Author’s note: So, here’s one of the promised works, woohooo! My pack told me they aren’t familiar with the series, so it makes me even more excited to be able to introduce you to the astonishing world of House MD. :3 (Those of you who have never heard of the series: you might want to take a look at this video. I spent quite a bit of time with picking out the best that more or less sums up this complex series, and in the end, I settled on this one.) As for the picture, I’m not even the tiniest bit sorry ;) (I have a thing for uniforms and suits, seriously… if this is a disease then I’m incurably infected.)
don’t have to hurry now, because we don’t have a new patient at
the moment. Our last one was sent out of Princeton-Plainsboro safe
and sound two days ago, and since then, I haven’t seen my
boss’s—Gregory House’s—face. My colleagues have been busy
with minor jobs, so the privilege of being in charge instead of House
landed on me in the end; I have to take care of his
private hours to deal with people who come to see a doctor for an
illness as simple as a flu or a running nose. Of course, it was
inevitable that Cuddy grew suspicious after she found everything
perfectly documented and done in connection with that genius man’s
consultation hours—hence, after one of the controls, she entered
the room, only to find me sitting with the notepad overlapping my
thighs, papers in hand, faking House’s signature on each one of
then, I’ve been forbidden to take care of the people and do House’s
job instead of him, which is why my current task is to try to reach
him through his phone and pray him back into the hospital to do his
work properly instead of having me do it for him—but I know the
only way to coax him back is finding a new case, but it’s not as
easy as one might think; finding something that genuinely piques
House’s interest is like looking for a needle in a hayrick.
now, I’m standing at the nurses’ desk with a random person’s
file in hand, roaming over the lines idly just to kill the much time
on my hands with my phone plastered between my cheek and shoulder to
keep it in place, waiting for the dialling tone to end and hear House
speak on the other end of the line—which never seems to happen.
an exasperated breath, I place the document back into the folder
holder before deciding to head to the ER. I need to find something to
do, even if just a quick job, otherwise I’ll most likely go nuts by
the end of the day due to a fried brain. I adjust the white labcoat
and my ID card clipped to it, before picking up a stethoscope to hang
it in my neck. Upon entering the ER, I look around to see a
few nurses dealing with all the patients. Thankfully, upon scanning
the area, I notice Allison Cameron; without thinking, I approach her
in hopes she could help me, albeit she’s busy on her own.
Cameron,” I greet her. She doesn’t even look at me, being too
preoccupied with removing broken splinters of glass from a man’s
skin with a tweezer.
she replies, only with a quick glance cast at me with a small smile
in the corner of her mouth, then her blue gaze is already gone,
focused back on her patient, resuming her task at hand.
you have something for me?” I ask with just a touch too much
desperation in my tone. I find myself cracking my knuckles in
anticipation in the pockets of my gown.
is not back yet, is he?” She forms that as a question, but I have a
feeling she meant that to rather be a declaration. She knows House
like she knows the back of her hand—all those years she’s spent
working for the man, she’s gotten used to his erratic behaviour.
And he won’t pick his phone up either.”
he won’t do that unless he has a good reason to,” she points out
the obvious to me; that much I know, too.
do you have or don’t have?” I insist stubbornly. I can’t let
everyone just shake me off because it would be too inconvenient for
them to find a task for me. I’m an intern, that’s part of what
they are supposed to do for me. After a couple moments of
contemplation, Cameron offers, “A police officer was transited here
not ten minutes ago. Gunshot wound.”
do I find him?” I ask immediately. She points behind me with a mild
jerk of her chin, and I turn to see my new patient, but instead of
himself, I find myself looking at a pale turquoise curtain. I hastily
pick up every tool I’ll need to take care of the officer; I arrange
everything on a metal tray before taking off towards the cop. Tucking
the curtain away, I finally see him—laying on the bed, palms
covering his body where the bullet passed through his skin, wide eyes
now trained on me after his attention was attracted at me by the loud
be honest, when I was told that a member of the force was shot, I
expected anything but an arrest-worthily stunning man. I thought I
would find myself face to face with a tad obese man who consumes too
many doughnuts during the free periods in his shift, maybe in his
late forties, too—but instead of that, my patient is an attractive
man with firm tones and a sculpted body. When I glance down at his
chart where a nurse has previously written his data, I quickly
calculate in my mind that he’s twenty-six. Years before I joined
health-care, such a scenario had already been on my bucket list, but
I wouldn’t have dared to think it would come true once.
back into his eyes, a shiver runs down my spine when I notice how
much his gaze has changed—now it conveys anger and impatience, and
I would like to believe it’s not because of me, but because he was
shot and is now frustrated that he can’t do justice in town.
takes ten minutes to treat a cop on the ER?”
His voice stings me to the core, but I choose not to let his bitter
remark get to me—just because he has a bad day, doesn’t mean mine
has to be ruined, too. Instead of biting back something in response,
I jovially smile at him as I set the tray down beside the hospital
bed he’s occupying, after closing the curtain back behind me. The
loud smack of the rubber gloves sharply reverberate around us as I’m
putting them on.
imagine you don’t get to handle everything all at once, either,”
I can’t resist commenting, but there’s no actual heat behind it.
That seems to have the desired effect on him, though, because his
stiff posture softens, tension apparently seeping out of his frame. I
reach for a small cloud of cotton that I drench in the disinfectant
just moments later. I grab the piece with a tweezer, then move to
treat the abused area of the man’s skin. He pops the buttons on his
uniform without a word, opening the garment up and revealing his
naked upper body to me. It sways me a little, but I gain my strength
back quickly. “This may hurt a little,” I say gently, but I must
sound like I’m trailing off—and I probably am, because I’m
transforming into the detached doctor I’m supposed to be at the
tiniest hiss is what I get in return to my warning as soon as the
puffy material touches the wound. After I’m ready, I launch into
fishing out the bullet from his body—no operation is needed,
because it’s not in too deep, thanks to the bulletproof vest he
wore, but had taken off before I approached him—now it’s laying
on the chair stood next to his bed, long forgotten. The officer’s
torso is covered in blood, and the more ministrations I do, the
messier it gets, so from time to time I need to swipe him clean.
silence settled between us is just stretching and stretching, none of
us seems to have any intentions of breaking it anytime soon. Thus,
the sounds of the rest of the ER encompass us—the intermittently
ringing phones, the general hustle and bustle of people, patients and
nurses included, a voice calling Dr. Wright to head to the nurses’
desk through the speaker, and conversations that are muted to low
buzzing in our ears.
some reason, I feel tempted to ask him how he got shot, so after a
short consideration, I do just that. His answer throws me for a loop,
can you possibly
not know that?” I ask before I could stop myself and think
otherwise. My hand stopped over his wound without my consent, but the
bullet is out of him, and I only need to stitch him up now, so it’s
fine. He doesn’t take my question personally—more so, he seems
embarrassed about it. I instantly say it’s never mind, and go to
resume my work, getting ready the needle and the thread, when he
abruptly speaks up again. For some reason, it gives me the sense that
he feels like sharing right now; not just anything, but his darkest
secret, and he thinks I’m the perfect recipient of his honesty.
have no clue what happened. Suddenly I blacked out, then the next
thing I know is that I’m in an ambulance on my way to the
eyebrows knit together in confusion, but refrain from commenting
anything this time. I do ask him, “Did you black out after being
shot or before that?”
officer purses his lips into a thin line, apparently deep in thought
to give me a plausible response. He ends up answering, “I’m not
words barely leave his mouth when I’m muttering in a flurry, “Wait
a second, I need to make an important call,” pulling off the gloves
from my hands clumsily, while I’m already trying to reach for my
cell phone. I put distance between the man and me, phone already
plastered to my cheek and my other hand covering my free ear, find an
abandoned and remotely silent corner outside of the ER, then wait for
the dialling tone to stop before starting to talk.
“A loud whooping came from behind the corner of the stable, and Jamie stopped short, just in time to avoid Fergus, who shot out in front of us as though fired from a slingshot, hotly pursued by two stable-lads, both a good deal bigger. A dirty green streak of fresh manure down the side of the first boy’s face gave some clue as to the cause of the altercation.
With considerable presence of mind, Fergus doubled on his tracks, shot past his pursuers, and whizzed into the middle of the party, whence he took refuge behind the bulwark of Jamie’s kilted hips. Seeing their prey thus safely gone to earth, his pursuers glanced fearfully at the oncoming phalanx of courtiers and gowns, exchanged a look of decision, and, as one, turned and loped off.
Seeing them go, Fergus stuck his head out from behind my skirt and yelled something in gutter French that earned him a sharp cuff on the ear from Jamie.
“Off wi’ ye,” he said brusquely. “And for God’s sake, dinna be throwin’ horse apples at people bigger than you are. Now, go and keep out of trouble.” He followed up this advice with a healthy smack on the seat of the breeches that sent Fergus staggering off in the opposite direction to that taken by his erstwhile assailants.
I had been of two minds as to the wisdom of taking Fergus with us on this expedition, but Jamie had wanted to show the lad a bit of country, feeling that he’d earned a holiday. All well and good, except that Fergus, who had never been outside Paris in his life, had got the exhilaration of air, light, and beautiful huge animals right up his nose, and, demented with excitement, had been in constant trouble since our arrival.
“God knows what he’ll do next,” I said darkly, looking after Fergus’s retreating form. “Set one of the hayricks on fire, I expect.” Jamie was unperturbed at the suggestion. “He’ll be all right. All lads get into manure fights.”
A horse was coming toward us, up the narrow alley between the main stable and the long, open shed that held the forge. A Percheron colt, and a young one, no more than two or three, judging from the dappling of his hide. Even young Percherons are big, and the colt seemed huge, as he blundered to and fro at a slow trot, tail lashing from side to side. Plainly the colt was not yet broken to a saddle; the massive shoulders twitched in an effort to dislodge the small form that straddled his neck, both hands buried deep in the thick black mane.
“Bloody hell, it’s Fergus!” The ladies, disturbed by the shouting, had all gotten to their feet by now, and were peering interestedly at the sight. I didn’t realize that the men had joined us until one woman said, “But how dangerous it seems! Surely the boy will be injured if he falls!” “Well, if he doesna hurt himself falling off, I’ll attend to it directly, once I’ve got my hands on the wee bugger,” said a grim voice behind me. I turned to see Jamie peering over my head at the rapidly approaching horse.
“Should you get him off?” I asked. He shook his head. “No, let the horse take care of it.”
“As for Fergus, his legs were stretched nearly at right angles across the Percheron’s broad back; clearly the only hold he had on the horse was his death-grip on the mane. At that, he might have managed to slide down or at least tumble off unscathed, had the victims of the manure fight not completed their plan to exact a measure of revenge.
The effect was much like a bomb going off. There was an explosion of hay where Fergus had been, and the colt gave a panicked whinny, got its hindquarters under it, and took off like a Derby winner, heading straight for the little knot of courtiers, who scattered to the four winds, screeching like geese. Jamie had flung himself on me, pushing me out of the way and knocking me to the ground in the process. Now he rose off my supine form, cursing fluently in Gaelic. Without pausing to inquire after my welfare, he raced off in the direction taken by Fergus.
The horse was rearing and twisting, altogether spooked, churning forelegs keeping at bay a small gang of grooms and stable-lads, all of whom were rapidly losing their professional calm at the thought of one of the King’s valuable horses damaging itself before their eyes.
By some miracle of stubbornness or fear, Fergus was still in place, skinny legs flailing as he slithered and bounced on the heaving back. The grooms were all shouting at him to let go, but he ignored this advice, eyes squeezed tight shut as he clung to the two handfuls of horsehair like a lifeline.
I caught a glimpse of red tartan among the greenery, and then there was a flash of red as Jamie launched himself from the shelter of a tree. His body struck the colt a glancing blow and he tumbled to the ground in a flurry of plaid and bare legs that would have revealed to a discerning observer that this particular Scotsman wasn’t wearing anything under his kilt at the moment.
The party of courtiers rushed up as one, concentrating on the fallen Lord Broch Tuarach, as the grooms pursued the disappearing horse on the other side of the trees.
Jamie lay flat on his back under the beech trees, his face a dead greenish-white, both eyes and mouth wide open. Both arms were locked tight around Fergus, who clung to his chest like a leech. Jamie blinked at me as I dashed up to him, and made a faint effort at a smile. The faint wheezings from his open mouth deepened into a shallow panting, and I relaxed in relief; he’d only had his wind knocked out.
Finally realizing that he was no longer moving, Fergus raised a cautious head. Then he sat bolt upright on his employer’s stomach and said enthusiastically, “That was fun, milord! Can we do it again?”