“Today I'm just going to have a salad. I decided to live healthy,” House said loudly to the waiter behind the counter in the hospital canteen. Dr. Wilson rolled his eyes. He knew that under the whole heap of cabbage, lettuce and other vegetables, steak with French fries was hiding, but having just a salad is cheaper than just buying the steak with French fries. But he didn't say anything, so the waiter unconsciously wanted price just for salad. Excellent, another House's victory over the system! Wilson shook his head in disbelief, paying his own steak.
“You could at least sometimes don't cheat, don't manipulate people and not be...” he whispered to his friend as they headed for one of the free tables.
“What, don't be House?” House finished. “Hmmm, I don't think so. That would bore you,” was his answer.
House and Wilson sat down at table next to window, and House began to separate the vegetables from the other food to get to the steak. Wilson watched him with tension and didn't touch his food.
“What?” growled House and stuffed a piece of steak into his mouth.
“I'm watching you,” Wilson replied.
“Yeah, I noticed. Always when you have this expression on your face, I did something, something you think is unimaginable and insane. Usually I know what it is and I try to deny it and lie, but this time I don't know what it is. So you could tell me so we could fall into the natural order of things,” House urged his friend.
“But I think you know very well what this is about this time,” Wilson said. “You have taken the patient into your care...”
“Wow, seriously?! This is against hospital rules, you and Cuddy should throw me away immediately,” House laughed sarcastically.
“From a diagnostic point of view, not an interesting case,” Wilson signaled the whole mystery, and House's face brightened in understanding.
“Clearly from a diagnostic point of view not very interesting, but who claims there are only diagnostic mysteries?” House said.
“A boy with a gunshot wound, ankle rupture and a two-rib fracture and a lot of scars and minor injuries… You haven't mysterious disease but the patient.”
“Exactly,” House nodded. “By the way, who are going to lose their jobs? Which of the three was it? Who told you that? I told them clearly to keep quiet.”
“Did you tell them not to tell anyone, not to Cuddy?!” he ignored House's question.
“House! What the hell did you think?! It's very clear that the kid is involved in something unlawful. I understand you didn't tell me, but Cuddy! It's her hospital. She should know what risk is when this kid is here,” Wilson was upset.
“Exactly that he's involved in something dangerous, and it's better for no one to know about him. The less people knew about him, the less likely, that information will get to the wrong ears and those who go after him, attack the hospital,” House tried to explain the situation.
“People who go after him... They will attack the hospital!” Wilson repeated with shock. “Jesus! House, who are they, that you count that still someone comes for him and you order tests for all drugs and poisons?! You risk not only your life but also the lives of people in the whole hospital, just because of your puzzle, that is crazy even for you!”
“Yeah, I'm a terrible psychopath if I want to save someone for once as a doctor,” he grinned, and Wilson exploded.
“No, no, no, nooooo!” Wilson shook his head and raised hand with his raised forefinger in so much known gesture, the mothers who talk to the naughty child. Don't try to pretend that you are a kind person, because damn you are not,” he wanted to continue his lecture, but then he froze with a mouth ridiculously open to the letter "O" and his hand still raised. “… if I want to save someone for once as a doctor…” he finally croaked.
“Today you gonna repeat everything what I say? Because if so, our lunch will be much longer,” House said flippantly. However, Wilson didn't react to it.
“All the time you're trying to convince me that you care about him, because that patient is mysterious, but if it really was, you wouldn't be here with me, but you would already be looking for who it is, where you live, what state, city street, you could break in, go to school or work. You would trying to break into a government or police database. You would want his medical records and contact his relatives because even if people lie, they usually don't agree with one version, and the more they lie, the more you can see the truth.”
“This is not exactly a description of how it works,” House pointed out.
“You don't interest about that boy. That sentence...” Wilson returned to the sentence, which he had repeated after House. House raised a questioning eyebrow. “The sentence should sound a lot of irony, but you know, whatever you try to do, it doesn't sound it when it's really true. You don't interesting about diagnosis, not even for a mysterious patient. You're heal him, because you want to heal him. You want to help him,” Wilson said.
“So your conclusion is that I'm helping him because I just want help,” House said. “As I said, I am definitely kind person and you just don't want to believe me. He is a poor wounded boy who knocked me on the door with this request for help. What I would be, if I didn't take him under my protective,” House smiled, throwing innocent puppy gaze on his friend/colleague.
“Yes, my conclusion is that you help him because you want... because you know him.” For a moment, the House was only looking at Wilson with that expression, which that none of his colleagues, friends or patients liked. It was a look, when he didn't look at you, but into you. Wilson shook nervously. Now House was about to get up and walk away with his brilliant idea, but that didn't happen. When House finally answered, Wilson winced in alarm.
“I help him because I can’t refuse him. I owe it to him,” he finally admitted silently, and Wilson thought that House owed him too, but he did not say anything. He had enough reason to judge Hous's tone, what he was talking about, and how Hous's blue eyes slid somewhere down to his shoes, that the debt would be far greater than the sum of all his debts to him. He had good sense to judge Hous's tone, what he was talking about, and how Hous's blue eyes slid somewhere down to his shoes, that the debt would be far greater than the sum of all what debts to Wilson.
“OK, good,” Wilson nodded. “You know each other, so you don't call relatives, you don't break into his house and you don't care what he does and what happened to him...” No, House wouldn't be stop to distort anyone in private, although he knows the kid. On the contrary, that would be another reason. Plus, now the kid was his patient so that he could heal him well, he had another reason. Wilson thought. Damn, even to him House don't give a moment of peace and he thinks he is his best friend, the only one whom House has. “Because you know all of that?!” he finally came to a conclusion.
“Don't be an idiot, even a husband with a wife, a parent and son, or friends, barely know anything about themselves. Of course, that I don't know,” House said. “I just know that I don't want to know it.”
The answer surprised Wilson. He couldn't believe his ears. House doesn't want to know something? Wilson couldn't do anything. He just sat in his chair and stared shocked at his friend whom he thought he had known almost his entire life. However, now he wasn't sure if someone had replaced him and that man who is sitting in front of him is really House.
“Will you still be the fries? If not…” the intruder asked suddenly and stared at French fries on Wilson's plate. He licked his lips.
“Sure, you can just take it,” Wilson waved his hand and House took his plates.
Dr. Cameron lost her voice. Now when she could see the patient, that strange Houses behavior, and why he decided to take this boy into his care, it seemed clearer. He was still young. He could be a maximum of twenty-one years old. The truth, by law he is already adult, but who is adult in 21? Who feels and behavior in that age as an adult? Well, no one should say anything, but there was basically a child on the hospital bed. Yes surely, she married, when she was even younger than him, and saw her husband die. She worked at the hospital under House, she saw dying even younger people, but this was a bit different.
The young man, as House said, was shot, had ankle distortion and broken two ribs, but as she could see when she looked at him, such an injury in his life was nothing new. His body was covered with a series of bruises, scratches, flayed skin, and a myriad of scars of different shapes but also old age. Cameron didn't have to be an expert, not even a doctor, to realize that he was exposed to an outrageous tyranny, and that they were torturing him. Several times!
The patient seemed to be sleeping peacefully, but under the eyelids were visible movement and he was breathing heavily. He dreamed and his eyebrows were tightly pulled together. From that, the doctor could have estimated that, the dream wasn't pleasant. She wouldn't be surprised if the young man suffered from nightmares. With a sigh she came to him, motherly she stroked his face and she ruffled his blond, now washed, fine hair. The boy was smirking for a moment, as if he weren't sleeping, and he was grateful for the manifest sympathy and tenderness, what Dr. Cameron provided to him.
“Whether you have done any wrongdoing or getting involved in anything… No one have had the right to such terrible brutality that you have been exposed to. I don't know what obsessed House, that he has decided to heal you, but whatever it was, I am glad for it. I just don't understand why he wants to keep you hidden in front of Cuddy and the whole hospital. Does he know anything more than we? Or is it one of his usual foolishness? You know, it's a pretty crazy guy, but he's a great doctor. Our whole team is good. Don't worry, we'll heal you. It'll be fine again, everything will be fine. You're safe now. Now I'm taking pattern of your blood for tests. We need to make sure that the list of your injuries is final and that no one tried to poison you,” the doctor informed him, as if he was awake. The young man didn't respond, so Dr. Cameron returned to work.
Dr. Chase tapped with a nail at the glass table top. Dr. Foreman, at the head of the table next to him, watched him with interest of a good zoologist. He counted, how many times for minute Dr. Chase makes this move, and he was interested if Chase's tempo is accelerating, slowing down or staying constant this minute. Which has led to many more interesting questions, namely: What would it mean if his tempo was changed? Is he bored or nervous, and why is he nervous about what?
While Dr. Chase and Dr. Foreman was playing this children's game, Dr. Cameron was sitting at the computer on the other side of the room and writing the email, which, she hoped, it will help children in Somalia.
The glass door to the room opened and theirs boss finally walked inside. He held the stick in one hand and in the other the blue folder, which he threw on the table in the footer, right in front of Chas's face. Chase flinched, which earned House's pleased smile.
“Patient, one shot on his side, fatigue, collapse probably from a large loss of blood. Ankle distortion and possibly fracture of several bones, brain quiver and suspicion of some drugs or poisons. Stabilize him, treat wounds, do a complete blood analysis. I want tests to see if he has something in him and if so, what. Find out if he has any injuries yet, if he has no internal bleeding, and then give him vicodin and if vicodin doesn't work, give him morphine,” he shouted at his team and limped to the coffee maker as if nothing. But no one moved from the team. They sat and stared at him in surprise. House noticed that and after a while he with considerable irritation turned to them.
“Didn't you hear me?!” he barked at them.
“Yes, but...” Dr. Cameron began.
“So what are you doing here? Should I make a written request?!” he spat on her, and his team finally got up, shocked by House's behavior, but none dare to protest or say anything, so they headed for the door. “Hey, wait,” House growled. “Cuddy doesn't have to know that, as much like the rest of the hospital. The fewer people the better. If he gets up, don't ask him to anything. Everyone lies, especially those who have bullet in their hips.”
The doctors nodded and quickly disappeared.
The sun was shining and no clouds were in the sky. It was a beautiful day and there was a brisk rush on the corner of Baker Street, just like any other day. Cars drive back and forth. People were hurrying to work or school, and none of them almost seemed to have time to help, or even to notice a blonde young man who was screaming with a crowd. Why also? He didn't look strange except that, he had no shoes, he was pale as the wall, he had black shadows under his eyes, blond hair glued with clay and blood, he was holding his right hip, and he limped on one leg. Probably everyone had a lot of work to do or they said: “Another junkie in the neighborhood.”
But the young man didn't even expect that somebody could help him. Somebody could hardly, but there was one man... Finally! He hobbled to the house number 221B and squeezed the old bell on a pretty clean and nice wall. He waited. It took a good five minutes for the oak door to open and he could look into the cool blue eyes of the homeowner. The young man smiled faintly, whispered something, and then collapsed directly to the surprised blue-eyed man.
The house owner managed to catch the young man, but he himself swayed and his stick fell to the floor. He vulgarly cursed. The blue-eyed man laid the young man cautiously on the ground and checked the pulse. Thank God the young man “just fainted”. Apparently out of too much blood loss.
The older man sighed loudly and pulled mobile phone out his black jeans. “One ambulance car at the corner of Baker Street number 221B. He is shot on the right side, unconscious perhaps because of the lack of blood, but it is likely to be far more. Take him to the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital to the diagnostic department of Dr. Gregory House,” he ordered and put the phone back in his pocket.