House of a Different Color
House let out a frustrated sigh and threw the medical journal he was reading down on the nightstand. There's no way I should be here, he thought as he sat on his cold, hard bed in the rehab clinic. The whole Tritter thing had gotten completely out of hand, and the only thing House could think of that might get him out of this mess was to check into the multi-million dollar facility that was only one floor above his own office at PPTH. He was bored, but he was always bored. The only difference now was that he didn't have any patients to diagnose, and he didn't have his Vicodin
Vicodin. The cause of, and solution to, pretty much all of his problems. He was miserable with his pills and even more miserable without them. Detoxing was not an enjoyable experience, and he was more than ready to get out of this damn place. Buprenorphine, the medication the clinic provided to ween him off of his opioid of choice, was making him sick, quite literally. He had never puked so much in his life.
Voldemort, the surly orderly that brought House his pills, knocked on his open door. "Medication time," he said. House sat up straight in anticipation. His leg had been throbbing all morning, and any relief from the pain would be most welcome.
"Why, thank you, Sunshine. I was looking forward to my afternoon vomit, and these subbies will definitely do the trick," said House, who took the little paper cup off of the tray, popped the pills into his mouth and chased them down with a glass full of water. Voldemort smirked and left the room, leaving House alone again. Wilson had stopped by that morning before clinic duty, but nobody else had bothered to visit. With nothing to do and nobody to talk to, House decided to get a little shuteye before group therapy later that afternoon. He put his head on his pillow and closed his eyes, waiting for sleep to take him.
* * *
He had barely been asleep for five minutes when a voice woke him up. He squinted as he opened his eyes, the fluorescent lights from the hallway carving through the blackness of his room. A woman was standing by the door, the light from the hallway casting her face into shadow, but he could see that she had a smoking body. He sat up to take her in more clearly.
Suddenly, a bright light filled the room. He was momentarily blinded, but as his eyes adjusted to the change in light, House began to recognize who was standing in his doorway.
"Cameron?" he asked. "What are you doing here?" It was indeed Cameron standing in his doorway. She was dressed in a bright pink, skin-tight mini dress that left absolutely nothing to the imagination. The bodice was so tight that House thought her breasts might pop out at any minute. The shock of seeing her there dressed like that must have shown on his face, because Cameron chuckled. He recovered enough to say, "And what the hell are you wearing?"
"I am Allison, the Good Witch of the Midwest. I am here to tell you that there is a way to escape the evil clutches a rehab. If you listen to my instructions, you will be able to free yourself from this place." She walked into the room and House noticed that she was wearing a sparkling tiara and was holding a wand.
"Okay. This has to be a dream. The real Cameron would never wear a get up like that." He paused as he reconsidered his statement. "Well, maybe in my fantasies, but she's always wearing a lab coat over it." Cameron smiled again, and House stood up. He went to grab his cane, but it wasn't there. "Have you seen my cane? I left it right here beside the bed but it's not there anymore."
Cameron shook her head. "Where you're going you won't be needing it," she said mysteriously. "I have something better, something that will help you on your journey." She waved her wand and suddenly a new cane was lying on House's bed. It was red with sparkles all the way down to the bottom.
"No, no, no. There's absolutely no way I'm using a fruity cane like that." House stepped away from the bed as if doing so would make the ruby cane disappear. But it didn't.
"House, you must use this cane on your journey. It's the only thing that can get you home," said Cameron, picking up the cane and handing it to him. He reluctantly took it.
"So where am I going on this journey, because I can only walk so far with my bum leg."
"You must travel the hallways of PPTH and find the all-powerful Dean of the Hospital. She and she alone can help you get home." Cameron backed towards the door. "But beware The Wicked Head Nurse of the Clinic. She will do everything in her power to stop you from reaching your destination. Go now, House. And good luck on your journey." She disappeared around the corner.
This is one messed up dream, though House as he walked into the hallway and left the rehab clinic behind.
* * *
House exited the elevator when it reached the fourth floor, heading in the direction of his office. He was really confused. All the hallways that were usually bustling with nurses, doctors, patients and loved ones, were now completely empty. He shrugged and kept walking, wondering what crazy thing was going to happen next.
He entered the Diagnostics office and saw Chase sitting in his usual chair by the door. He had the newspaper in his hand and was trying in vain to complete a crossword puzzle. He looked up when he saw House enter. "Man, I'm an idiot. I can't even do a damn crossword puzzle." He sighed loudly in frustration and threw the newspaper to the ground. "If I only had a brain," he finished.
House chuckled. "God, Chase. You're just figuring this out now? Everyone has known for years that you were an idiot, but the fact that you know it now too is pretty...insane." House walked over to the coffee maker and poured himself a cup.
"Where are you heading?" asked Chase.
"I'm on a quest to see the all-powerful Dean of the Hospital. She's going to help me escape rehab," replied House, taking a sip of his coffee. He grimaced. "Maybe I'll ask her for a decent cup of coffee too."
Chase jumped up enthusiastically. "You're going to see the Dean of the Hospital?" he cried, his voice filled with childlike hope. "Can I come too? Maybe she can give me a brain!"
"No, no, no. No way. It's bad enough that I have to limp around the hospital with this damn thing," he motioned to the ruby cane. Chase's face fell dramatically, and tears started to well up in his eyes. "Okay, fine," House relented. "But you have to walk five feet behind me. I don't need to be seen with a moron like you." He put down his coffee and headed to the door. He motioned for Chase to leave first. "After you, Scarecrow."
* * *
Brenda, the Wicked Head Nurse of the Clinic, sat at her desk in the nurses station, glaring into her crystal ball. She watched as House left the diagnostics office with Chase in tow, and she slammed her hands down on the desk in rage. House had promised that he would finish rehab and get off the Vicodin for good, but it looked like Cameron had caved and was helping House escape. She pressed the button on her intercom. "Get over here," she barked into the speaker.
The door to exam one opened. Nurse Katie scurried in and stopped at the foot of Brenda's desk and averted her eyes. "How may I serve you?"
Brenda smiled an evil smile. "House has escaped rehab and is trying to leave the hospital. Take your army of nurses and do whatever you can to stop him. But you'll have to think smart. House isn't a dummy." She waved her hand, telling Brenda to leave her, which she did right away. She glanced back into the crystal ball and saw House heading towards the lab. "I'll get you, my pretty. And your little cane too."
* * *
House tentatively entered the lab, followed closely by Chase. He stopped suddenly and Chase walked into him. "Ow," said House. "Watch were you're going."
"Sorry," said Chase. "Since I don't have a brain, my depth perception is pretty lousy."
"That's not the only part of you that's lousy," replied House as he looked around the room. As the rounded the shelves of chemicals and test tubes, House spotted Foreman, sitting at a stool by a microscope. He was completely frozen.
"Now what do we do?" asked Chase. "I can't think of anything that might help."
"Don't hurt yourself by thinking too hard, Chase," replied House. Chase scowled, but House ignored him, grabbing Foreman's wrist and checking his pulse. "He's ice cold, which actually isn't such a surprise. Pass me the heating blankets. And a thermometer. We need to raise his temperature." Chase did as he was told and brought House the supplies. He wrapped the blanket around Foreman's shoulders and placed the thermometer in his mouth. After a few moments, Foreman began to move his hands and feet, then his head from side to side. He opened his eyes and looked at House, who took the thermometer out of his mouth and looked at the read out. "98.6. Back to normal. Can you speak, Foreman?"
"Yeah. Thanks." Foreman stood up and took the blanket off of his shoulders. "I was just sitting here running some tests and my whole body seized up. I was thinking about how everyone thinks I'm a cold bastard," Foreman sighed and slumped his shoulders. "If I only had a heart."
"Oh, God. Not you too. First Chase, now you. I suspect you'll want to come with us to see the all-powerful Dean of the Hospital?" asked House.
Foreman sprang up from his chair with and enthusiastic smile. "You're going to see the Dean? Maybe she can give me a heart!"
"And me a brain!" exclaimed Chase.
"And me a stiff drink," said House to himself. "Come on, you morons. Let's get this show on the road." He grabbed his ruby cane and limped out of the lab, heading to Oncology.
* * *
"He's found another traveling companion, has he?" shrieked Brenda as she glared into her crystal ball once more. "He isn't going to get much farther. Nurse Katie!" she bellowed. Katie ran up to the desk, again averting her eyes. "How are the plans to stop House and his pitiful posse of pathetic pantywaists coming along?" she asked.
"We will put our plan into action as soon as he reaches the lobby," said Katie, her voice shaking in fear. "He shall be tempted beyond his wildest dreams and will not make it to see the Dean."
"Excellent, Katie. You have done well. Now leave me," replied Brenda. Katie did as she was ordered and scurried away. "I will stop you from finishing your quest, House, if it's the last thing I do."
* * *
"Okay. This story is getting pretty familiar. I've met one guy who wants a brain, and one guy who wants a heart. Now all we need is the cowardly lion and we've got the whole Oz team!" Said House as the group entered the Oncology department. "And we still haven't met the trees who throw apples. I always loved that part." They walked up to Wilson's office door and entered.
At first glance the room was empty. House strode in and looked around, and finally spotted a pair of feet sticking out from under the desk. "Wilson, for God's sake, get out here. I don't have time for this crap."
Wilson's head popped up from under the desk. "Sorry, I thought you were Cuddy."
"The Dean?" asked Chase with interest.
Wilson nodded. "I really like her. She's beautiful and smart, but I'm too scared to ask her out." He hung his head in shame. "If I only had the nerve." House lowered his head and shook it in disbelief. This was getting ridiculous.
"We're going to see the all-powerful Dean," said House in an annoyed, monotonous voice.
"The Dean? Hey! Maybe she'll give me a date!" exclaimed Wilson.
"And me a heart!" exclaimed Foreman.
"And me a heart! Um, I mean, brain!" exclaimed Chase. The other three looked at him strangely. "What?" asked Chase.
"We're losing him. We better get to the Dean soon before Chase's head explodes and ruins my tee-shirt," said House, and he headed to the door. The others followed him to the elevator.
* * *
In the elevator, House gathered them around. "Alright. We're coming up to the lobby, and after that is the clinic. Cameron told me at the beginning of this little trip to beware the Wicked Head Nurse of the Clinic. We need to stick together if we're going to make it to the Dean's office. Keep your eyes peeled." The elevator doors opened and the four of them stepped into the lobby. House's jaw dropped as he took in the sight before him.
The lobby was filled with millions and millions of Vicodin. Mounds of pills sat on the floor, on the reception desk, on the chairs in the waiting area. House couldn't even walk without stepping on tons of pills. "This is amazing! The most beautiful thing I've ever seen!" said House, who was completely awed.
Wilson and Foreman looked at each other. "Uh oh," they said in unison.
"What?" asked Chase, dumbfounded. Wilson and Foreman shook their heads at him. "What!?"
House started moving further into the lobby, taking deep breaths as if he could smell the sweet scent of the Vicodin. He bent down to pick up a pill, but Wilson swatted it out of his hand before it reached House's mouth. "What the hell are you doing?" shouted House in frustration.
"I'm saving you. You're trying to get out of rehab. Why would you throw that all away?" asked Wilson.
"Because they're yummy," replied House. "And because my leg hurts."
"But you'll be sent back to rehab! You'll have come all this way for nothing!" exclaimed Wilson. "We're almost there. We just have to get into the clinic, then the all-powerful Dean's office is right there."
House looked at Wilson, then to the pill in his hand. Then back to Wilson, then back to the pill in his hand. He pouted, but threw the pill to the ground. "Fine. Let's go," he said, and he led the way into the clinic.
* * *
They four travelers entered the clinic. It was quiet. Too quiet. Usually it was so loud in there you couldn't even hear yourself say 'you've got an STD', but now there was no sound, except for the rhythmic thud of House's ruby cane on the tiled floor. "This isn't right," said House. The whole situation made him uneasy. "Cameron told me to beware the Wicked Head Nurse of the Clinic. We're in the clinic, but there's nobody here."
"Oh yes, there is." A voice to their right made them all spin around, Chase hiding behind Foreman. Brenda stepped out of exam one. "You made it past my lobby of temptation. I applaud you, House. You have more will power than I thought."
"You mean, Wilson had more will power," said Wilson to himself.
"We've made it, Brenda. You can't stop me now," said House. "The Dean's office is right through those doors. It's too late." He started to walk towards the office doors, but a guard of Nurses appeared out of exam two to block the way. They were armed with scalpels and syringes. "This is just great," said House.
"Yes it is," cackled Brenda. "And I'm only getting started." She brought her thumb and finger to her mouth and let out a loud whistle. Suddenly, the room started filling with people. They were coming in from every door, shouting louder and louder. House had to plug his ears to stop the sound.
"Oh no! Clinic Patients!" yelled Foreman.
"What do we do?" yelled Chase.
"We have to diagnose them!" yelled House. The four doctors began yelling at the patients, grouping ones with similar symptoms together. "You three!" yelled House. "You have stuffy noses and coughs. It's a cold. Go home!" The three patients nodded and disappeared.
"You five there. You all have STDs," yelled Wilson. They nodded and disappeared.
"This is easier than I thought it would be," yelled Foreman. They continued diagnosing the patients until they were all gone, leaving House,Chase, Foreman and Wilson breathing heavily.
Brenda was livid. "How dare you foil my brilliant plan! You shouldn't have been able to do that so easily!"
"You forget, my dear Brenda, that I am one of the best Diagnosticians in the country," replied House. "Chase and Foreman, go get some surgical tape and tie up those nurses. Wilson and I will deal with Brenda." They went to work, and soon all the nurses were tied to each other and sitting in the middle of the nurses station.
House turned and looked at the door to the Dean's office. "Here we go, guys," he said as he pushed the door open and entered Cuddy's office.
* * *
The blinds were shut and the room was dark when they entered, Chase still cowering behind Foreman. House stepped up to the desk and looked around, then looked back at Wilson who shrugged in confusion. "I guess she's out getting 'donations'," said House.
Suddenly, a burst of green light shone up from behind the desk, illuminating the face of the Dean. "Kneel before the all-powerful Dean of the Hospital," said the face. Wilson, Chase and Foreman all knelt immediately behind House, but he stayed standing. The Dean's face contorted with rage. "I said kneel!" she demanded.
"Well, usually I would kneel, but I've got this bum leg, you see, and it hurts like hell," replied House. "Plus, I don't want to get my pants dirty." He kept speaking, even though the Dean was obviously livid. "We're here because we'd like a couple of favors. Chase here, who's as dumb as a bag of reflex hammers, would like a brain. Foreman, who is a manipulative son of a b1tch would like a heart. Wilson wants to go out on a date with you. And most importantly, I'd like to go home. I'm so done with rehab."
"You come here, disrespect me, and still ask for favors?" Cuddy spat. "What makes you think I'll give in so easily?"
"Um, maybe because you always do? It's your M.O. Give in to House." He knew he was pushing his luck, but it had never let him down before. Especially not with Cuddy.
She considered him for a moment. "Okay. I'll help you. But only to get you off my back."
House smirked and half-turned to Wilson. "What did I tell you? Total pushover," he said out of the corner of his mouth.
Cuddy clapped her hands. Chase immediately pulled out his half-finished crossword and finished it. "I can't believe I couldn't finish this before! Thank you, all-powerful Dean!"
Foreman put his hand to his chest. "I can feel it beating! Thank you, all-powerful Dean!"
Wilson got up and walked around the desk, took Cuddy into his arms and gave her a long, passionate kiss. When he pulled away he said, "Will you go on a date with me?" Cuddy nodded. "Thank you, all-powerful Dean!" and he dipped her low and kissed her again.
"Hey! What about me?" asked House.
Wilson let Cuddy come up for air. "All you have to do is bounce your ruby cane on the floor three times and say, 'There's no place like home'."
"Original," replied House. "Oh well, here it goes." He bounced his cane on the floor three times and said, "There's no place like home. There's not place like home..."
* * *
"House," said Cameron. He didn't wake up, so she said it again. "House. Wake up."
House stirred and his eyes fluttered open. "What the hell are you doing here? I don't remember inviting you over to my house. And where's that skimpy dress you were wearing earlier? That was totally hot."
Cameron looked confused. "House, we're not at your house, we're in your room at the rehab clinic. And I've been wearing this suit all day."
House sat upright in bed, rubbing his still sleepy eyes. "Excuse me? What about the whole, 'I'll help you get out of rehab' junk?"
"Are you alright? Did you take something strange? We're you hallucinating?" She put the back of her hand to his forehead, checking his temperature. "You don't seem warm. Did you have a weird dream?" Cameron continued to fuss over House, and he let her, only to get her away from him faster.
"It must have been a dream. You were there, and Chase and Foreman and Wilson and Cuddy were there," said House. "I guess I'm doomed to stay in this damn place forever."
"Or until you get clean," replied Cameron.
"Right. Get clean." As he spoke, House looked past Cameron into the hallway just in time to see Voldemort smirk as he passed by the open door.
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Legal Disclaimer: The authors published here make no claims on the ownership of Dr. Gregory House and the other fictional residents of Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital. Like the television show House (and quite possibly Dr. Wilson's pocket protector), they are the property of NBC/Universal, David Shore and undoubtedly other individuals of whom I am only peripherally aware. The fan fiction authors published here receive no monetary benefit from their work and intend no copyright infringement nor slight to the actual owners. We love the characters and we love the show, otherwise we wouldn't be here.