Requested by hllangel
Yet again, too big for the box.
Bloody humans, with their puny immune systems, and insane willingness to put things in their mouths. Jack had insisted he knew the owner of the establishment and everything was fine. Only after they’d spent two days with Rose doubled over in pain, unable to keep down anything more than a few sips of consoumme, did their recently acquired friend admit that he’d known the owner only in carnal sense and that was several centuries before they’d shown up for dinner.
Resisting a temptation to sell Jack to a wandering merchant for spare parts, he instead left him in 21st century New York, which didn’t seem much in the way of punishment, but meant he’d at least be able to find him again if he wanted to, the Doctor went about searching for a physician who might be able to help Rose. She wasn’t responding to rest, fluids, or any of the medical settings on his screwdriver, and while the Doctor would never admit it, he was starting to panic, mostly at the thought of what Jackie would do to him if he had to go back to London and report that her little girl had taken ill and died because the Doctor hadn’t bothered to check a Venusian Hawker Market for its Food Safety License.
Research led him to Princeton Plainsboro and sheer dumb luck got Dr. Gregory House to take the case. He’d spent nearly fifteen minutes insulting the Doctor by implying that his “tart” had picked up some kind of STD, which was titillating, but not diagnostically interesting, or been stupid enough to eat a hot dog from a New York street vender and acquired a parasite which might or might not kill her, but still wasn’t enough to drag Dr. House away from an especially compelling confrontation between Jax and Sonny, whoever they were.
“Tell ya what,” he’d suggested in the direction of House’s staff, who seemed paralyzed with inability to do anything without a direct order from their boss, “why don’t you take a few minutes and run her through you’re MRI machine, see if you find anything. If not, I’ll take her off your hands.”
House had shrugged, not turning away from his miniature telly, but the tests were run, producing puzzled faces over the low levels of radiation that Rose had acquired from her journey on the TARDIS. Finally, something proved more interesting than Soap Operas and Oprah (as if there were a difference, the Doctor thought) and House had all the time in the world to find out exactly what was wrong with Rose Tyler that might have produced her symptoms, especially the radiation. The Doctor tried not to smirk too triumphantly as he answered Dr. Cameron’s long list of questions, specifically those about any work experience that might have caused exposure.
Dr. House tried to keep him as far away from the diagnostic process as he, but the Doctor was used to being where he wasn’t wanted and kept finding reasons to hang around observing the team in action. House, he noted had perfected the combination of being a raging arsehole as well as genius. He wondered how much of each attribute was a result of pain caused by his leg injury as opposed to the pills he swallowed to alleviate it.
The three doctors he rode roughshod over were clearly competent but the young lady needed to get over her infatuation with a man who was emotionally unavailable to her. Maybe he’d take her aside for a talk after they’d found out what was wrong with Rose. After all, he did have a bit of experience in these matters.
“You should to get some rest,” said Dr. Chase, whose kind manner tried to hide what the Doctor knew perfectly well. He was driving them as crazy as Dr. House, but it was three days of testing and sniping and Rose hadn’t improved in the slightest. There were theories and treatments none of which seemed to work. In fact, things seemed to be getting worse, as new symptoms developed, including seizures and a skin rash.
“No, I don’t! You need to find out what’s wrong with her.”
“We will. Doctor House is working on it.”
“Oh is he really. What exactly is he doing about it right now?”
“Right now I think he’s playing foosball with Dr. Wilson.”
“That’s fantastic. Rose could be dying in there and the only man who can save her is playing a game.”
But it was fantastic. Somehow the combination of foosball and Dr. Wilson had produced a theory leading to breakthrough and finally a cure. Within hours, Rose was sat up in bed, eating some vile hospital concoction as though it were the best fish and chips in London.
“Tell me the truth.”
For a man with a large cane and a limp, House could appear with a stealthiness worthy of the TARDIS itself.
“Who you are. Where she got the radiation.”
“No, you told Cameron that she was a tour guide at Three Mile Island. I’m just as cute, but not quite as gullible.”
“Did it have anything to do with what was wrong with her?”
“Not a thing. That was just a really vicious strain of influenza. Made 1917 look like a mumps break-out.”
“Would you believe me if I told you I’d seen 1917?”
“You’re not that old.”
They stared at each other as Dr. House appeared to be processing what the Doctor had just told him while the Doctor accepted that this broken bastard of a man had saved his Rose.
“Time…?” House asked, looking for just a second humbled by the implication.
“And space.” The doctor finished, surprising himself and no doubt Dr. House, by leaning forward and kissing him lightly on the lips, and being even more surprised, when House kissed back, rather a bit more strongly than the Doctor would have intended, if he’d even been planning this in the first place. It had only been gratitude for saving Rose. The other man’s motives remained a mystery.
Dr. Foreman didn’t look at all surprised to find his boss kissing a man, only irritated that it was taking so long to get his attention.
“She wants to see the Doctor.”
They started walking in the door together and shared a smile when their wasn’t enough room and House let him go first.
Dr. House should definitely smile more. It made his eyes sparkle.