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Fic Loose Ends Part Two

Part two of the loose ends fic.

 
Title: Loose Ends
Rating: PG 13 (Violence Naughty Words0 
Author: Avidreadergirl AKA wrytingtyme
Part two: Chapter 3-6 
 

                                                                                   Chapter Four

St. Clare’s Medical Center: Trenton NJ.

“Do you know why there are no comfortable chairs in emergency rooms?” 

James Wilson, who’d been managing to doze in the uncomfortable chair he’d curled up in jumped. 
“House,” He groaned “How did you know I was here---“ Wilson rubbed his eyes and glared “What, exactly, do you know? “ 

House had taken a chair next to his friend leaned forward and placed his chin on the handle of his cane, his bright blue eyes sweeping over the busy room. “The reason is that they need to make sure you’re here for a reason, sure you can come in to get out of the cold.” His eyes lingered on a group of silent disheveled men across the room that were probably doing just that. “Get a free cup of coffee, but don’t let the sun set on you here.” 

“You’re making that up.” 

House blinked and shot a rare half smile at Wilson. “Yeah, I am.”

Wilson didn’t respond. He just stretched and tossed another disgruntled look at his friend as his fatigue slowly receded. Then his eyes widened and his mouth dropped open.

“I don’t care!” House said quickly reading Wilsons mind like an X-ray.   

“Oh my god, I knew it.”

“You don’t know anything.”

“Yeah, right you’re in a hospital, you hate hospitals, in Trenton, you hate Trenton, because you found out… hey how the hell did you find out?“

House was busy people watching again, avoiding Wilson’s gaze with the ease of long practice. 

“No one knows that I’m here. I called in sick and had my assistant reschedule my appointments. I know Cuddy didn’t tell anyone because she threatened me with vivisection if I did.” Wilson narrowed his eyes at House his mind working fast.

“You’re the one who can’t admit you like her.” House told Wilson coldly. “That’s your pathology.”

“Uh-huh, so why are you here then?” Wilson challenged. “And how did you know where to go. This isn’t even a good hospital…” The people sitting nearest them turned to look at Wilson. Who shut up abruptly and sank lower into his seat.  
 
That got him another rare half-smile “don’t keep your opinion to yourself Dr. Wilson,” House boomed “tell us what you think of St. Cares.” Wilson just glared at him. “You want to know what I know, fine. House rapped his cane on the floor three times before setting his chin back on the handle. “I know that Cuddy got robbed, I’m sure she interrupted them, which was stupid, and got ample ass kicked  for it.”
 
“Yeah,” Wilson’s dark brown eyes flashed “If she hadn’t automatically jumped to the conclusion that the person breaking in was a psychotic employee stalker maybe she’d have been more cautious.”

House didn’t meet Wilsons eyes, but a muscle in his jaw twitched. “I knew that she got beat up because she called an ambulance as well as the cops I know she didn’t take an ambulance because a reliable source whispered that Cuddy’s 911 calls didn’t inspire much enthusiasm in our emergency services professionals. Well actually they did, until someone else canceled the calls.” 

“I know Cuddy didn’t tell anyone else about that.” Wilson hissed keeping his voice low. 

“Sure she did, she told the 911 operator. Cops and Nurses sitting in a tree g-o-s-s-i-p-, “ House sang softly off cadence, “should be another e or p there, oh well.” 

“I didn’t think the nurses were speaking to you.” 

“One time truce,” Again the cane rapped on the hard linoleum “Tritter showing his ugly mug at Cuddy’s office was alarming enough that Brenda of the SS tipped me the wink. By the way I wouldn’t think about calling 911 if I were you either, apparently there’s a note that Detective Tritter should be informed if that happens.“ He sighed a little “I won’t be calling them either, of course.”
 
 Wilson pressed his hands over his eyes. “This is never going to go away is it?”   

“Do you want me to apologize again?” House sounded bitter. Blue eyes like hard steel searching the room.
“No, I want to know why you’re here.” Wilson glared at House now. “Horrifying as that news is, it could have waited till tomorrow. And you still haven’t told me how you figured out we were here—“ 

“Please,” House snapped his temper obviously beginning to fray. “Give me a little credit. You call in sick the same day Cuddy gets robbed?” he thrust his chin at Wilson his blue eyes sparking “That means there are two choices A) You two are having wild hot sex, which I know you would brag to me about or B) She needs a ride she can trust to keep his mouth mostly shut. And that means you’re doing ambulance driver duty, which means she’s uncomfortable driving, broken arm or wrist maybe. So I started calling emergency rooms in Trenton asking for her, didn’t take long.”
 
Wilson’s eyebrows went up but he kept his mouth shut.   

“Since you are a doctor and you didn’t drag her to the first rate teaching hospital just ten minutes from her house that means whatever injuries she has aren’t life threatening, since you didn’t call me it means that they are also boring, since you let her badger you into driving her to a third rate bone emporium in another city, it means that it’s obvious enough that she got beat up that the police will be called, no matter how hard she swears she ran into a door, and the police in Trenton are not the police in Princeton.“
House twirled the cane between his hands. 

“She looks like she went 10 rounds with De La Hoya.” Wilson confirmed. “You’re wrong about the broken arm, but she might have a cracked rib.”    

House just shrugged. 

“So you drove for an hour, to come here and prove to me you figured it all out, and of course tell me you don’t care, don’t feel responsible—“

“I’m not responsible! The people who beat her up are responsible, Tritter is responsible I’m an innocent—“ 

“Ass.”

House pulled out his vicodin bottle and popped one of the pills; ostentatiously dry swallowing it in the way he knew irritated Wilson most, the practiced ease of the junky. 

“Yeah that pretty much sums it up.
 
 
 
Chapter Five
St. Clare's Hospital: Trenton NJ

Exam rooms were all the same.

Lisa Cuddy sat wrapped in a paper gown; sheet pulled up to her waist and knew exactly where everything was. Which drawer the eppi was in, what cupboards hid the scopes, She’d even bet there was a clandestine booze bottle in this room. The one you pulled out for the patients who just kept slamming themselves into doors over and over. 

The doctor who’d been assigned to her had been absurdly young and had the ridged glazed look she associated with coming to the end of a twenty-four hour shift. He’d looked at all the vitals that the nurses had taken, ordered the right x-rays and was out the door in less than a minute. It was an older nurse they sent in for The Talk.

“So what happened?” She asked handing over ice packs, carefully neutral. “Just a hint, don’t say you ran into the door. They’ll send you up to neurology.” 

“My house got broken into, I was home.” Cuddy shrugged hissed and put the ice pack on her side. “You call the cops yet?”

“Supposed to do that right after I give you these,” the nurse handed her a paper cup with two pills and another with a swallow of water. Not surprised that Cuddy knew the drill. 

She swallowed them without asking what they were. She ached so intensely now she didn’t really care. “Do me a favor,” Cuddy looked at the Nurse who looked back shrewdly. 

“When you call the cops ask for Lt. Watts, He’s in public relations attached to Chief Winston’s office. Tell him Lisa Cuddy is calling in a solid.”
 
 
“A solid?” Tom Watts was still on the right side of fifty, but grey had started to pepper his black hair and he was losing the battle of the bulge. Lean muscle being replaced by comfortable flab but he still looked like a cop. “How do you even know that term?” He was sitting on the counter in the exam room looking at the jars of swabs and tongue depressors’. 

“Lots of kids in the hospital, I eavesdrop.” Cuddy said unrepentantly. The pills were kicking in and the pain was melting into the warm distance. “You owe me a couple you know.” She said assuming he remembered the times when he’d been a supervisor in vice for the Princeton PD and had needed off the books medical care for snitches and undercover cops.

“Hey, I’d help for free.” 

The look of disbelief on her face must have been clear even behind the bruising because he continued. “Nothing in the world would make me happier then helping you kick Tritter in that smug ass of his. But I heard what happened last time.”

She only wished she could forget. “That was my fault.” She admitted. “I was having my own… issues at the time.” Oh yes two failed conceptions and a miscarriage, issues just about covered it. To distracted to deal with House effectively and so distressed it helped push Wilson over the edge. Cuddy rubbed her neck wearily. Debacle didn’t even begin to describe how bad it had been.

“I shouldn’t have let it go that far.” She’d told the judge that too, of course the judge had been in on it. Cuddy had had to spend some huge favors and even some cash but it had been worth it. She’d gotten the right judge and the outcome that she had wanted, rehab, with a side of jail.
 
“And if your issues crop up again?”
Cuddy gave a mirthless laugh feeling the sharp emotional pain even through the fog of the narcotic. “That isn’t going to happen. I’m… I’ve stopped trying… to do everything.” 

“Then I’m in.” 

“Tom, I have to ask, you don’t think… there’s no way Tritter arranged this,” gestured to herself, “is there?” 

“Nope, Lots of robberies around Princeton or so my old pals tell me, two man crew. Not usually violent but” He shrugged “it fits. Tritter,” Watts’ face twisted in disgust “he’s an opportunist with a slice of sadism, you made him look bad, so when something comes up and he knows you’re vulnerable, he rubs your face in it.”

“And he expects me to just take it.” The anger she felt was muted but it was there. She’d cried, in front of Wilson, again. Tritter was going to pay for a lot of things.
 
“Sure,” Watts eyes twinkled “you’re just a girl. Sexist doesn’t begin to describe his attitude. It’s practically medieval. Plus he’s never seen you work a fundraiser for donations, Asshole has no idea who he’s dealing with.”

The plan was simple. It didn’t take them long to work out the details. Though Watts insisted he’d call her on them later when she wasn’t stoned. 

He’d had one huge reservation, “Can you control those two idiots?” 

“Which two idiots?”

“The ones in the waiting room.” 

Cuddy’s heart sank. “There’s only supposed to be one.”

“Sorry.”

“Never mind, I’ll deal with them.” She took a deep breath, hissed and clutched her icepack.

“Uh huh. Can I ask a personal question?”

“I’ll pay you a thousand dollars not too.”

Watts held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. “I have to get back any way, information to gather very nearly illegally and loopholes to exploit in the system.”

“Tom,” She stopped him with his hand on the doorknob. A strange reversal for her, “do you think there’s any chance I’ll get my stuff back?”

He shook his head “Sorry. Word is PPD is pretty sure they know em, but there’s no hard evidence yet.”
“Well if one of them smells like a gardenia you’ve got the right guy.” Watts looked at her curiously “I threw a box of scented talcum powder at him.”

“Knew there was a reason I liked you!” He winked at her and bounced out the door, happier than a cop on a supposed domestic battery call had any cause to be
 
 
 
Chapter Six
St. Clare’s Hospital, Trenton NJ

Greg House didn’t like to be board. He had an active mind and it craved stimulation. If stimulation wasn’t handed to him he had no problems creating it. He’d already examined the ER, its waiting room, its staff and its patients. He’d sneered at the first, scowled at the second, intimidated the third and diagnosed the fourth (to his own satisfaction). There wasn’t anything left to do but wait for Cuddy and her boring injuries to be released, and they were taking their sweet time about that.

House twirled his cane. 

“Don’t do it House.”

“Don’t do what?”

“Whatever it is you’re plotting,” Wilson had managed to find a coffee shop and some art magazines and was having no problem distracting himself. “Control yourself or go home.” Wilson looked at his watch “Don’t you have clinic duty?”

“The funniest thing happened today, the warden didn’t show up at the gulag.”

“I’m not covering for you.” Wilson warned him. 

“I don’t recall asking you to.”

“Do you ever have to ask him?”

They turned around. Cuddy had pulled her hair back in a pony tail exposing the damage to her face clearly and there were already an impressive representation of colors on display. 

Nice shiner.” House breathed out in a tone of admiration he usually reserved for her breasts. 

 “You should see the other guy.”



There was some wrangling over the seating arrangements in Wilson’s car. House wanted to drive. Wilson wanted House to find his own way back to Princeton since he’d found his own way to Trenton. House wanted Wilson to do something physically impossible; Wilson wanted House to do the same with “Jam On”

Cuddy just crawled in the back seat and tried to relax while the boys fought. It was one of their blow-off-steam fights, so interfering was a bad idea. She opened her little brown pharmacy bag and inspected the bottle within. There were magic words printed right on the label. “As needed for pain.” She looked up at the headache about to happen that was House and Wilson shouting insults and waving their hands at each other. “As needed for pain….”

“Hey, whatcha you got there?” House had suddenly appeared in the passenger seat staring over the backrest at her. Wilson was driving and the car was moving, when had that happened?

“Uhm….” She blinked at the words. “percodan.” She said slowly.

“Mama’s got the good candy!”

She held the bottle close and frowned at House. “Take your own damn narcotics.”

“Selfish.” House made a face at her, “Keep your drugs, I’ll take this instead.” He plucked the envelope off her lap.

“Those are mine too.” Cuddy said and knew she should be upset, those were her confidential medical records and she was sure that House reading them was something that should make her angry…. but it was hard to get excited about it when she felt so…. warm and drowsy and wrapped in soft cotton.

“It’s ok I’m your Doctor.” House lied reassuringly.

“House!”

“Whatever,” She closed her eyes.

“Is she ok?” Wilson asked. 

“She’s blissed out on meds at the moment. “

“Seriously?”

“Ha. Ha. Anybody ever tell you that you drive like a sixteen year old girl? “

“Anybody ever tell you that your run your mouth off like---“
 
Cuddy dozed. 



Wilson tried to concentrate on driving but House was being typical House. Reading Cuddy’s medical file out loud and commenting on her attending physician’s notes, “crappy” the nurses observations “obvious and crappy”, and the choice of medication, “the good candy” the only thing he approved of.

 “Does it say anything in there about the police?” Wilson asked as they got closer to Princeton. 

“Yup, she requested a cop, one Lt. Watts, public relations,” Wilson raised his eyebrows at that. “Apparently he told the ER she was telling the truth about getting robbed.”

“That makes sense.” Wilson said slowly. “She always makes sure that police and fire brass get invited to the big benefit parties. I’m sure she’s got contacts.”

“I suppose.” House slid the files back into the envelope and turned and tossed them on the sleeping Cuddy. “She knows the secret handshakes.”

“But,” Wilson prompted picking up on Houses unsatisfied tone.

House turned in his seat and looked at her to make sure she was out. “She’s too close to this to be rational.” He said turning back with a sigh. “You know how she gets, the closer she is to something—“

“This isn’t about a patient House.” 

“Yeah, right” House made a disgusted face. “It doesn’t have to be a patient for her to lose her objectivity and perspective and when that happens… “He reached idly into his pocket popping a vicodin. “All bets are off, you remember Miguel and Tracey?”

“Alfredo and Emma and yeah I do.” Wilson shot House an appraising stare. “She was—“

“Scary.” House said flatly.

“She was acting like you.

House shook his head.

“Uh yeah she was.” Wilson asserted. “She was pushing the envelope, which is what you always do. She was thinking creatively, she was taking huge risks.”

But she wasn’t objective.

“So what, who is? You think I don’t try just a little bit harder when my patients are kids then when they’re seniors; you think that doesn’t affect my choices, my judgments?”

“Of course---“House sighed sharply and ran his hand down his face. “Look, I’m objective about my patients. We agree on that right?”

“Mostly, yeah. I can accept the supposition.”

House glared at him. “I take risks with their testing and their care and in some cases their treatment. Mostly they get a diagnosis and get better or not depending on what it is. Not all the time. Sometimes they die, I don’t like it, but I’m objective and I can get over it.” He was silent a moment “As long as they get a diagnosis.” He’d seen Esther’s name rising in Wilsons mind and he needed to stop that train right there.
“When Cuddy is intellectually committed to something she can take most anybody, you don’t get to be the Dean of Medicine by being a sap, and she evaluates risk like no hospital administrator I’ve ever seen, Which is one reason we are still employed after that Vogler fiasco.”

There was open admiration in Houses voice and Wilson glanced sharply at his friend. 

“But,” House growled no longer admiring “she gets emotionally committed to something… She’s still just as smart, just as tough, but her ability to appreciate risk goes in the toilet. She doesn’t push the edge of the envelope Wilson she jumps off the damned flap.”

“And you think she’s too close to this; that she’ll do something stupid?”

“No I think she’s gonna do something smart, and risky and it’s gonna blow up in what’s left of her face.”
They were silent for the rest of the drive.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
nitsa_maro
Apr. 3rd, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
I love those three together :) House is so worried about Cuddy in his own way of course ;D He is right though,Cuddy is tough and a smart woman but she really gets emotionally involved when it comes to personal issues :D

I am really enjoying this story!
avidreadergirl
Apr. 3rd, 2008 08:47 pm (UTC)
Yes House does care, he's just really sneak about making sure no one but the viewing audience ever gets to see it.

And that's one of the things I love about House/Cuddy He's better when he isn't emotionally involved (most doctors are) and Cuddy is better when she is. It's something I'm hoping to explore more in a later fic (if the show doesn't do it, which I hope they do)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )