Black Cadillacs

Chapter 18

"Black Cadillac"

Chapters 1-18 by You're out of your vulcan mind

Chapters 19+ by Mara-DragonMaster


Chapter 18

"Sure the Rolling Stones are good–"

"They're great."

"In your opinion. I just prefer indie bands."

"Why? They appeal to your inner depressed teenage girl?"

Chase sent House a death glare. The two men had gotten into a conflict over the merits of The Greats (ex. The Rolling Stones, the Who) verses the new 'Alternative' bands, when Chase– after House had shared one of 'The Who's' songs– unwittingly slighted it with a shrug and an "It's alright".

"I just find that I relate to the messages in the– Here, just give me your speakers." Chase dug through his bag and pulled out his own iPod.

House reluctantly handed over his speakers and watched Chase plug in his iPod and select a song.

"Here is a good one."

And even though the moment passed me by

I still can't turn away

Cause all the dreams you never thought you'd lose

Got tossed along the way

And letters that you never meant to send

Get lost or thrown away

And now we're grown up orphans

That never knew their names

We don't belong to no one

That's a shame

But if you could hide beside me

Maybe for a while

And I won't tell no one your name

And I won't tell em your name

Scars are souvenirs you never lose

The past is never far

Did you lose yourself somewhere out there

Did you get to be a star

And don't it make you sad to know that life

Is more than who we are

You grew up way too fast

And now there's nothing to believe

And reruns all become our history

A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio

And I won't tell no one your name

And I won't tell em your name

I think about you all the time

But I don't need the same

It's lonely where you are come back down

And I won't tell em your name

House shook his head. "Goo Goo Dolls? You like a song played by a group called the Goo Goo Dolls?"

"'A rose by any other name', House. Besides, the name's completely irrelevant to their music. Did you like the song?"

"Meh." House waved his hand. "It's alright." He didn't really like it but could see where Chase would think he could relate. Of course, Chase didn't really think like that. Right?

"To each his own." Chase ceded. House frowned.

"Brit, you need to defend your choice of music, to the death if necessary. Your music defines who you are. Didn't you learn anything in high school?"

Chase shrugged. "I just don't care that much." He said. "If you don't like that sort of music it doesn't bother me. A lot of people don't like that type of music."

"What about your nationality?" House threw out.

"You know what it is."

"But I just called you a Brit." House squinted. "That usually makes you, at the very least, annoyed."

"You know what I am."

"Then shouldn't I use the correct nationality?"

Chase shrugged. "You should, but you don't. I've gotten used to it."

House sat back, staring hard. "Stick up for yourself."

"Why?"

House frowned again. "Because. That's what you're supposed to do. What's wrong with you today?"

Chase turned away, fingering his book's tattered cover. "Nothing."

"You're being unusually passive. Yesterday you seemed okay. What happened?"

"Nothing happened."

Heaving a frustrated sigh, House tried a threat. "Remember what happened last time you lied to me?"

Chase looked at him questioningly.

"Your stitches?" House offered.

"I didn't lie to you then." Chase pointed out. "It wasn't your business. It still shouldn't be."

"But now it is. What's wrong with you?"

A look of frustration at House's stubbornness filled his face, a break in the mask he had been wearing. "IT is what is wrong with me."

"IT?"

"The attack, the kidnapping, the torture, whatever you want to call IT. I made Cameron cry just by sitting there. Because she couldn't even touch me with out me flipping out." He looked down at his bandages and the wheelchair with an expression of pent up anger. "It has been more than a week since IT happened, and I'm still… broken."

House watched him, quiet. "You aren't broken."

Chase looked up. "I am. I mean, what's wrong with me? I made Cameron cry I'm so messed up."

"Cameron cries over a lot of things." House raised his eyebrow. "I saw her cry over an un-calibrated centrifuge once."

Chase tapped the fingers of his left hand, hesitant. "But… Cameron never really… noticed me before. We were together, but… not really. She…" he paused, unsure if he should confide further; then it bubbled out. "The coffee, for instance. I know it was a nice gesture and it's stupid to make a big deal about nothing, but the coffee she brought me was full of sugar. Two years working together, weeks of being together, and she doesn't know I drink my coffee black. I've never been anything more to her than a microwave pizza, quick and convenient." He studied his hand for a moment. "I'd just hoped for more, you know. And this– this has screwed it up because now she'll only care about me because of this." Chase paused to catch his breath before looking up, a sudden flash of indignation in his very blue eyes. "And you! You are being nice to me. That's against 'the rules' you know. Well intentioned attempts at consolation, remember?"

House looked affronted. "I'm so not trying to console you. Wilson says I need to learn how to give support. So I thought I'd practice, get in shape to deal with patients. You won't sue me for malpractice or misconduct, so you're ideal."

Chase tipped his head back with a disbelieving laugh. "Please, House…"

"Oh, would you get over yourself?!" House grabbed his cane and stood up, ignoring Chase's shocked expression. "You were kidnapped from under our very noses! You came back bandaged up to the eyeballs! That's why Cameron's crying and being 'nice' to you." House fumed while he paced, his blue eyes burning.

"I– I didn't…"

"I was there. And I didn't see it." House leaned confrontationally in Chase's direction, then resumed pacing. "And your story, reminded me of… Missing what happened to you is like missing that the patient is green and bleeding orange out of his eyeballs, and diagnosing him with a cold."

Chase looked away. This whole speech seemed out of character. House wasn't supposed to admit he was wrong. "I just didn't want–"

"Don't worry. I don't do pity."

"Why are you being so nice? It's starting to creep me out." Chase tried to joke with a half-hearted smile and laugh, weak though it was, hoping that maybe House would stop with his strange out of character speech and go back to old House; old House was funny. And distracting.

It was quiet for a while, both men looking away and trying to ignore the fact that they may, sort of, possibly, maybe, just had a 'bonding moment.'

"What did it remind you of?" The question was quiet and hesitant, unsure if there was a boundary being overstepped.

House dropped his chin. Dang. His slip-up had been caught. "Tell you what." He suggested. "Tonight you order the pizza." he gave Chase a meaningful look. "I'll bring the beer."

"CT scans were clean." Foreman announced as he and Cameron returned to the conference room. "No clots."

House turned. "That is generally what a clean CT scan means."

"Blood tests normal. There isn't anything wrong with her."

"Right; so we should ignore these pesky symptoms. Why didn't we think of that before?" House mused loudly.

Foreman gave him a look.

All at once the four doctors' beepers went off.

"New symptom," House announced. "The patient is seizing."

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