Chapters 1-18 by You're out of your vulcan mind
Chapters 19+ by Mara-DragonMaster
House smiled when he heard the satisfying yelp of pain, telling him that the flying nametag had hit its mark. He so did not work on a schedule. Chase said that he would throw it at thirty-six minutes and fifteen seconds? Well– he sure showed him: thirty-six minutes and ten seconds. HAH! The blond wombat obviously wasn't expecting that. House leaned way back in his chair, looking out to survey the damage.
Foreman glared angrily at him, rubbing the back of his head.
"What did you do that for?!"
House frowned, bouncing as his chair snapped upright again. "Where's Chase?"
Cameron shrugged. "His coat's here, maybe he's at ICU?"
"There was a bad car crash." Foreman offered. "The ER was pretty crowded, he's probably there."
With his brows pulled together House thought for a moment, then he pulled his feet off of his desk and stood up, grabbing his cane. Without a word he passed his puzzled employees and went off to find his wayward duckling.
Chase shrunk back in the corner when he heard the footsteps in the hall. Last night had been one of the most horrifying nights of his life.
'Mr. Smith', whose real name was actually Edward, had spent all night screaming at him for being a disgrace to his 'father', for not being a good and honorable 'son'. Chase had been beaten and cut and shaken and… and… he shook his head, not wishing to replay the memories of last night.
He just was grateful that two hours ago he'd been thrown back into the closet, where he had just about passed out from the pain. He favored his right hand, which had been crushed by something heavy; right now he couldn't remember what. It was swollen and throbbing like crazy, and at least two fingers were broken.
He sighed and huddled closer to the corner, a shiver running through him.
Today was Friday.
He wondered if anyone at work noticed that he was gone.
"Have you seen Chase?"
Wilson didn't bother to look up from his paper work. "No, what's wrong with him?"
"Nothing is wrong with him. He's missing."
"ICU or ER. Not in my office." Glancing over a form, Wilson frowned.
"I looked in ICU and ER. Nada." The he paused. "Of course there were a lot of blondes so I couldn't be sure." A moment passed, and then House shook his head, all humor gone. "He isn't answering my calls or my pages."
"Neither do I." Wilson lifted a few pages, looked at what was underneath, nodded and then signed the form.
"But he is loyal. And hardworking. And OC, especially when it comes to tasks I ask him to do."
"ER has been swamped, with the rain today there've been a lot of accidents. Chase is probably busy."
House ignored him. "He looked really pale yesterday, and shaky. Not sick shaky, either. More like he was scared."
"A lot of people look like that around you."
"Will you stop with your stupid paperwork for a second and listen to me?" House snapped. Then he blinked. "Oh my gosh, I'm starting to sound like your second wife. Or maybe it was your third. No– no, it was your second. Dangit. She was the cow. You and your stupid papers are making me sound like a cow."
Wilson didn't even bat an eye. "Shame that."
"You don't care about Chase, do you?" House accused.
"Do you?" Wilson raised an eyebrow.
"'Course." House looked affronted.
"He's probably fine. Overworked and mentally abused, but healthy and safe. Wait…" Wilson suddenly looked up with wide eyes, and then a grin began to slowly spread across his face. "You care. Oh my gosh– you admitted to caring about some one."
House blinked innocently. "Did not."
"Oh you so did."
"Did not." House pouted, looking like a spoiled eight-year-old despite the scruffy beard. "I didn't admit to anything."
"Too late now House. You cared."
House stuck out his tongue at Wilson. "Do not. He could be lying beaten and bleeding to death somewhere, and I would not care."
Edward had smelled like gin when he opened the door and staggered in. Chase had made himself as small as possible in that little corner of his, but that did little; within moments Edward had him. This time– this time was more violent. Last time Edward had been intent on punishing Chase for his 'sin' by beating him; this time was all about how much Edward could hurt him. He had treated Chase like a medieval prisoner, torturing him for the sake of it.
Edward had obviously been drinking quite a bit of beer besides the gin. There was broken glass everywhere, and the dropped and forgotten bottles almost seemed to wait for him to fall on them as they lay on the floor, sparkling with dangerous beauty in the light. Chase fingered the particularly deep cut in his side. Combined with the one on his leg and the stab wound on his shoulder, he knew he would bleed to death before long– long before anyone would find him. And all he could do was lie still, waiting.
He briefly wondered if House would care.