SUMMARY: Wilson takes a call.
CHARACTERS: Chase, Cameron, Foreman, Wilson, 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.
"I hate you all. Go away," says House's voice on the answering machine. The office phone is on speaker setting, so they all hear it. Wilson isn't picking up, but then he rarely does. They have a different system now.
"Wilson. Wake up, get off your ass. Check your email," House commands, and then smacks the receiver back down in its cradle.
Chase is watching this with quiet interest, but Cameron's not. She's got her hands on her hips, and that pointy expression on her face. He wonders whether she knows how unflattering it is.
"You're really going to drag him into this case, insist that he has to work for you?" She's insistently indignant, not her most endearing state by any means. "After everything he's been through, you think he doesn't deserve the time off to—"
"Chase! Instant survey!" House calls out. "Sick and injured, or totally useless? Which would you prefer to be?"
"Sick. Absolutely. Wait—am I going to regret having answered that?" It's hard to tell, with House. He snares people so very easily.
"No. You're useless now, so it's not a choice you actually get to make. I'm just teaching Little Miss Compassionate why she's wrong."
"Good luck with that," Chase responds, and ignores Cameron's righteous glare as he goes back to studying the research paper he's just found. They know what their patient’s got, this time; the question is how to kill the infection without killing the guy in the process.
"Good luck with what?" asks Foreman, who's entering the room with great caution, as if it might be contaminated with some deadly pestilence.
"Convincing Cameron that there's no such thing as Santa," snipes House. "Your turn. Would you rather be physically sick, or useless and expendable at work?"
Foreman pauses, looking for the trap. "Why? Are you planning to experiment on me?"
"Why not? Worked great at Tuskeegee. Answer the question."
"Hypothetically," says Foreman, "I'd definitely rather be sick than useless. But I'm not volunteering for any of your weird science projects."
"Too late! You just helped me prove my hypothesis: Cameron's an idiot."
"For considering Wilson’s feelings? For thinking that you could have some sensitivity to—?"
"Should have that email," House interrupts, looking at his watch, "right...abouuut..."
He waits five more seconds and then smiles at the sound of his computer's new mail alert. Chase, curious, approaches just as House turns back to Cameron. "You're hopeless," he says to her, as he opens the new message. "You will never understand men. Might as well go lesbian; spare us all. Better yet, sell video."
He turns the computer monitor so that she can see Wilson's reply, which is written in that now-familiar one-handed fashion:
at least it isn't cancer. ha.
need info. send minion w/research, more chapstick.
"Now there is a guy who's happy to have a job," House says, and Cameron looks at him as if he's out of his mind.
"He's obliging you," she insists, "because he's just that nice."
"He's not that nice," Chase replies, "and he's thrilled. It's the first chance he's had in weeks to use his brain for something productive."
"Your nose is...getting awfully tan," House says, but Chase is used to that kind of minor abuse and shrugs it off. He's just about ready to walk away when the computer chimes again. "See?" says House, clicking to open the email, "He's on it like—"
send chase, 4man. not cam. have mercy.
Cameron's mouth gapes open; she wheels and stomps furiously away from the desk, bracing herself against the chuckles of the men. "Told you," says Chase, grinning as he packs his books and research papers and prepares to go see Wilson, "he's really not that nice."