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House summed up succinctly when his team convened in his office to report back on the day’s results: “Persistent nausea and abdominal pain, now with headache and seizure, no response to the Cipro, and all other tests negative. Looks like our famous patient didn’t come to us with one of them famous tropical diseases after all.”

“The elevated white count suggests infection, and there are still plenty of possibilities that we haven’t ruled out,” Foreman said. “Leptospirosis often presents with symptoms very similar to those of malaria or dengue.”

“Leptospirosis wouldn’t explain the seizure,” Chase countered.

House cocked his head. “Maybe not, but that could have been caused by the Cipro. What else?”

“Typhus?” Masters suggested.

“Fever isn’t that high, and we haven’t seen any rash,” House said, sounding bored.

“No, we haven’t,” Taub confirmed sardonically.

“Indonesia is also one of the most serious endemic areas of cysticercosis in the world,” Chase pointed out.

“Dr. Brennan says she’s a vegetarian,” Masters piped up.

House only stared at her over the rims of his reading glasses. “Cysticercosis is caused by a tapeworm found in pork,” she elaborated, apparently mistaking his silence for lack of comprehension. Chase and Foreman exchanged eloquent glances.

“Everybody lies,” Foreman translated impatiently with a shrug. “I’ll go run the blood tests.”

“Hold on,” House said. “If the cysts have matured, they won’t be immunoreactive anymore.”

“MRI?” Masters suggested, eager to redeem herself.

“MRI wouldn’t reveal any difference in density between the cysts and the white matter,” Foreman explained. “But an enhanced CT will show us areas of inflammation once we’ve killed the parasites.”

“So we treat now and confirm when she gets better,” House said. “If the ELISA for leptospirosis comes back positive, switch her to IV penicillin. If not, take her off the broad spectrum antibiotics and add albendazole and corticosteroids to the anti-convulsants.” He turned back to his computer screen. “And let me know when the patient is ready to be discharged; Wilson wants her autograph.”

“Oh, sure, Wilson wants her autograph,” Taub muttered under his breath as the Diagnostics team departed.

***

God,” Wilson gasped, rolling away from Sam and looking dazedly up at the ceiling, “that was incredible.”

“You weren’t so bad yourself,” she sighed, snuggling up to him.

“I can’t believe how well we still work together. It’s like the years in between didn’t even exist.”

“Sometimes you need a little distance from something to appreciate it. In our case, I think that twenty years may have been overkill, but…”

Wilson chuckled. “It’s not just the time. We’re more mature now. We’ve changed.”

“Do you really believe that?”

“Of course,” he said. “If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have asked you to give me another chance.”

“Have you told Greg yet?” Sam asked, affectionately trailing her finger down his chest.

“Not yet,” Wilson admitted.

The pause was so momentary that he thought he might have imagined it. “Having second thoughts?” Sam asked, with what sounded suspiciously like forced casualness.

“What? No, of course- no. I just… don’t want him to flip out.”

“Your friendship seems to have survived at least a couple of marriages,” Sam observed dryly.

“Yes. But look- he’s fragile right now. This thing with Cuddy-“

James. I could understand pussyfooting around him when he first got out of rehab. But he’s been doing well, you said it yourself. And maybe this is the best time to tell him. He has Lisa, he’s happy-“

Yeah,” he said with a short, skeptical laugh. “We’ll how long that lasts.”

***

“Oh, god,” House groaned at the sight of the hardcover on her bedside table. “Not you too.” He picked it up and hefted it experimentally, noting that it held no bookmark but fell open naturally to a certain spot.

“No one asked you to read it,” Cuddy retorted, trying unsuccessfully to snatch it away from him.

“Wilson did,” he answered absently, skimming over the page, his eyebrows rising in spite of himself.

“I don’t think that particular maneuver would work on Wilson,” Cuddy smirked.

“Smartass,” House growled, making a grab for his favorite portion of her anatomy. In the ensuing tussle, neither noticed when the book fell to the floor.

***

Camille Saroyan wasn’t sure what she had expected to find when she arrived at the Jeffersonian Institute early the next morning, but it certainly had not been the sight of her facial reconstruction specialist hard at work in her office instead of in New Jersey.

“Angela! We didn’t expect to see you back here so soon. Has Dr. Brennan been discharged?”

“No, actually.” The other woman took a deep breath, then let it out and tried to smile. “She’s still pretty sick, and they’re not sure what’s wrong with her.”

“Then what are you doing here?”

“We… thought it would be better if we came back and concentrated on identifying the murder weapon.”

Dr. Saroyan was surprised. “Angela, I know Dr. Brennan appreciates a good work ethic, but it’s a cold case. A few days’ delay is not going to make a big difference.”

“I know.” Angela twisted her hands together. “But… please just trust me when I tell you that this is where I should be right now.”

Cam compressed her lips. “After all you’ve been through together? I never thought I’d see the day.”

“Cam, don’t do this,” Angela sighed.

“Is there something else going on that I should know about?”

“That you should know about? No.”

“Fine,” Cam said coldly. “I have a meeting with Ms. Julian in ten minutes, but I should be back in my office by nine if you find any leads.”

***

“Nothin’ could be finer than to be in Carolina in the mornin’…”

It was going to be another good day.

“How’s our patient?” House asked, tossing a communal carton of donut holes onto the conference table. Foreman raised his eyebrows at the unusually generous gesture but forbore to comment.

“The tests for leptospirosis came back negative,” Taub supplied.

“I just checked on Dr. Brennan,” Chase announced, entering on House’s heels, still dressed in his clothes from the previous day. “Persistent fever, headache, nausea, and abdominal pain, and I was called in at 3 a.m. for a second seizure.” He slumped into his seat, dark gold hair greasy, and rubbed his reddened eyes. “The albendazole isn’t working.”

“Let’s not be premature,” House began. Chase quelled him with a long-suffering look. “Okay, let’s assume just for a second that you’re actually right and we need another diagnosis. What are the alternatives?”

“Lymphatic filariasis,” Taub suggested. “It’s endemic to Indonesia and would explain the aches and fever.”

“But not the nausea and seizures,” Foreman said, shaking his head. “Besides, the albendazole should have been effective against that, too.”

“Nausea and seizures could have been caused by the Cipro,” Taub retorted.

“Yeah,” House jeered, “she blew chunks in Wilson's office in anticipation of receiving the antibiotics. Thank you for playing.”

“I still think it could just be the stomach flu,” Foreman said. “Explains the fever, nausea, and abdominal pain, and the fever could have triggered the seizures.”

“Fever hasn’t been that high, and this patient has no history of seizures,” Chase countered, sounding cranky.

“I haven’t heard any better ideas from you,” Foreman said shortly.

“Chikungunya,” Chase suggested.

“Oh, come on.” House sounded exasperated. “Now you’re just making stuff up.”

“Chikungunya is a genuine disease,” Masters explained eagerly. “It’s caused by an alphavirus that’s carried by Aedes albopictus as well as aegypti and…” she trailed off as she became aware of House’s barely veiled amusement. “You already knew that, didn’t you?”

“He just meant that there’s no petechial rash, and the pain is muscular, not arthralgic,” Taub interpreted. “Maybe we’ve missed something. No offense, Chase, but it might not hurt to examine Dr. Brennan again.”

“Not trusting me to do a simple physical exam, no, why would that offend me?” Chase sneered, propping his aching head on his hand.

“I’ll come with,” House said unexpectedly. “It’s time I met our patient.” Taub glanced up, surprised, but obediently trotted along at his heels and into the hall.

Chase gave the other two a meaningful glance that was spoiled by a huge yawn. “More coffee,” he muttered, and dragged himself out of his seat to go make some.

“Maybe you’d be less tired if you curtailed your recreational activities a little,” Foreman suggested snidely.

“I was on call,” Chase protested.

Booty call,” Masters said under her breath, with a sidelong glance at Foreman.

***

Wilson was in Brennan’s room, clutching a copy of her latest book and apparently in the middle of an amicable conversation with the patient and her partner. Not bothering to introduce himself, House brushed past Wilson, limped over to the bed, bent over Brennan to inhale intently, and then pulled the covers back to get a good look at her legs.

Booth was on his feet and at her side more quickly than House would have expected from a man of his size. “Hey, hey! What do you think you’re doing? You a doctor?”

“Booth, it’s all right,” Brennan tried to reassure him.

“He’s not wearing a white coat, Bones,” he muttered out of the corner of his mouth, keeping his eyes locked on House’s as if daring the other man to try any sudden moves.

House merely looked Booth over, obviously making a series of mental notes. “Nice socks,” he deadpanned.

Wilson gestured towards House with a resigned expression. “Dr. Brennan, this is-“

“Dr. House, I know,” Brennan interrupted. She waved a hand weakly but confidently at House’s face and cane. “Your facial hair and staff and the deference exhibited by Dr. Taub are signifiers of your status as the senior leader of your tribe.”

Senior - how old do you think I am?” House demanded.

“I didn’t mean to offend you. You seem to be in surprisingly good condition for a man of your age and habits.”

Wilson was finding it difficult to keep a straight face. House said, “I guess I should be grateful you aren’t suggesting that I carry this cane to compensate for other… shortcomings.”

“Oh, I would never say that,” Brennan protested. “I hate psychology. Besides, I don’t have any reason to believe that your penis is in any way inadequate. It’s quite possible that you are as well-endowed physically as you are mentally.” She looked over at Wilson as if for confirmation.

“Gotta go!” House said, beating a hasty retreat back down the hall.

“He can be a little shy,” Wilson said blandly.

“He does seem somewhat socially awkward,” Brennan agreed. Startled, Booth caught Wilson’s eye, both men struggling valiantly not to smile.

***

“Our patient wants to jump my bones,” House announced as he limped back into the conference room, dragging Taub along in his wake.

“If by ‘jump your bones’ you mean that she’s waiting for you to die so that she can get her hands on your skeleton and examine it for physical markers of your leg injury and drug use, I concur,” Taub smirked, lifting his lab coat as he took a seat.

“And if you piss off that partner of hers, she may not have that long to wait,” Chase added with a barely suppressed shudder.

“Oh, did the big bad man make you shriek like a little girl? He’s a teddy bear,” House replied dismissively.

“A teddy bear, sure. Have you seen his gun?”

“Too much information there, Chase. Besides, I’m already taken,” House said smugly.

Read Chapter Three: Not Dating

 

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
aud_woman_in
Nov. 4th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC)
Oh, I would never say that,” Brennan protested. “I hate psychology. Besides, I don’t have any reason to believe that your penis is in any way inadequate. It’s quite possible that you are as well-endowed physically as you are mentally.” She looked over at Wilson as if for confirmation.


Bwa! You have the rhythms of speech and vocabularies of each character down so perfectly!
flywoman
Nov. 4th, 2010 10:56 am (UTC)
Thank you! That was one of my favorite scenes in the whole piece. These characters have such well-defined voices on their respective shows that I often heard them speaking in my head and only had to sit down to record them.
bmax67
Nov. 4th, 2010 12:50 pm (UTC)
Even though I don't watch Bones, I'm enjoying this story. You've got House's voice down perfectly.
Great job!
flywoman
Nov. 4th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
It was my goal to write a crossover casefic that would still attract House viewers who were not familiar with Bones, so I'm very glad to hear that you're enjoying it! And House (and Brennan, although you'll have to trust me on this one) have such distinctive voices that they are really fun to write.
jiraiyasgirl
Nov. 8th, 2010 08:52 am (UTC)
OMG...I was cracking up up! That meeting between House & Bones was priceless!!!
flywoman
Nov. 8th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you - that scene was a lot of fun to write!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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