SUMMARY: House has a solution for Wilson's broken ribs. It's...mostly legal.
CHARACTERS: House, OFC
RATING: R for language and themes.
WARNINGS: Details the aftermath of events in Bad Company, a rough, violent story. Aftermath isn't always pretty; may distress some readers. Adult themes and adult language.
DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Never will.
NOTES: The pieces of this shattered story are numbered. The first number signifies the number of days that have elapsed since the original event in Bad Company; the second number signifies when the fic occurs during that day.
"Where did you get that?"
House is holding out his hand in the middle of Tomlinson's office. She'd be head of orthopedics if she weren't also the best orthopedic surgeon in the state—House likes competent people in the right positions, and he's actually attended meetings to argue for keeping her out of the administrative maelstrom. He'd have done the same for Wilson, too, but that deal had happened too quickly.
A little plastic-wrapped bundle wavers silently on his palm. He smiles smugly.
"HOW did you get that?" Tomlinson has gone a little pale beneath her prematurely silver hair, but she leans forward and pulls the bundle from House's hand. She turns it over, inspecting, feeling the metal inside the plastic.
"I have my ways," House replies. "You can use it?"
Tomlinson is almost salivating. "I have been trying to get my hands on one of these for months. Somebody finally figures out how to fix broken ribs, and the guys in Portland are being assholes about the clinical trials. I can't believe you got hold of this, and so fast." Reluctantly, she sets the bundle on the desk where House can reach it. "But I can't use it."
"What do you mean, you can't use it?"
"It's not approved, and since we're not officially part of the trial, I can't use it," she says and leans back in her chair, crossing her arms.
House reaches into his pocket and pulls out a whole handful of bundles. "I don't care if it's approved or not. I especially don't care about 'official.' I got them for Wilson."
She shakes her head. "Dr. Wilson's ribs—"
"—are broken badly enough to need these. He'd qualify for the study if he was in Oregon." House drops the bundles on her desk next to the first one and glares at her. "Use what you don't need for Wilson on whoever you want. Hell, use them for drawer pulls for all I care. He's scheduled for surgery tomorrow; you can install them then."
Tomlinson snorts. "We're operating on his hand tomorrow. Don't you think he'd notice a few new incisions in his chest?"
"He won't care, because he'll be able to breathe!" House shouts. He takes a deep breath to rein himself in, then continues in a more normal voice. "I'm his doctor, and I'm telling you to use them."
She leans forward again and pushes the bundles around on her desk. "Eight of us are his doctors, House. I won't use these without Dr. Wilson's consent. And Cuddy needs to know about this, too."
"Fine," House snarls and turns to stalk out. "I'll fill them in."
Tomlinson calls to him as he's pulling the door open. "Thanks for these," she says, waving one of the little bundles.
He nods, and growls a little, and pulls the door shut behind him.
Tomlinson smiles, then pages her surgical team. They'll need to have some discussion about putting in the U-plates before tomorrow. And she'll need to reschedule Mrs. Cook; the plates will add to Dr. Wilson's time in the OR.
She decides while turning one of the plates in her fingers that they'll do Dr. Wilson's ribs first. If he doesn't handle the sedation well, they can always go back to the hand later—she's confident in the pin job she did Sunday night. But the plates are more critical; the last thing he needs is pneumonia on top of everything else.
When she first started hearing the stories, Tomlinson was glad her specialty is one that House's department rarely needs. After dealing with the man this week, she's still glad she doesn't have to work with him on a regular basis. But there's one thing the stories seem to leave out more often than not: whatever his outrageous methods, House can make things happen.