SUMMARY: The place is utterly depressing.
CHARACTERS: Chase, House
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.
"You told them the truth," Chase says quietly in the otherwise-silent hotel elevator. It smells stale and dank, a miserable little crypt that's never seen sunlight. It's also considerably smaller than the hospital elevators; Chase is forced to stand closer to House than he'd prefer.
House scowls down at him. "Yeah. So?"
"You never tell the truth." For all his grumbling about lies, House uses them like conjunctions.
House shrugs and taps the key card against his cane. The bell dings, the door opens, and House is down the hall before Chase leaves the elevator.
He catches up to House as the lock beeps and he shoulders his way in. They step inside and the door falls shut behind them with a loud, heavy thunk.
The room is neat, but in an odd straightened-up-by-strangers kind of way. The desk is littered with files and obviously hasn't been touched. The decor is bland and unassuming. The place is utterly depressing.
Chase can't keep himself from blurting out, "Dr. Wilson lives here?"
House looks at him like he's a moron. It's not much different from how House looks at him every day. He points around the room with his cane and says, "Well, get to it."
Chase raises his eyebrows and stares back at him. "That's awfully personal," he says. "He's your friend, not mine."
"Why the hell do you think I brought you along?" House growls.
Chase opens the closet and surveys the suits, in spite of his earlier protest. "I figured you wanted me to haul shit, not pack it up, too," he mutters. He pulls out a garment bag, lays it open on the bed, and starts feeding suits into it.
"As usual, your powers of deduction suck," House mutters back. He's sitting at the desk, half-reading the files he's putting into a briefbag with more care than Chase would have thought him capable of.
Chase empties first the closet and then the drawers of the nightstand and dresser. Apparently this is why House called him down to the lobby yesterday, but Chase had been waylaid by their patient crashing. Again. It hadn't helped that he and Foreman and Cameron had been on their own with this one—House hasn't exactly been available the last couple days.
Then again, his complaining about having to pack might have been premature. There's barely anything here—just some clothes, two pairs of shoes, a heavy overcoat. No books, no CDs, nothing truly personal anywhere. There's a kitchenette along one wall, but the refrigerator is empty and the cupboards hold only a few cheap pans. He starts to pull them out when House says, "Leave them. They're not his."
When he reaches the bathroom, the full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner and shaving lotion are all nearly empty. Dr. Wilson's been living here longer than he'd probably care to admit. Has he been here since he'd stayed with House last year?
Chase doesn't have long to wonder about that, though, because at that moment House yells, "Hey, no pee breaks for you, peon! Let's go!"
He doesn't bother rolling his eyes as he checks the bathroom over one last time. The bed is covered with Wilson's three suitcases; House has the briefbag slung over his shoulder, and he waves his cane at Chase.
"C'mon," he says and heads for the door.
Fortunately one of the bags is a rolling one, or Chase would never have been able to haul them all in one trip. In the elevator, he manages to maneuver the bags between himself and House.
"So," Chase asks casually as they reach Wilson's car, "who's he staying with, once he's out?"
House shoots him an odd look over the roof of the car before he pops the trunk. "With me."
Chase feels his jaw start to drop and quickly shuts it. "And he agreed to this?"