Thicker Than Water, Chapter Eleven
Author's Note: I do not own House, I wish I did, but them's the breaks.
Foreman shook his head as he injected an isotope into the IV. House had paged him to go to radiology, and he went there expecting to find a patient whose head CT he needed to look over. Instead, he found Chase wearing a hospital gown with an IV in his arm.
"Why are you doing this?" he asked as he discarded the syringe that had had the isotope in it.
Chase sighed, closing his eyes as he lay on the cold, hard table in the radiology room.
"Can we just get this over with?" he asked. He was already starting to get a metallic taste in his mouth from the injection.
"Not until you tell me why you're doing this in the first place," Foreman insisted.
"I already told House why."
He left it at that, feeling he shouldn't have to keep justifying himself and his actions at every turn. Foreman, however, didn't move a muscle. Apparently, the answer hadn't been good enough for him.
"I just don't want her to die," he added.
"Yeah, right," Foreman scoffed. "Since when are you the noble one?"
"Look," Chase spat, opening his eyes and turning his head to look at Foreman, "you didn't see him when she found out she was going to die."
"And since when do you care about House's feelings?"
Normally, Chase wouldn't feel any need to rationalize his decisions, but Foreman wasn't the type of person to accept 'no reason' as a reason and - unlike House - he couldn't run away from him and the conversation easily.
"When I found out my dad died," he began with a sigh, turning his head to stare at the ceiling, "I was floored. I was angry, because he never told me he was dying, but I was also grieved."
"I thought you hated him."
"He was my dad. No matter how I felt about him, he was still family. Just like House and Rachel. He might not have had anything to do with her for the past twenty years, but she's still his daughter and he loves her, whether he wants to admit it or not."
"So let me get this straight," Foreman said. "You're going to give one of your kidneys to House's daughter because you're upset about your dad dying?"
"I didn't get a chance to make amends with my dad. He died before I could try to get to know him again. I don't want House to have to suffer the same way."
"What did you do, switch brains with Cameron?" Foreman asked. He decided not to push the issue any more and made his way into the control room to start the scan.
"Hold still," his voice came over the speaker in the room. Chase nodded once, then closed his eyes as the machine started to slowly move over him.
Rachel changed the channel on the television in her room to the Food Network, thinking that a cooking show would be better than any of the stupid talk shows and soap operas that were on the most of the afternoon. She knew she was trying to fool herself into believing that things were going to be okay, that she was just a normal girl, sick in the hospital.
Each day since her arrival she felt weaker, more tired than the day before. Simply brushing her hair left her completely out of breath. But she wasn't about to give her father the satisfaction of admitting he was right and starting on the dialysis treatments. She still felt the treatments were more trouble than they were worth.
She didn't want to admit that she really was afraid she was going to die. James had visited her again and told her that she was on the waiting list for a new kidney, but Cuddy had denied bumping her up the list so she would get one sooner. Rachel had just smiled at him and assured him that she was okay with whatever happened to her - which was a lie. She didn't want to die. She didn't fear death, but that didn't make the prospect of dying any more attractive to her.
Her train of thought was interrupted by the soft sound of the glass door being pushed open. She turned her attention from Paula Deen to her father as he closed the door behind him.
"What is it?" she asked, her voice sounding weak even to her.
"Your mom's in my office crying her eyes out right now," he told her as he walked to the side of her bed and sat down.
"What the hell did you do to her?" she demanded, turning angry.
"I simply told her that hat she's the wrong blood type to be a donor for you."
House watched her carefully as the news sunk in. She closed her eyes, sighing deeply as her shoulders slumped in defeat. Her breathing became slightly ragged, and he wondered if she might give in and agree to dialysis until a donor could be found.
"So I guess this is it," she whispered, and he couldn't help but smile at her unrelenting stubbornness.
Rachel opened her eyes and looked at him questioningly. "Don't tell me you're going to try to force me into a treatment I have already told you time and again I don't want."
House shook his head. "It's not that." She continued to look at him, expectantly, and he debated whether or not he really wanted to sell his soul to the devil known as Chase.
"Despite your mother not being a match, you're still getting a transplant," he informed her. "I've come to get you prepped for the surgery."
"Wait... James told me Cuddy refused to bump me up the list. How did I get a new kidney so fast?"
"It's a funny story, actually," House told her, settling into his chair. "There was this guy in the clinic this morning - really annoying - and I happened to notice his blood type was the same as yours so I killed him. Figured I could use him to save you and a few others, as well."
Rachel stared at him, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Okay, fine," House sighed over-dramatically. "You win. I held a bake sale to raise funds and bought you one off the black market."
"Can't you, for once in your life, just give me a serious answer?" she asked him, trying to be stern but sounding more tired than anything else.
"Someone is donating one."
"That much is obvious. What I want to know is who."
"I can't tell you that."
"Why? Patient-doctor confidentiality? What does it matter, they're dead."
"No, they're not," he corrected her.
"You found a live donor?" House nodded once in reply. "And it's not Mom?" He shook his head. "Then who?"
"Why can't you tell me?" she pleaded. "Whoever this person is, they're saving my life. I'd at least like to thank them."
"I'll make sure they know you're grateful."
"I'd rather do it myself," Rachel insisted.
"The donor wishes to remain anonymous," he told her.
"Can you at least tell me how you found this person?"
House considered her question for a minute, then decided that it wouldn't hurt the confidentiality oath he had made with Chase if he gave Rachel a little of the information she wanted.
"I'm pretty well-known in this hospital, you know."
"Well-known for being an ass," she clarified.
"Yes," he agreed. "And when you came here it became a hot topic for discussion among the various staff. One of them heard of your plight and was kind enough to get tested. They were a match, and offered to be your donor, on one condition."
"That they could remain anonymous to me," she finished.
"But, surely, at least some of the other staff members will know who this person is. After all, there's the transplant team, your team, Cuddy... I'm sure I can get someone to tell me who it is."
House shook his head. "Nope. This person has full confidentiality rights. If anyone tells you who it is, they'll be subjected to disciplinary action."
"Since when do you give a crap about a patient's confidentiality rights?" she asked him. "I hear you have Foreman break into the house of every other patient you take on."
"Who told you that?"
"Who do you think told me that?"
House scoffed. "Of course. What else has Wilson told you?"
"Nothing relevant to this discussion."
"But he has told you other things about me."
She shrugged. "I wanted to know what sort of man my father was, so he told me."
House looked down at the floor as he started tapping his cane, his mind going over all the dirty little secrets Wilson may or may not have told her about him. He wondered if everything he had said to her made her like him more or less as a person, then wondered why the hell he even cared what she thought.
"You're not going to tell me who it is, are you?" she asked, breaking the silence.
Rachel sighed in defeat. "Fine. Schedule the surgery."
Please post a comment on this story.
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 Fox Television, 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.