more serious this time -- House had a split second to make a decision, and he made it.

As always.

"Shit," he hissed, not a very profitable beginning, truth be told, but at least it fit. After nearly three years and change, he knew Allison Cameron -- at least, as well as he'd been able to figure her out beyond the simple facade hiding simpler damage -- and he groaned deep in the back of his throat as he realized that whatever he might now have with Lisa Cuddy, it was likely to end up today with his ass firmly planted in a sling.

And that was if he was lucky.

"Get up, you idiot," he snapped at Chase, although it was entirely without anger, rancor, or actually any true frustration at all: if he was frustrated with anyone, it was only himself. "Hear that airhorn? That's the approaching cavalry."

Glancing around in that shotgun, lightning-quick way he had, taking everything in, House snatched up Chase's sport coat and his own, throwing Chase his without bothering to see if he caught it or not. A quick sizing-up, the knapsack over his shoulder and the cane back to its rightful implemenation as crutch, he nodded and limped to the door of his office: Cameron's shouts still echoed through the corridors, but as of yet, no stampeding elephants.

"How d'you feel about getting that beer an hour before noon after all?" he threw back over his shoulder, nearly crackling with the impatient urge to get gone. His job might be on the chopping block, might have been for years, but so far he'd always managed to dodge the bullet.

Chase might not get to be so lucky.

"'Cause it sure beats getting the sack by two."
Any coherent thoughts that had entered my mind during those few moments following Cameron’s screams and the echoing sound of her high heels running quickly down the corridor, died before they could reach my lips to be spoken aloud. Fear and panic raced through my veins as if blood, and the fact that House seemed so…cool and collective was frightening. The both of us could be sacked in a matter of hours, how could he remain calm at a time like this?!

His thighs were still very sore, and were beginning to bruise, though no one would be able to tell because of his pants, but he could certainly feel it. He still couldn’t believe what had just happened, happened. Though now he deeply regretted ever getting House involved in this mess to begin with, especially now that Cameron knew. If he knew Cameron as well as he thinks he does, she’d be half way to Cuddy’s office now to rat House out.

He didn’t even do anything wrong! He was…helping me…

Yeah, that’ll go over well. Psht. No one would believe him. House had always came across as a bastard to most people, so the idea that he’d take his supposed verbal abusing of the ducklings and take it a step further to physical abuse if a moment rage, frustration or whatever provoked it…wouldn’t be all that difficult for the Hospital staff to believe. Stupid assholes.

But that bond that they were in this together, which in some twisted way made him feel closer to House then ever before, had caused his trust in the older man to go up big time. Slowly staggering to his feet, using the desk for leverage, he tries to straighten up just in time to catch his sport coat as its thrown to him by House, whom was already at the door leading into the corridor and looked as if he had no intention of returning to the Hospital today. Don’t worry, I hadn’t planned on it neither. , and his facial expression read just that.

Fleeing, hm? Not the worst idea. Plus I could use to get piss drunk right about now. Hell, who wouldn’t?! Now you would think with my Mother’s past with alcohol, I’d stay away from the stuff. But I’m not like her. I can control myself. I know when to call it quits, besides, with the exception of today and the day my Father died…I only drink on weekends. Plus, maybe if they weren’t there to be caught, Cuddy would turn around and bitch at Cameron for ‘pulling this shit’ or something. Yeeeaaah.

Studying House’s expression for a moment, before nodding urgently. “Yeah, sure. Just no getting me drunk to take advantage of me, alright?”, his really poor sense of humour being somewhat of a defence mechanism to hide his fear from showing on the outside more so then it already did. As fast as he could go with a sore and tender rear, he slipped on his sports coat again, crossed the room and proceeded to follow House out into the corridor. “How will we get out of here? Security will be on our asses any minute…”
Ohhh, boy. When I came in this morning, this was NOT what I expected.

Okay. Plan. Plan was a good place to start.

Well... you've learned every trick in the book to avoid Cuddy, so this ought to be a hell of a lot simpler than it seems.

"Least you weren't screaming like a girl," he muttered, his attention only half on Chase, eyes narrowed and scanning the hallway. "That would have attracted a LOT more attention."

There were quite a few people wandering past, or milling around -- you'd think that this was a hospital, for Christ's sake, didn't these people have anything better to be doing? You know, like saving lives or something -- and he snorted at Chase's comment about taking advantage of him. "I like my partners willing," he tossed off without thinking, and then as soon as everyone's attention seemed to be shifted he yanked his head to the left. "Move it, come on, let's go."

Off they went, then, avoiding House's normal path to the elevators and instead making for the fire stairs: he gritted his teeth, knowing that his leg was going to really hate him later, but there was no better option at the moment. Usually, when he left this way -- and it wasn't often, he preferred to strut his ego right past the front desk, thank you very much -- he had the luxury of taking his time. One flight only, thank God, and then down the hall and around through the back of the corridor to where there was a wider, noisier service elevator. Stabbing at the buttons with his cane, he shifted his weight back and forth before ushering Chase inside just before the doors groaned closed.

So far, so good.

The longer they casually walked around until the coast was clear enough for them to make a move towards the fire stairwell, the more fidgety and nervous Chase seemed to become in spite of his own attempts to keep those feelings concealed. Sweat beading on his brow, his palms becoming clammy, none of which was helping them look innocent, or casual, or whatever. It didn’t help however, that the people in the corridors seemed to be giving both House and him odd looks. At least, that’s what it seemed like in Chase’s mind. Its as if they already know what we did.

Come on, Robbie. Calm down, okay? House makes a living at avoiding people, so this should be cake for him, right? Cuddy, patients, patient’s families, even us ducklings sometimes if he’s having a really bad day. Everything will be fine. Its not like we robbed a bank or anything, right? Or killed someone. Or did something horribly wrong as Doctors. It was just on guy, helping another guy get past his guilt, that is it! Fin! The END! God…why do I suddenly feel like we’ve become some criminal duo? Like Bonnie and Clyde.
“What can I say, I’ve become use to it.”

In attempts to keep some sort of less emotionally painful conversation going, so that the tension didn’t seem so harsh, he nods and even grins amusedly at House’s remark. “…bribery goes a long way...”, he replies half jokingly. As they started down the fire stairs, he kept his pace medium so to not get to ahead of House. Can’t leave your partner in crime behind, right? That would be a cruel, especially a ‘cripple’ one. His knee must be screaming in pain, he can’t do stairs too well anymore. Thankfully its only one flight. Out a door from the stairwell that led into a hallway, then to the service elevators. Impatient as they wait for the doors to slide open, Chase bounces on the balls of his feet until hearing the familiar ’DING!’. Entering the elevator, he presses the button which keeps the doors open long enough for House to limp in. Turning to his boss once the doors slide shut again, he had to ask, “How the hell are you managing to stay so calm?”.
He shifted again, reaching a hand down to rub at his thigh, before turning to glance at Chase and snort, returning his attention to the wall of the elevator. "What-- would you rather I ran around screaming--" --pitching his voice into the highest, most glass-shattering falsetto he could-- "--'Oooh, God, what are we gonna DO, what if they CATCH us, they're gonna BURN us at the STAKE--'?"

Shaking his head as the elevator shifted, settled, and the doors stuttered and slid open on a slightly cooler, darker, less-populated hallway.


"Cool under pressure comes with the job description," and after taking a long, slower glance around he started walking again, cane tap-scuffing on the tiles, in a little less of a hurry now to all outward appearances... but still edgy, still very aware of the potential consequences of his actions. There were still people down here, but it was rare enough to see House on this level that they pretty much ignored him and his Fellow-in-tow.

Seems like there's some law that all of these places have to be dark and cold, even in the middle of the workday, he sneered to himself, turning around the corner and glancing back to Chase with an infurating smirk, waiting, waiting, waiting for the shock value.

"Morgue," he tossed back over his shoulder, and limped along just a little faster, grinning.

A few more yards, half a sloping stairwell, and bam: he shouldered open a pair of double doors and stood squinting in the sunlight... basking equally in his own damn genius.

"Hope you don't have a problem with my bike," he said, lightly enough, "Because as getaway vehicles go, we're pretty damn limited."
Glaring at House, beginning to think that the man of whom he looks up to, wasn’t taking the situation too seriously. But, on the other hand, House did have a point. As Doctors, they are trained to remain calm in all sorts of situations. They had to be, in order to diagnose and treat patient’s injuries and illnesses rationally. Chase knew all to well about not being able to treat a patient because his mind was elsewhere. Hell, he nearly lost his job over it. …Kayla presented to the clinic with multiple joint and stomach pain…“Oh, come off it. This isn’t a game, we could loose our jobs. Maybe even our medical licenses all together.”, and though he had said it aloud in the rush of things, that last part didn’t ring completely true to him. Cuddy could fire them, oh yes, but take away their right to practise medicine because they were caught doing something that could come across as a form of foreplay at work? Doubtful. If I’m a Doctor, whose used to remaining calm, why is this particular situation 10 times harder to stay calm in then any other? Well…your job is on the line, as is House’s, and its your fault for dragging him into this mess.

As the elevator doors slid open again, now revealing the cold, dark, depressing and down-right creepy Morgue, Chase shudders slightly. He hated being down here, surrounded by death. It reminded him of when he was in the seminary and the graveyard which could be seen from his dorm room window. That unsettling, ominous feeling which came along with being around corpses, whether 6 feet under or on a metal examination slab right in front of you. Following House’s lead, they pass by the employees working down there with no so much as upward glance from any of them. They either don’t know House, or they just don’t care. Oh no, more stairs? Chase just knew House wasn’t going to be much of company today, especially if his pain doubles or triples from all the stairs he had to climb down. As long as he doesn’t OD on Vicodin, or mix his pills with the wrong kind of alcohol at the bar, we’ll be cool.

The sunlight nearly blinded him as they stepped outside from the darkness of the Hospital floor where the Morgue was located. Groaning for a moment, blinking in attempts to clear his vision. “I’m impressed, you really know your way around in there.”, walking towards the motorcycle which he both loved to look at, and envied House for having. Lucky bastard., glancing around at the fully packed parking lot. He had been eagerly wanting to ask House if he could take it for a spin one of these days. Now clearly, this wasn’t the type of situation he had been wanting for his excuse to ride the motorcycle, but back seat or driving, he was still going to be able to ride it. This, even now, excited him like a child at Christmas.

It seemed unlikely however, that they would get away unnoticed, even if no one managed to stop them. “Nope, none at all.”, grinning slightly in spite of everything.
House paused to look back at his Fellow, a smirk curving his mouth up into an expression of relieved amusement. Ah yes. I forgot.

"It's a sin to covet," he crowed happily, stopping before the bike to revel in the sweet pure glory that was the Honda CBR1000RR. A glance back over his shoulder one last time, and then he was pulling out his spare helmet, throwing it to Chase. "Looks like we're clear, Captain Bravo," straddling the bike and shifting to stow the knapsack away, "But we'd better cut out, in any case. I think I'll be a little more fortified after a couple of beers."

Revving the engine, then, and as always that first rush of freedom rose within him at the sound, the pure adrenaline pulse of speed and power and not having to drag his bad leg like the albatross, like a millstone. Clipping his cane in place.

"Now listen up, Robert," and his tone was still lighthearted -- how else did House handle a crisis? -- but firm. "I know how it'll probably feel to you, hell, look to the rest of the world, but you'd better grab onto my waist and forget about any sort of sexual identity crisis you may think that creates for you." Another revving twist of the throttle, smacking his visor down. "Because I plan on pushing this baby hard. Before they decide to do something ridiculously moronic like stop us at the gates."
Convert to what exactly?

As they approached the bike, Chase got that child-like sense of awe all over again. The bike was a beauty. Man, if only I had one of this babies as a teenager. Dad certainly had the money to get me one. Nothing could have stopped me, nothing! Catching the spare helmet House had tossed him, he frown slightly as he pulled it on to and over his head, hooking and tightening the strap beneath his chin. Great, I’m going to have helmet hair for sure, and I’m going to a bar. “I wouldn’t expect you to do anything but, Dr. Ho--”, its times likes these where people drop the ‘Doctor’ crap. Besides, he’s been calling me Robert all day, anyhow.“-- Greg.” After a few brief moments, as if waiting for a slap across the head or something, he grins and figures fuck it! Not hesitating a moment longer, wanting to get out of here as much as House does, he climbs on and straddles the back seat of the bike. Pulling down his visor, and wrapping his arms securely around House’s waist, he feels the bike vibrate beneath him as House revs the engine a few more times before pulling out of his parking space and down the right side of the parking lot.