Pairings: Wilson/Chase, House/Chase
Warnings: Semi non-con and pretty damn dark. Sort of intended as a tribute to the famous Sonny/Carly hate!sex on General Hospital, but it ran off in a cracktastic direction on its own.
Thanks so much to Beta Goddess Carol for forcing me to find the emotional truth and not just go for the shock value.
“I hired Chase because his father made a phone call and I hired you because you are exceptionally pretty.”
It hadn’t occurred to House that Robert Chase would also turn out to be exceptionally pretty. When the young Australian had shown up for work, House had dispassionately catalogued blue-green eyes, blond hair and a shy smile that barely covered a sly smirk. By the time he found out that Chase might be exceptionally pretty to anyone besides simpering nurses and prepubescent patients, it was too late.
He didn’t know which irked him more, learning the truth or hearing it from Stacy in the middle of a fight. She couldn’t admit that her whole pretty life with Mark was a lie, but she managed to find reasons to show up in House’s office nearly every day. He hated her with every twinge of pain in his leg and every pill he took to fight it off, but at least she wasn’t boring.
“…and one of these days you’re going to kill a patient.”
“Got that t-shirt already.”
“I know what happened with Vogler.”
“Newsflash. The good guys won.”
“With how many casualties?”
“I’m here. The hospital is here. I saved my team. It’s not all about money. Oh, I forgot that I’m talking to a lawyer.”
House picked up his yo-yo and turned his back. Stacy kept talking but his focus was totally on the toy. Her voice sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. He’d nearly pulled off “rock the baby” when she managed to penetrate his invisibility cloak.
“Have you talked to Wilson today?”
The yo-yo bottomed out and started spinning, causing the string to tangle. He dropped it into the dead toy drawer of his desk.
“You mean after I called him this morning and we decided to wear our matching pink Benetton sweaters? Jimmy’s jealous because I fill mine out better.”
“Next time you’re passing notes in history class, ask him how his latest fling is going.”
“General Hospital’s on at three and I’m a one-soap kind of guy.”
“General Hospital doesn’t star your best friend and a member of your team.”
Sun Tsu had nothing on Stacy Warner. Hit ‘em fast, hit ‘em hard and get the hell out, making sure they get a good look at your ass on the way. It never occurred to him to doubt her. People confided in Stacy. When things had been good, they could while away whole afternoons gossiping. She had always had the best dirt.
Happy Greg-and-Stacy memories were a trap he had no desire to walk into. Happy Greg-and-Stacy-and-Jimmy memories were even worse. He fought them off by taking a premature Vicodin and waited for the detachment to feel just right before hunting down a duplicitous oncologist. He found his quarry in the radiology lab staring at a slide of a malignant melanoma as if he could frown it into remission.
“You are so busted,” he announced.
Wilson turned slowly, hands in the pockets of his lab coat; lips pressed together, eyes giving away nothing.
“Dr House, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Wilson nodded at the nurse who’d been staring at House as though she were memorizing his features for a call to Homeland Security and she scurried off. “Too late for The View, too early for GH.”
“Just in time for you to tell me why you’re sleeping with one of my staff.”
“I didn’t get the memo about that being on the agenda today.”
“I can’t believe you did that.” House was angry, but a certain amount of admiration was seeping through.
“I can’t believe you finally guessed,” Wilson parried.
“I’ve been distracted.”
“Yeah. You have. First there was Vogler and now it’s this thing with Stacy. I’m surprised you even noticed…” Wilson stopped for a second before breaking into a knowing grin. “You didn’t notice. Somebody told you. You could care less who I’m seeing. You’re just pissed that someone knew before you did.”
“Your endless stream of pretty faces is only of interest to yourself, your wife and your wife’s divorce lawyer. I’m pissed that you took advantage of her.”
“You take advantage of her every day.”
“She likes me to take advantage of her. I just don’t want my girl crying in her centrifuge when it doesn’t work out.”
“Because she can’t work when she’s been rejected? She must have taken a year off after what you did to her. If you didn’t want anyone to touch her, you should have shtupped her when you had the chance or at least pissed on her to mark your territory.”
“It’s not Cameron.” The Vicodin was abating, leaving only dull pain and clarity. “You’d never talk that way if you were actually sleeping with her. You’d be all gallant. Dr. Nice Guy. That’s what I get for making assumptions. Eliminate Cameron. Chase or Foreman.” The pain sharpened into one clear fact. Wilson married brunettes, but he always ended up screwing blondes.
House reached for a lab stool and managed to get off his feet just as the leg really started screaming. He covered the pain with a bad Ricky Ricardo imitation.
“Jimmy, you got some splainin’ to do.”
Wilson sat on the other stool looking less embarrassed than House would have expected. “Please don’t tell me you’re anti-…”
“I believe the technical term is ‘ex-Governor of New Jersey’. There’s no reason why half the world should be deprived of your charms just because they’re men. That would be gender discrimination. We’d all have to file a class-action lawsuit. I just want to know why of all the gin joints in the entire world you have to end up fucking the Aussie who, as you so charmingly put it, totally screwed me over. Chase betrayed me. Now you have, too.”
House hadn’t meant to say or feel so much. Shut up and walk away, he told himself.
Wilson smiled and shook his head.
“I’m not playing into this, Greg. You’re not Sonny Corinthos, so don’t start throwing the glassware or screaming betrayal. Technically, the only one I’m betraying is Julie and I’m the one who told you to fire Chase.”
“Knowing I wouldn’t. Sneaky bastard.”
“I may be a bastard, but I’m not sneaky.” Wilson shot back.
“I don’t know Jimmy. Carrying on with Chase under my nose? That seems to require a bit of subterfuge.”
“I didn’t tell you about my brother either.”
“Why do you even try to keep secrets from me.”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe it’s that word ‘private’ in the phrase ‘private life’.”
House could hear Wilson getting exasperated, which meant something like the truth would be coming out shortly.
“You know what I really am, Greg? I’m confused.”
“You’re confused? Color me perplexed.”
“I never meant for it happen.”
House used the cane to mime violin playing.
“You’re not the easiest guy to work for.”
“Poor little Wobbie came to cry on your manly shoulder about big, bad Dr. House?”
“Do you remember the last month Vogler was here?”
“I try not to,” House said quietly, holding the feelings at cane’s length.
“Yeah, well, some of us aren’t that lucky. After it was over, Chase was terrified and I was just shell-shocked. I’d had to face how much our friendship meant to me and how little it seemed to mean to you. I told Julie that I’d basically lost my job trying to save yours.”
House flinched from the crack in Wilson’s voice. As Julie moments went, that must have been a doozy, but it wasn’t his fault—or Wilson’s for that matter.
What had that gangster said to him? One by one I’ll take away all the things you love until there’s nothing left. That’s what Ed Vogler had tried to do. His job, his team, his friend, even his relationship with Cuddy had nearly been destroyed in the plague of fear and frustration and paranoia that Vogler had visited upon PPTH.
In a perfect world, everything would have returned to normal. Hadn’t they all guzzled cheap champagne and sung “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” until Cuddy showed up to spoil the party? Why would Wilson take that particular blond viper to his bosom?
“How long has this been going on?”
“It started the night Vogler was ousted. We went out to drink some more. Foreman was there for a while and then he wasn’t. Chase felt like shit.”
“He was taking care of himself the best way he knew how,” Wilson pointed out.
“Spare me his drunken mommy and withholding daddy issues.”
“He was scared and guilty and I was hurt and depressed. We got pretty blitzed.”
Wilson had never been able to hold his liquor. The man could get high on rubbing alcohol fumes.
“Don’t tell me. He blew you in the men’s room,” House said coldly.
“In my car, actually.” House found himself stunned into silence. “He tried to convince me he could drive, but he kept getting confused and trying to drive on the other side of the road. I managed to make him pull over before we became a ‘death on the highway’ statistic. He was crying and I was giggling and we just…”
House tapped the cane on the floor. He knew that everybody lied, whether they knew they were lying on not. Mark Warner had believed in his Paris honeymoon and Wilson clearly believed his little fairytale.
“I guess the drunken Aussie by the side of the road could happen to anybody once. But it’s still going on, isn’t it?”
Wilson couldn’t prevent a wicked smile from breaking out across his face.
“Greg, you need to know two things. This doesn’t affect us and it’s none of your business.” He stood and pick up a file. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to tell a forty-year-old mother of two that the St. Tropez Tan is going to kill her.”
“Let me know if she thanks you.” House reminded him, but he couldn’t resist one last shot. “Are you sure this isn’t just some weird Jewish/Catholic guilt thing?”
“You should look at his mouth sometime,” said Wilson, leaving House with a visual he did not want.
He overrode it with a montage of his own devising as he took the long way back to his office.
Who says I haven’t put the moves on Cameron…you’ve changed…this screwed-up friendship…you don’t need to know everything about everybody…why don’t you just fire him…that’s our Hitler…you had the perfect person…dreams, hopes and aspirations…condoms…I’m damaged…Hello, Stacy…Julie’s going to kill me. We’ve got company.
Wilson had been hurt, then stupid, and eventually deceitful, but when House called from a bar, he came running, regardless of Julie, company or other pressing matters. Wilson wanted to believe it didn’t affect their friendship. House would try to believe him because that’s what friends did.
They’d continue to terrorize PPTH like Sonny and Jason running the docks on General Hospital. He just hoped that Wilson wouldn’t turn into Tony Jones. He needed a henchdoc who could help him launch panty raids on Cuddy’s office, not a nice guy who would lose it when some tramp broke his heart.
He arrived at base camp to find Patti, LaVerne and Maxene in various postures of boredom. Patti, the blonde, was sitting on top of House’s desk, playing with his ball in a particularly insolent position.
House grabbed the ball and put on his best scowl. LaVerne, wearing a lace-front blouse, handed him a file. Given a choice between dealing with Dr. Teddy Bear’s case and thinking about Chase’s mouth, he picked the evil of two lessers.
“Nineteen-year-old female found passed out on a street corner in Trenton,” he read aloud. “Weighs 102 pounds, tox screen is positive for cocaine. Why, Dr. Cameron, I do believe you’ve brought us a crack whore. How very exciting. Shall we do a differential diagnosis on Cameron’s addiction to charity cases? Just because she’s pathetic and skinnier than you are does not entitle you to waste my time to get her three hots and a cot.”
The other sisters chimed in with a list of symptoms in lieu of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and they were off to the races.
Before the case was solved, Foreman had gotten into a fistfight with Caledonia’s pimp, Cameron had worked overtime trying to find a treatment facility that would take her, if she didn’t die first, and House had taken the opportunity to use at least ten different synonyms for prostitute, all while looking directly at Chase. “Kurveh” hadn’t gotten any response at all. Maybe they weren’t giving seminary students a good grounding in Yiddish. So much for that much-vaunted Jesuit training.
Spring blossomed and shriveled into a typically miserable New Jersey summer full of pollen and mosquitoes, with Cuddy’s summer attire the only redeeming feature. The hotter it got, the more House found himself staring at Chase. He hadn’t meant to mention Chase’s pretty mouth when dispatching him to the prison. It had sprung out fully formed wearing a fetching Freudian slip.
When House found out about Chase and Cameron’s meth-fueled encounter, he heaped on the expected derision but was inwardly relieved. Cameron and Chase together produced visions of two fucked-up adolescents acting out. Wilson and Chase felt like a 40’s noir with Chase as the femme fatale and Wilson as the chump who didn’t know he was a chump because the sex was so good. He didn’t like his friend being a chump, although he did wonder how Wilson would look in a fedora.
Wilson must have moved on to greener pastures, or at least back to the fields of Mrs. Wilson. House held a private celebration by easing off on Chase just a bit until Chase’s screw-up put him at the mercy of a tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood named Foreman.
After that he felt fully justified in treating Chase like crap. Chase took it, but the backdrop of cockiness remained no matter what scenery of obedience was placed in front of it. Chase had something on House that gave him strength, even if it was only “I screwed your best friend”. The situation started wearing on House’s nerves. It was one thing to abuse your staff for kicks or to make them better doctors. Harboring a burning hatred about some aspect of their sex lives was beneath him.
At least that aspect of Chase’s sex life was past tense, he thought, treating himself to a cold beer on a hot August night. House had gone for a ride on the bike seeking relief from the heat and his feverish thoughts about Stacy to not much avail. He sat down at the piano and found himself playing something he didn’t recognize. He banged out the chords over and over until he realized it was a Nirvana song. “Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be,” he sang to himself, wondering how else one could come. He’d never find out, because he didn’t know the rest of the song.
It took nearly an hour to prove that there was nothing on television. He took a bedtime Vicodin with the last of his beer and pretended he’d be able to get to sleep even though the heat was stronger than the air conditioner.
He only realized he was asleep when the phone woke him up.
“Yeah,” he managed to mutter when he finally picked up the receiver.
“Greg, is James there?” The voice on the phone was tear-choked.
“What is it, Julie?” he asked, knowing exactly what it was.
“We had a fight…”
House barely heard the rest, but managed to assimilate the highlights. Screaming. Accusations. Walking out. Wilson had not called or answered her calls. She was sorry. She just wanted to know if her husband was all right.
In the past, House and Julie’s entente had been less than cordial. Now he felt a stab of reluctant empathy. Months of taking Wilson at his word that nothing had changed while constantly looking for evidence otherwise seemed to have put him in Julie’s Kenneth Coles.
He convinced Julie that Wilson was not hiding out at Chez House and made soothing noises to assure her that James loved her and would come home. If I have to drag him there myself, he thought as he dressed. A tasty cocktail of anger and adrenaline coursed through his veins and he threw a little white pill on top for good measure before grabbing his jacket and keys.
He rode through the murky night air with that Nirvana song running through his head. He didn’t know what the song meant or why he felt he had the right to show up at Chase’s condo in the middle of the night prepared to read Wilson the riot act. He was so focused on Wilson that he had no plan of action when Chase opened his own door.
“What do you want?” asked a sleepy, surly Chase.
“Not here. Emergency at the hospital.”
Chase was wearing a bathrobe that was too big for him, the same brown terrycloth robe that House had seen every time Wilson and Julie played chicken with their respective lawyers, putting Wilson temporarily on House’s couch.
The bathrobe meant that Chase was more than another blond scalp on Wilson’s belt and that Cameron hadn’t been enough to end it. The realization must have shown on his face.
Chase’s smile said, “I’ve finally got you, you bastard. Payback for every slight, all the British jokes and the hours of pointless research. You may be the almighty Greg House, lord and master of Princeton-Plainsboro and able to flatten human emotions in a single bound, but I’ve got your best friend’s bathrobe over my naked body and I’m expecting him back in my bed any minute now, so fuck you!”
Maybe the smile wasn’t saying all that, but House heard it loud and clear. He gripped the cane tightly to keep himself from trying to wipe the smile off Chase’s face with a quick backhand or even a fist.
“You want to wait for him? Come on in,” said Chase smugly.
House quickly stepped inside and grabbed Chase by the shoulder as he was trying to turn around. The pale blue eyes showed fear, but the smile didn’t fade, so House obliterated it by smashing their mouths together violently. He found himself biting at Chase’s lips, hoping to draw blood and then shoving his tongue into Chase’s mouth wondering if he could actually choke the little bastard to death with the proverbial tongue down the throat.
Robert Chase was still enough of a good boy to brush his teeth before bedtime even if he had the habit of answering the door in nothing but another man’s bathrobe. The bathrobe gave way with a few tugs. House felt soft skin under his hands and a dizzying sensation of hatred mixed with lust. Both feelings intensified when he realized that Chase wasn’t struggling.
The soft mouth was opening up and accepting his beery tongue. Hands were clinging to the back of House’s neck. The naked body was pressing up against his rough jeans and leather jacket. He let himself relish the feeling of power until he noticed Chase’s insistent erection pushing against his leg.
He tried to push Chase away, breaking the kiss as harshly as he had started it.
“You don’t really want to do that, do you?” Chase taunted him. With one hand he assured himself that House had been aroused by the kiss and then started undoing the buttons of House’s jeans. “Admit it. You’ve been wanting to do this since you found out about me and Wilson.” He pulled down the pants and boxers and sank to his knees in front of House. House closed his eyes against the sight, but couldn’t turn off the erotic power of the words “on his knees” running through his mind. He leaned back against the door, wanting the experience but not wanting to admit it. That wasn’t Chase’s hand around his cock and it wasn’t a groan coming out of his mouth. “You’re bigger than Dr. Wilson.” Thanks, kid, flattery will get you everywhere. “He only lasted a few minutes that first night. Let’s see how you do.”
House felt the smooth fingers working their way up and down his shaft, caressing his balls. His legs were trembling. He tried to keep his weight against the door. Now Chase was lapping at him like a well trained but possibly wild dog. Through the jolts that Chase’s tongue was sending to his brain, he remembered something about Wilson’s version of events. He gasped as Chase’s tongue made a lewd foray upward.
“You.” He drew in a breath. “You weren’t drunk at all, were you?"
“’Course not,” said Chase, finally taking him all in as though House were the most delicious candy ever and he wanted to taste every bit of it. House had been sucked off by pros and technical virgins, but this was threatening to overwhelm the memory of other blowjobs. He knew it was the anger and the novelty and the fact that it was Chase that was spicing it up, but there was also the softness and talent of the mouth itself. He wondered if poor Robbie had been abused by those bad priests and found himself even more aroused by the idea. “Suck it, Robbie,” said Father Greg in his momentary fantasy. That’s hot. No, it’s disgusting. Yeah, but it’s hot, too.
He couldn’t stand up much longer and he certainly couldn’t hold out against that tongue. He was going to come in Chase’s mouth. The idea made him shiver. He forced his eyes open and found Chase watching him. Even while sucking cock, there was a smirk and a look of victory. If Chase made him come, he’d be the winner.
“No,” House groaned. He still had one hand on the cane and used it to push Chase backwards.
“The fuck?” Chase exclaimed.
House knew what he wanted and how to go about it. He balanced how much pain would be involved, his willingness to endure it, and the element of surprise.
Chase saw it happen, but clearly couldn’t believe that House would launch himself downward and land on him with his full weight until he actually found himself pinned beneath the larger man. House cursed with the pain of what he had just done and took his miscalculation out on Chase, making sure his victim hurt just as much as he did. Dr. Pretty Boy wouldn’t look so good the next day, he thought with grim satisfaction. There was a nice bruise on his cheek and ugly bite marks on his neck. Best of all, he’d be walking funny.
“Don’t,” Chase managed to plead as he realized what was happening.
House’s pain was like burning razor blades cutting into the right side of his body. He wasn’t sure he could finish this until he heard Chase beg. Suddenly the blood and pain had only one focus.
“Come on, Chase,” he grunted, wrestling the younger man into position. “We’ve had this date with each other from the beginning.”
“I hate you.”
“But you don’t hate this, do you?” he growled with the first thrust.
“Oh, god,” Chase moaned.
“You gave up on him, remember? No fair asking for help now. Might as well try and relax,” he taunted, pushing in deeper.
House stopped talking, stopped listening to Chase’s whimpers, and blanked his mind of everything but his cock pounding into Chase. Payback’s a bitch and Chase is mine. Chase would have to go to work in the morning with swollen lips and a bruised cheek and House would know he’d done it. The thought made him get even rougher, grunting from pain and pleasure and hearing something that might have been Chase calling out his name. He poured hatred and come into Chase at the same time. He didn’t let himself utter any words besides obscenities.
He held Chase down until he’d finished and the last note of release had played through his body. Then he pulled out and gingerly moved himself a few feet away from the scene of the crime.
He realized he was still wearing his motorcycle jacket and reached for the Vicodin bottle. The shape of the smooth plastic cylinder in his hand was almost as comforting as the pills themselves. He took two, wishing them Godspeed on their trip to his bloodstream.
“See, a normal person would have pulled up their pants first.”
“Priorities,” he muttered, opening his eyes to find Wilson taking stock of the situation: House on the floor, pants still around his ankles. Chase had retrieved the bathrobe and covered himself. He was huddled on the couch, looking a bit the worse for wear, eyeing House as though he were a rabid dog.
It reminded him of the time on GH when Jason walked in on Sonny and Carly right after they had sex for the first time. At least Chase couldn’t get pregnant and fall down a flight of stairs. Get a grip, he told himself. This is not a soap opera.
“How’s your medical emergency?”
“Stable. Which is more than I can say for you.”
House could feel the beginning of relief nibbling at the edges of the pain. He took a deep breath and reached down to pull up his pants.
“You should go home. Julie’s worried.”
“Are you OK?”
The question was not addressed to House, but he answered anyway.
“Either he says I raped him and you need to take him to the hospital or he admits he’s been using you to get to me all along and you go home to your wife.”
“Come on, House. Even your colossal ego has to give it a rest sometime.” Wilson’s voice rose in annoyance. “Robert, what the hell happened here?”
Chase didn’t respond immediately. For a second House thought he might have overplayed his hand. The lip and the cheek looked pretty bad. Chase could have had total victory with a well placed lie.
Brigid O’Shaughnessy had nothing on Robert Chase when it came to putting a throb in his voice. The accent only added to the effect. “I’m sorry, James. It just happened. He didn’t do anything to me that I didn’t want.”
Wilson sighed deeply, probably remembering his own version of “it just happened” and finally seeing the part of Chase he’d been ignoring. Which meant he had to take an unpleasant look at himself in the process.
It was painful for House to watch.
“Why?” Wilson asked no one in particular, except perhaps the heavens.
House wanted to get up, but he’d gotten too far from his cane and there was nothing close by to pull himself up with. He hated asking Wilson for help, but knew that giving it, even if he was furious at House, would make Wilson feel better. It was one of those “Wilson things” that House would never understand.
“A hand here?”
“You want me to help you?” He asked incredulously.
“Kylie over there’s looking a bit fragile.”
“Allow me to be the first person today to call you a bastard,” Wilson said while giving House the cane and enough support to pull himself up. It was ugly and painful and therefore in keeping with the whole night. He released House and gave him a sharp look. “I know what this is about,” he announced smugly.
“Oh boy. I can’t wait. Chase, take notes.”
“It was a clinical trial.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, Dr. Ferry. Love is not the drug.”
“Love? I didn’t even know that one was still in your vocabulary. You had to know if the sex was that good. You had to try it out.”
“Just because blondes are your drug of choice…”
“Or maybe it’s because you can’t have Stacy.”
That line of inquiry needed to be stopped immediately.
“Thanks for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts. Take your lifetime supply of Turtle Wax and go polish up your marriage.”
“Which you’ve always been so solicitous of in the past.” Wilson looked from House to Chase and back again, shaking his head. “I have to get out of here, away from…this…” he trailed off. “Away from you,” he said directly to House. “I still have some stuff upstairs.”
“Quit stalling. I’ll get whatever clothing and incriminating evidence you’ve left behind. That trollop,” he said, indicating Chase, “can go back to wearing his own damn bathrobe.”
He accompanied Wilson to the door.
“You just need to know that this doesn’t affect our friendship and it’s none of your business,” he recited.
“Next you’ll be telling that I’m going to end up thanking you.”
House watched Wilson drive away. A cooling breeze was finally blowing through Southern New Jersey. House took off his jacket as he walked back inside and planted himself on Chase’s overstuffed couch.
“You’ve lost him,” Chase asserted from his designated corner of the sofa.
House pretended to consider the possibility.
“I don’t think so. This is the big time, Robbie, and you have been playing way out of your league. You’ve got a long way to go in manipulation school before you can take down a real friendship. It was a good try though.”
“Is my life going to get any better?” he asked curtly.
“What happened to your wounded doe act? Oh, that’s right. Now you’re stuck with me. And if you mean am I going to treat you any differently at work because of this, the answer is no. That would be textbook sexual harassment and I don’t think the current hospital counsel can be trusted to put on the best defense in my behalf. On the other hand, I might feel friendlier if you got me a drink.”
“Not after two Vicodin,” Chase admonished, sounding almost like, what was that thing Chase did when he wasn’t being an emotional vulture?
“Dr. Chase. You’re worried about me. That’s sweet. Grow a pair of tits and you could be Cameron.”
“I don’t want you to go out there and wrap yourself around a tree.”
“Just because you’re not filling out a police report right now doesn’t make me Mr. Cuddles. ‘Don’t’ is fairly close to ‘no’”. It was as close as House could come to saying “I’m sorry” or admitting he might have a reason to be.
“You know what, House? I gave up on my father when I was ten and I gave up on you the first time I looked into those cold blue eyes.”
Cuddy should throw a bake sale and get the kid some therapy, stat. House considered contributing some homemade cookies because Chase was still looking at him with a mixture of affection and something that House didn’t want to see there ever again. The only way to stop it was to be as brutal with his words as he’d been with his body.
“I couldn’t be Cameron’s charity case and I can’t replace whoever screwed you up quite so badly.”
House got up and started toward the door with a grimace.
Chase momentarily looked like he might be sick, but managed to pull himself together. House wondered if there was anything else he should say, but knew that nothing would make things better and most of them would only make it worse.
There was nothing to do but get the hell out of there. He planned a detour past Wilson’s place to make sure James had gone home. House had increased his bastard credentials tenfold and Chase was mired in his own psychic torment, but the Wilson marriage would survive another day.
“Pack up Wilson’s things. I’ll get them from you tomorrow.”
“I’m still working for you?” Chase asked with mild surprise.
“If that’s what you call it. Unless garden-variety abuse isn’t good enough for you any more. You’ll need some lies to explain the bruises. You’re good at that, aren’t you?”
As he left, he could still feel where he’d fallen and the weight of what had happened. He started the engine so that the motor would drown out the grunt of pain it took to get his leg over the bike. They’d all be feeling tonight for a long time, he thought and suddenly remembered one more line from that damn song as he headed toward Wilson’s house.
As a friend, as a friend, as an old enemy.