A/N: Hey, look what I finally finished! This is the longest story I've ever actually completed, so I'm pretty darn proud of it. Many, many thanks to each and every person who reviewed and recommended (or even just stuck with me for so long!). You guys have done wonders and beyond for my motivation.
Also, I've been practising drawing portraits, so I have a little something extra for you faithful readers that have born with me to the bitter end (Yes, this is a different picture than the one I had up before. The other picture got lost in cyberspace, stupid LiveJournal, but I drew this for my cousin for Christmas. Really, it's a good thing, because this one's better, anyway.)
“How did you even manage to get
the security tapes?” Wilson asked as he opened the door to House’s office.
“What, I can’t have friends in high places?” House asked, leaning heavily on Wilson as they crossed the room to his desk.
“It’s the word ‘friends’ that throws me,” Wilson admitted as he lowered House into his desk chair. “You know, it would have been considerably easier for me to just bring your extra cane too you.”
“Yes, but this way I get to publicly remind everyone that you’re my bitch,” House pointed out smugly.
Wilson glared and chose to ignore the gibe. “Is this the file Xander gave you?” he asked instead, flipping through the manila folder House had dropped unceremoniously onto his desk.
“Full of all kinds of irrefutable proof that Angel is Joe Normal,” House answered.
“You mean full of falsified test results,” Wilson corrected.
“You make it sound so sordid,” House chided.
“Far be it from me to pass judgment,” Wilson said, rolling his eyes and handing the file back to House.
“Don’t you have dying women to comfort or something?” House asked as he leaned forward to snatch the folder.
“Or something,” Wilson agreed, turning to leave. “So… movie tonight?” he asked, pausing in the doorway.
House grinned. “I was thinking ‘Dracula’.”
House looked up from his video game to see an irate Cuddy, arms crossed under her breasts, standing in his doorway. “It’s possible,” he said, eyebrow arched dramatically. “I release a lot of people. Remind me again who you’re talking about?”
“The asystolic patient,” she reminded him irritably. “He’s gone?”
“Asystolic, asystolic…” House muttered as if deep in thought. Finally he shrugged and shook his head. “Nope, I got nothing.”
“Don’t give me that,” Cuddy snapped. “You know exactly what I’m talking about.”
House just smirked. “Yeah, but can you prove it?”
“House,” she demanded shortly.
“The only patient I’ve had lately was a guy with a penchant for playing in traffic and a touch of hypothermia,” House told her, not bothering to keep the amusement out of his voice. “Once he was conscious and warmed up, there was really no reason to keep him here.”
Cuddy blinked, taken aback by his casual dismissal of the perplexing case. “Dr. Abrahms said-“
“Dr. Abrahms is an idiot,” House interrupted.
“And the paramedics who couldn’t get a pulse from him?” she shot back. “They’re idiots too?”
House snorted. “Oh, come on. Third graders know how to find a pulse. Draw your own conclusions.”
“What about his test results?” Cuddy asked, exasperated.
House leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. “What about them?” he asked with a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders.
“They’re abnormal to the point of absurdity! The lab techs won’t shut up about them,” she said.
“Huh,” House said, feigning mild confusion and turning to look at the patient file that was conveniently still sitting on his desk. “That’s not what his records say.”
“Let me see those,” Cuddy ordered, grabbing the chart. “This can’t be right,” she said after flipping through the various papers. “His blood work is completely normal.”
“Well, gee, that’s just weird,” House said sarcastically. “Normal blood, who would have thought?”
“House, what’s going on here?” she asked, hands on her hips.
“I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you,” he responded, imitating her seriousness.
“If I hear one word about malpractice…” she threatened, brandishing the file.
“Something tells me that you’ll never hear another word from this guy,” House said mysteriously.
“You’d better hope I don’t,” she declared angrily. House gave her a knowing smirk and went back to his video game. When it became clear that House considered the conversation over and forgotten, Cuddy spun on her heel and stalked out of his office in a gesture of grudging defeat. House doubted that was the end of it, but she’d given up for the time being.
Once he could no longer hear the clack of her heels from the hallway, House put away his game and pulled a business card out of his pocket. He quickly dialed the number and sat back in his chair and crossed his ankles as he waited for an answer.
“International Council of Watchers, how may I direct your call?” a chipper, feminine voice greeted.
“Hello!” House greeted jovially. “A good buddy of mine told me I could call you folks for some information. I believe he said something about Junior Watchers?”
“I’ll connect you, please hold,” she said.
There was a soft click, and a new voice came on the line. “Um, hello? I mean, hello. What can I do for you?” The young man sounded very timid and uncertain.
House smiled broadly to himself. “Well, for starters, I was hoping you could give me some advice on what to do when you suspect your favorite hooker is a vampire…”
Judging by the flustered response from the other end, House suspected he’d found himself a new favorite pastime.