Title: Perfect Strangers (Part 1/2)
Prompt: 025. Strangers (for housefic50)
Word Count: 1,657
Disclaimer: Nothing's mine. *le sob*
Oh, P.S.-My dad reads The Economist. That's why it's in there, LOL.
" December 24th, Nine PM
Eastern Standard Time
From here on in
I shoot without a script
See if anything comes of it
Instead of my old shit"
-Tune Up #1, RENT
Dr. Greg House did not like Christmas. Or airports. And the two of them together...well, let's just say he considered that the 5th circle of hell.
Normally, he wouldn't be doing anything special for Christmas. He and Wilson had a running tradition of ordering takeout and watching "The L-Word" on mute on Christmas Eve; if they weren't already having sex by that time.
But this year was different. His mother had called, telling him his Aunt Sarah was sick. She'd wheedled, pleaded, begged, and even threatened him over the phone, until he finally agreed to come.
"After all," she'd said. "This could very well be her last Christmas with us!" And House really had no good argument and so he'd agreed.
And now he was stuck here in O'Hare, where he shouldn't even have been to begin with, where he wouldn't have been, except that it was a hub for the airline, and he had gotten a better deal on connecting flights versus a direct flight. And so, he was stranded, on Christmas Eve, no less.
He sat in the lounge outside his now-cancelled flight's boarding gate, and watched the heavy snow swirling outside the airport's giant windows. He found a tiny measure of comfort in the fact that all flights were cancelled-coming and going. But that didn't get him to New Hampshire any faster.
He'd just gotten out his iPod, intending to listen to some music, when he heard someone walking toward him. He looked up to see who it was, but was not prepared for the sight that greeted him.
The man who stood in front of him had probably written Webster's definition of `gorgeous'-it was all House could do not to stare. He was about 6'3", with wavy gold-blonde hair, light blue eyes, and a generous mouth, that gave the impression he was used to smiling.
As if proving House right, he smiled and asked, "Is this seat taken?"
House shook his head, and watched as the man dropped his coat, bag, and scarf onto the floor, and sank gratefully into the chair. He closed his eyes, rubbing his hands over his face, as though trying to wake up.
"This is just bloody perfect" House heard him mutter. He raked his fingers through his hair, then started digging through his pockets. He pulled out a slim cell phone, flipped it open, and pushed a button.
"Hi, it's Robert" he said into the phone. "Listen, my flight out of O'Hare's been cancelled, there's a good chance I won't make it in for Christmas Day. But I'll get the next available one, and I'll see you all soon. Bye."
He flipped the phone shut, tucking it into the pocket of his jeans. Then he started rooting around in his bag, finally pulling out a magazine. House looked to see what it was, then let out a bark of laughter when he saw it was The Economist.
The man-Robert-looked over at him quizzically. "Something funny?"
House quickly stifled his laughter. "Nothing...you just don't seem like the type of person who reads The Economist."
Robert rolled his eyes. "Not to be rude, but I don't really see how it's any of your business."
House raised an eyebrow. The guy was upfront, almost blunt. But that was one of the qualities he admired in people. "I guess it's not. By the way, I'm Greg House, who are you?"
The blonde extended a hand. "Robert Chase. But you might as well call me Chase, everyone else does. I'm a doctor at the Mayo Clinic. What about you, what do you do?"
House ignored the hand. "I'm head of the Diagnostics department at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey."
Chase dropped his hand. "Sounds important."
"Yeah, well, a title's just that-a title. I'm not important, I don't sit on any boards, or anything like that. The only thing about me that stands out is my survival rate-96%."
Chase let out a low whistle. "That's a very impressive number, you should be proud."
House shrugged. "I work hard; do my best to keep my patients alive. It's a lot more brainstorming than most specialties, and a lot more sitting around and waiting. You're waiting to see if you got the diagnosis right, and hoping that the treatment cures them instead of killing them."
Chase nodded in comprehension. "I'm an intensivist. I did a rotation in the NICU. I discovered I really liked it. I work with a lot of the kids that come through for experimental treatments." He sighed, then tucked the magazine back into his bag. He stretched out his long frame-as much as he could in the small chair and then asked, "So, where'd you go to med school?"
"Hopkins. Down in Maryland. You?"
Chase chuckled quietly, darkly. "I almost didn't go at all. I was actually in the seminary...I quit. I couldn't handle it anymore."
House raised an eyebrow, interested in spite of himself. "Funny, I can't really see you in vestments, listening to confessions and giving communion."
Chase let out another bitter laugh. "Believe me, you are not the first one to say that about me. My father said it, my stepmother said it. Hell, most of my instructors at the seminary did too. Eventually...I saw that they were right. So I left." He lapsed into silence, staring at his shoes.
"And you went into medicine because...?" House prompted after a few moments.
"My father's a rheumatologist, you've probably heard of him. Dr. Rowan Chase?"
House let out a low whistle. "Yeah, I've heard of him. I've read a few articles he's published, too. It must've been hard, following in those footsteps."
Chase snorted, running his fingers through his hair again. 'Damn, he has pretty hair' House thought.
"Yeah, it was a little difficult. I went to Dartmouth, his alma mater. People there, especially professors, kept calling me `Rowan's son' or `Chase the Younger', inane names like that. At first, it was the most irritating thing on the planet. But after awhile, I learned it was easier just to ignore it, than to give any kind of reaction, positive or negative. After awhile...people just let it drop." He shrugged carelessly.
The loudspeaker overhead crackled to life. "Ladies and gentlemen, we regret to announce that all flights have been cancelled. The earliest we will be able to take off is 10 A.M. tomorrow. We apologize for the inconvenience, and wish you all Happy Holidays."
House groaned, sliding down a little further in his chair. Chase looked over at him, smiled, shook his head, and got up from his chair. "Come on" he said to the older man. "I'll buy you a drink. God knows we could both use one."
"Why, Mr. Chase, are you hitting on me?" House said in mock surprise.
Chase smiled, and it was almost...predatory. House shivered a little. That smile looked much too good on him. "And if I am?"
House matched his predatory smile, eyes boring into Chase's. "Well, then, I say..." He took a step or two closer to Chase, so that there was only about two inches of space between their faces. Dropping his voice to a whisper, he continued, "Bring it on."
Now it was Chase's turn to shiver. Then, without thinking, he closed the space between them, capturing House's lips with his own. Yes, they may have just met...but his instinct was positively screaming at him to make the most of this while he could.
And he tended to trust his instincts.
House's spine stiffened-for all of half a second. Then he leaned into the kiss, probing at Chase's lips gently with his tongue. They opened immediately, and House swept his tongue inside.
Chase moaned softly, clutching at House's jacket, both to pull him closer, and to keep himself upright. Damn, Greg could kiss!
They broke apart when a loud "A-HEM!" was heard behind them. They turned to find an elderly man glaring at them like they were a pair of murderers. Then he turned and shuffled away, muttering something about "unnatural" and "immoral" and other things they couldn't hear and probably didn't want to.
Chase grinned. "He's just jealous because he probably hasn't had any action in 20 years."
House laughed out loud. "Probably. And I believe you promised me a drink, so, shall we?" he asked, comically offering Chase his arm.
Chase laughed too, and took his arm. "We shall."
End Part 1
A/N: Ladies and gentlemen, I finally have an idea to use for my first full-blown sex fic! I usually avoid writing full-on sex (because I have a BAD habit of giggling madly while I try), but I'm gonna bite the bullet and do it. So that'll be Part 2, keep your eyes peeled! I wrote the ending in a hurry, so forgive me if it isn't perfect, but I just needed to finish something. See y'all in Part 2!
Your tour guide through insanity,
Liz a.k.a. bluegemeyes, a.k.a. its_never_lupus
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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.