Title: Waiting for Your Return with Bells on Figuratively and Maybe Even Literally
Fandom: House M.D.
Rating: PG – 13 for swear word
Summary: Chase's inner monologue with House while waiting for his return
Disclaimer: Mr. David Shore, Mr. Bryan Singer and FOX Brodcasting Company, you guys already own House, Wilson, Cuddy, Cameron, Chase and Foreman. Isn't that enough? Do you have to sue me for borrowing them for a little while? If you decide to sue, then you are just plain old meanies who will get nothing from me since I'm poor. If not, then I love you guys forever. Well not so much FOX since they cancelled Kitchen Confidential. But I do love you for giving us House.
It has been almost eight weeks since you have been discharged from the hospital to recover from your wounds and start rehab. We have seen neither hide nor hair from you since then for you have opted to do your rehab in a small private center close to your home instead of here in the hospital.
Cuddy had advised against it, arguing that the hospital is well equipped with all the machines you need and is staffed with the right people to help you with your recovery. You, however, cited the great probability that your rehabilitation sessions will be constantly be interrupted by your annoying and nosy staff, especially the one named Cameron.
Cuddy had, of course, seen right through your excuse. She knew that the real reason you didn’t want to have your rehab in the hospital was because you didn’t want anybody, but the people close to you, see you go through this. You didn’t want other people to see you struggle and be vulnerable. You are a proud man and to have someone, whom you don’t know or trust, to see you in such a state is unacceptable to you. The only way you can ever go through rehab and still hold your head up high at work is if you are sure that these two aspects of your life will remain separate from each other as much as they can. So she agreed and you were wheeled out of here like you couldn’t get away fast enough.
Given that, none of us knew how you truly were except for Wilson and Cuddy. They were the only ones who were able to visit you since you insisted that the three of us not do the same unless we want to be assigned to do one month of your clinic duty when you get back. I did, however, catch a few glimpses of you across the street from your apartment.
It was about three weeks since you were discharged. We didn’t handle any particularly hard cases in your absence and the truth was that the lack of activity, endless clinic duty and gaping chasm your presence left in our midst had gone and driven me mad. Mad enough to think about you. Mad enough to worry how you were. Mad enough to miss you. Mad enough to do something about it.
I must admit that my impromptu visit was just that, an impromptu. This is why I couldn’t quite explain, even to myself, why my car was filled with items that could be used to spy on you from about hundred feet. I don’t remember buying a pair of binoculars, a bowler hat or a big seventies style aviator glasses in the recent days nor do I remember letting anybody in my car who would own and leave such items. But since they were already there, I made use of them as I saw fit which is to use them as a disguise as I watched you get out of a taxi, after one of your therapy sessions, with Wilson trailing behind you like the trusty sidekick that he is.
Seeing you walking, talking and looking very much like your old regular self had washed a great sense of relief unto me. I had never admitted it to anyone but I had always viewed you as someone who is indestructible. Ironic considering you walk around with a cane. Truth is, the cane actually adds to this view of mine. The cane had come to symbolize your stubbornness not to be kept down by anything. And seeing you shot that day, seeing you go down like a rag doll, it rattled me. For the first time I actually saw you as someone mortal. You were man not a god. Just like my mother. Just like my father.
You would think that skulking around your neighborhood in bad fashion would make me feel like a stalker. But it only made me feel like what I always feel when I observe families in parks or happy couples in restaurants. I felt like the little match girl on Christmas Eve, looking through windows and watching the people within the homes share in the comfort and company of loved ones and friends while she remained outside in the cold. I watched Wilson help usher you into your apartment building and felt envious. You’re a jerk at best and a right bastard at worst but you still manage to have people who would go down to the mat for you. I, on the other, had tried to please everybody around me and still ended up thousands of miles away from home in a strange city, where I still feel pretty much like a foreigner despite having lived here for more than three years, with no family and surrounded by people who can only really be called acquaintances rather than friends. If I were only allowed to learn one thing from you, I choose to learn how to make other people love me despite my faults and flaws like you have.
Speaking of Wilson, he said that you may be coming back to work any day now. I keep that in mind as I open my closet to select the clothes I’ll be wearing for the day. I try to decide if I should wear the vest with the geometric shapes over a white shirt or if I should wear my new polka-dot shirt with my yellow tie. I’m sure you’ll find both ensembles garish and ridiculous which is the reason why I am considering them. You see, when Wilson let loose that particular piece of news, Cameron had immediately begun to brainstorm on what’s the best way to welcome you back. She settled on getting you a cake. Foreman said that saying ‘Welcome back’ would suffice. Personally I think that the best way to welcome you back would be to act as normally as possible. I know that that’s what you would want. And what’s more normal than you insulting me in my choice of attire.