amber_v: How daaaaaaaaare you (suspicious)
amber_v ([personal profile] amber_v) wrote in [community profile] alwaysright2009-11-08 03:23 pm

31 October 2007 - Morning

Shrill blares pierced Amber’s mind, tearing her from absolute unconsciousness. At first she didn’t even know what to make of it, what the fuck it could be, and what the fuck she herself was to be bothered by it. Instinctively she threw an arm out, fumbling, finding by sound only. Her hand wrapped around an object, squeezed it; by pure habit her thumb pressed down on the snooze button, and once the noise was gone, she retracted, coiling her arm into her chest, curling into herself.

It was impossible to ignore what was out of her, though. Sunlight insisted its way through the curtains, through her eyelids. Amber groaned, covering her arm with her eyes. Why. Her head hurt. Her eyelids felt huge, her mouth, foul. She ached everywhere, shoulders, back, thighs, ass-- even her vagina was sore. Like she’d overexerted herself.

Or, Amber realized, feeling the heat near her, like she’d overdone the fucking. Pieces came back to her: the crying (oh, god, the crying, why, no wonder her head throbbed), the “baby,” letting Eric—- she flushed. Was surprised by another wave, soft, almost undetectable, of pleasure, as if she were still riding the aftershocks. Amber groaned, covering her face. Sat up, closing her thighs together. Inside, she could feel the memory of his shape, even if she hadn’t been very aware of much at the time.

It was light, too light for when she should be waking up on a weekday. Why? Amber opened her eyes blearily, glanced at the clock. Seven. The time she’d set it for, on Sunday, the last time she’d set her alarm. She hadn’t come home last night, fucking, again, Eric, in his own apartment. “Fuck,” she said, and sprang out of bed, fully alert, trained from years of being on call. “Eric, wake up,” she called out, heading for the bathroom. “I set the alarm too late, we've got no time.” They’d have just about enough time to clean up, get dressed, and maybe grab food to eat on the way. Why did this keep happening? Amber normally woke up well, not brain-dead, spent her morning before work relaxed. It seemed that she always woke up confused, after fucking him. She left the bathroom door open; they wouldn’t have time for separate showers.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - thoughtful (amused)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-08 06:36 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman had already been half-awake before the alarm went off. He'd gotten a full night's sleep, and his dreams had gradually faded out as he became aware that he was lying next to Amber, that she'd barely rolled away from him in the night, and that he was vaguely achy from sleeping so deeply that he hadn't moved much in the night. He was too warm and comfortable to get up, but perfectly alert, when Amber slapped the alarm off and called his name.

He opened his eyes, blinking after her long enough to watch her head to the bathroom. The time--yeah, they'd be cutting it close, but he wasn't hampered like Amber was, washing and drying her hair and doing her makeup. He had a few minutes longer.

Sitting up, Foreman swung a his feet over the side of the bed, rubbing his eyes clear of sleep and letting out a spine-cracking yawn. He stood up and--shit. Stepped on the used condom. Cold and slick. Disgusting, but--Foreman chuckled quietly at himself--he knew he would, last night, when he hadn't bothered doing anything about it. He found a garbage can and tossed it in. All his clothes were in the living room, so he'd be walking through Amber's apartment naked. Good thing he'd checked that the curtains were closed last night.

For the moment, he dropped down to the only open space in Amber's bedroom and did thirty quick push-ups, and then the same of crunches. He hadn't been to the gym since the weekend and he wanted to get of the sluggish feeling. Once he'd worked up a bit of sweat, he padded out to the living room, double-checking that he wouldn't be giving any passers-by the surprise of a lifetime, and grabbed his sports bag. God, a toothbrush. Deodorant, cologne, no time for a proper shave though. Usually he could skip a few days without coming out at the end looking like House, so that was fine. He took the bag, and his suit, back to the bedroom, and then went to knock on the bathroom door. Finding it open, he stepped inside, where the air was steamy and moist. "Morning," he said, with a completely satisfied grin at Amber's shadow through the shower curtain. Tugging it open, careful not to let the shower spray on the floor, Foreman stepped in behind her.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - showering (showering)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-08 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Okay, so there'd be no reminiscing about last night. Well, not every morning could be like yesterday, spending time just touching each other, washing. Foreman knew well enough that Amber felt hurried, but he wasn't going to let that dent his mood. Her place, her alarm clock. He already knew she wouldn't let herself be late. Amber was the one in the middle of a weeks-long job interview, and Foreman might roll his eyes at House, but he did respect Amber for staying keyed up and perfect for that long. He wasn't usually a morning person, either, but he wasn't under the same stress as she was, so he wouldn't get in her way. He'd keep up with her and be helpful as far as he could be, and if she snapped at him, he'd just shut his mouth. He turned his face into the water, and then reached for the soap, scrubbing himself down quickly and efficiently. If it had been up to him, he'd spend a few minutes picturing last night--not like he needed to jerk off, but for God's sake, with inspiration like that, it would've been nice to have the option. But he wouldn't linger around to relax. Just like a quick shower after a workout just so that he wouldn't feel sticky climbing into his clothes, and leave imagining Amber's cries when he'd gone down on her for some other time.

After rinsing off, Foreman turned off the taps and reached for the only towel that was left. Amber had taken the bigger one, leaving him with not much more than a hand towel. Enough to dry himself, mostly, but not enough to tuck around his hips. He smirked to himself, even though it couldn't have been deliberate. If he knew where her linen closet was, he would've grabbed himself another. Instead, he hung up the towel again when its usefulness had run out, and approached the sink just enough to squeeze toothpaste onto his toothbrush and wet it enough to start brushing. With Amber at the mirror, putting on her makeup, he wasn't going to get close enough to risk losing a limb. He sneaked a few peeks at her reflection, and otherwise studiously brushed his teeth like he wasn't doing anything as crass as checking her out while she was in a rush.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - smug (smug)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-08 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman paused in his brushing when Amber turned towards him, all the intent that he'd been hiding glowingly obvious in her eyes. He raised his eyebrow in answer, and leaned in to the kiss she dropped on his cheek. He nearly had to swallow all the toothpaste in his mouth as he watched her walk away--damn, but Amber could walk away. Only once she was out of sight did he spit into the sink and rinse his mouth. He rolled on his anti-perspirant and used his cologne, then followed Amber back to the bedroom. Probably for the best that he'd taken that extra minute, otherwise he would've trapped her against a wall before she'd gotten her clothes on and thoroughly distracted her from anything as mundane as going to work.

But she was half-dressed by the time he found her. Foreman pulled on boxers and socks from his gym bag, then the rest of his suit from the dry-cleaner's garment bag. "Sure, toast," he said. "Thanks." If House was on the candidates' cases right away, Foreman would take the time to get Amber a coffee a little later in the morning, hopefully not in front of all the others. Coffee didn't count as favouritism unless the people watching were already jealous as hell. It might earn him another smouldering look and a kiss on the cheek, though, and hell, Foreman didn't need to hear a bunch of bitching from people who'd likely be cut from House's game before the day was over.

He finished buttoning his shirt and knotting his tie. Before he went to the kitchen, he picked up his stranded clothes from last night from the living room, stuffing them in with his gym gear. It'd all need dry-cleaning anyway. And he wasn't going to come over to Amber's place and leave it a disaster behind him. He had everything ready to go; they were in his car again, so Amber at least could relax and eat breakfast while he drove. If he ended up with a few bites of cold toast, at least he'd have more freedom to do something about it once they reached the hospital.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - thoughtful (thoughtful)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-09 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman hesitated when Amber told him he could leave his things. Somehow he hadn't even thought of it. It was easier for him to live on the go--he showered at the gym when he went in for an early workout. The place where he had a membership wasn't far from the hospital, and sometimes it was easier to go there when he was on the hook for a forty-eight hour shift because of their patient. He was used to living out of his sports bag, and he was used to always having it in his car, available on a moment's notice. But the way Amber phrased it--the hesitation, and her exasperated stomp back into the kitchen--she didn't seem entirely comfortable in even offering. If he told her no, even if he had a perfectly reasonable explanation, Foreman had a feeling Amber would take it badly. Like he didn't want to leave his stuff here, like he hadn't been thinking about that tiny, incremental step towards permanency.

It would be awkward not to have his stuff for a day or two before they came back to hers. It would be worse to come across like he wasn't interested. Foreman dropped his bag near the closet (shit, his rumpled suit was going to marinate in gym sweat until he could rescue it and get it to his dry cleaner), and when Amber reappeared, he'd already made sure he had his phone, pager, and wallet in his coat pockets. He'd remote-started the car while she was in the kitchen, so the heaters shouldn't be blasting freezing air by the time they got out there. He followed her out and then unlocked the car.

Amber's request, though, reminded him of what it meant--that they were starting to let bits of their lives accumulate in each others' apartments. It had to be too soon to start hinting about exchanging keys, but Foreman was thinking about his own vague idea of both of them getting tested, and ditching the damn condoms. He had no idea how to bring it up. The last thing he wanted was to imply that either of them wasn't clean--he trusted Amber--but having the test results on a piece of paper in front of both of them might help with the decision. It meant something, it was a promise; that they weren't going to fuck around, obviously, but also that they expected to be together for months. Or longer, his mind suggested, as if that kind of assumption wouldn't get him in trouble too. Amber wouldn't be able to start the pill until after her next period, and the prescription would change her hormone levels; it wasn't something to take on a whim.

Fuck. Foreman wasn't awake enough to attempt that conversation. "I guess we should work on mornings," he said, once they were in the car and he'd pulled out. He felt a bit sheepish that they'd had to duck out on the run two days in a row, and also because he was mentally rolling his eyes at himself for thinking he and Amber--both doctors--wouldn't be able to talk seriously about medicine. He felt like an idiot, but if he trusted them, then he trusted that there'd be a good time to bring it up. Just not the same morning he'd nearly made Amber late again.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - thoughtful (amused)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-09 11:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Watching the road, Foreman chuckled a bit, amused at Amber's vehemence. At least she admitted it had been her alarm clock and her fault. But he liked that she hadn't even thought of it--he'd liked everything last night, and knowing it had been enough to knock even Amber off her stride was another point in his favour. He'd all but forgotten that Marcus had caused him to feel like shit in the first place. Today he felt fine, better than fine. Comfortable in his own skin, comfortable with Amber. He accepted the piece of--well, warm bread--she offered him from from the container she held, and chewed on a bite mostly to be polite. He should do better than to eat cafeteria food every day, but that would mean having more time in the mornings, having more access to his own things.

Swallowing, he grinned at Amber's wink before bringing his eyes back to the road. "We'd have to wake up pretty early to have that much fun in the morning." His eyebrows lifted when she continued, and he nodded, although it wasn't exactly agreement so much as thinking through the implications of what she'd said. It wasn't a bad idea....he'd missed a few workouts himself, and the articles he was writing weren't going to submit themselves. It wouldn't hurt to spend a late night at work, catching up on or finding a way around most of House's more creative bullshit non-work.

He'd like to spend the time with her, but that was probably his libido speaking, not his common sense. Two nights in a row was already pushing things, considering how new this was. And there were advantages--Foreman could take the time to actually prepare to leave stuff at Amber's place. That way he could get his bag back, and he'd have everything he needed to substitute in the meantime. He nodded again, more firmly. "Okay," he said. "I'll probably make it a late night. I wouldn't be surprised if House had shredded four months of paperwork just to make sure he didn't have to do it." Foreman smiled again, amazingly unbothered by the prospect. It was a lot of stupid, pointless work, but it'd be an improvement on hanging around at home thinking about Amber, at home, alone, doing nothing more exciting than reading.

Still, he wasn't going to let Amber off scot-free, even if he could understand her reasons. "Tell me you're not busy Friday night and I'll be happy." That would give her not only tonight, but tomorrow, too; he wasn't going to push to see her the minute she was free. He wasn't that desperate and a couple of days apart would make it that much better when they finally let themselves give in to each other.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - smug (smug)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-10 12:16 am (UTC)(link)
Foreman's smile grew even warmer when Amber declared war on sleep. "You too, huh?" he said, favouring her with a longer look. It wasn't like he couldn't guess from the way she'd checked him out after his shower, but it never hurt in the least to hear directly that she'd been turned on simply by seeing him. Since she'd given up on her bread, Foreman let his hand wander over to rest in her lap. He figured her pout, and then her lofty dismissal of his plan, were both taunts, of different sorts. "Too bad," he said comfortably. "I'll be thinking about you." Making no effort to hide what he meant by 'thinking'. "About last night. You'll miss out if you're not there."

It wasn't as easy to let her remark about the week pass, or to return a teasing comment about it. Foreman wasn't upset by the idea, as such. It already felt like longer. Shit, it felt like he'd let Amber see so much of him, more than he ever let free. It was dangerous as hell and maybe he was closing his eyes to the risks, because he didn't want to slow down. He didn't want to think about how long it had been because he wanted it to be timeless: always like this, and unchanging. The last thing he wanted in any relationship was to challenge the status quo. He hated thinking about implications, about the future; as long as things were good, he wanted them to keep going without devoting himself too much to seeing that they did. He might be more invested this time, but he hadn't changed his mind on that point. Measuring time only meant putting on expectations that they might not be able to live up to.

He was damn glad that they'd made it this far, though. Despite everything. "Yeah," he said quietly, rubbing Amber's thigh. His smile was genuine, a repetition of what he'd said last night. I'll always care. That doesn't change. Even so, he was a bit glad that they weren't seeing each other on Thursday. He didn't want to mark the night or make something of it, when it was such an arbitrary length of time. Seven days. He just wanted to have Amber with him like this, without inviting catastrophe down on them. He'd had enough of that. Promise me I get at least one more before you get sick of me, he thought, but he couldn't joke about it. Maybe there'd be a way for him to tell her he remembered, tomorrow, without making a big production of it. Under House's nose, that'd be nearly impossible, but Foreman might be able to figure something out.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - thoughtful (thoughtful)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-10 02:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Amber's quiet snort caught Foreman's attention, but he didn't know what to make of it. Her fingertips against his pulse were light and gentle, and if her smile had faded, then her happiness hadn't, even if she was staring away from him, out the window.

Maybe 'the whole hospital knowing' explained it. Foreman tested his own reaction to that statement, and found only a vague discomfort. He'd obviously prefer it if everyone stayed the hell out of his business, but he didn't anticipate a lot of gossip. Usually he wasn't part of the chain of rumours, because he kept to himself. As a result, when he did have a relationship--when he'd been with Wendy, for instance--even House, keeping his ear to the ground, hadn't found out about it for a few weeks. "Yeah," he said, "they probably do. But they don't matter, as long as we're okay. And if House isn't a jackass about it then it's not even an issue. We'll be fine."

The biggest problem would be telling Cuddy. The longer Foreman put it off, the less professional it would seem. He didn't see a problem, as long as she was aware. He was capable of discretion, unlike, for instance, people who fucked in sleep labs. Not that he was naming names. Despite the bullshit authority Cuddy had given him, Foreman was more on Amber's level than on House's. Still, Cuddy should know, before House caught her by surprise with the information and tried to use it against her.

Foreman pulled into the hospital parking lot, easing his way along the stalls to his parking space. He didn't want to leave it at that, like he was reassuring Amber about something that she had to already know. He parked and sat back for a second, leaving his keys in the ignition. "I mean." He swallowed and turned to Amber. "I don't care about them. I care about you."
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - thoughtful (amused)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-11 12:09 am (UTC)(link)
He'd made Amber blush. That had to be unprecedented. Foreman grinned to see the pink tinge spread across Amber's cheekbones, the way her whole stance seemed to change with her--God, was it really?--shy embarrassment. Foreman could feel his skin heating, as if his body was intent on matching her, if it had shown. He shook his head, only slightly, amused at both of them. It was ridiculous to feel this way, in the middle of a parking lot, holding hands and unable to tear their gazes away from each other. It just felt damn good, and he didn't want to let it go when he didn't have to, when he wouldn't get it again for another two days. "We have to go in," he said, nearly whispering, as if it was a conspiracy, or like if they were overheard then his words would be enforced.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - smug (smug)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-11 01:08 am (UTC)(link)
Foreman kept his eyes open for as long as possible, watching Amber lean in toward him. His eyelids finally drifted shut when Amber's lips met his, softly enough that he barely had to purse his to return the kiss. Even with the car off, he felt warm, and he tightened his hand around Amber's, breathing in the light minty scent of her breath, adjusting the angle of his head and kissing her again. Delicate, as if there were only certain places he could be sure that it'd feel good, and he was mapping each one.

He had to stop himself before he reached up to cup Amber's cheek and draw her in for something deeper and more serious. This was really as much as they could allow themselves. Probably she'd be in the clinic again and he'd be working in House's office. Both of them distracted, if she was reacting to a simple kiss the same way he was. God. He had to back off, in case she didn't; in case she decided that his car was another venue for adventurous sex. He retreated slowly, wanting to feel the disappearing pressure of her lips for as long as possible.

"I'll see you later," he murmured, licking his lips one last time as if Amber's taste might have lingered. Taking a breath, he finally opened the car door and stepped out. It was a really gorgeous day, cold but clear, and Foreman found himself looking around as if one kiss had made it even brighter. He was such a fucking sap.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - smug (smug)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-11 02:30 pm (UTC)(link)
With a last glance at Amber disappearing towards the locker room, Foreman stepped onto the elevator. He checked his watch as he headed up to the fourth floor. They'd made it in time, if not much more than that. He'd be walking in about five to nine, not that there'd be anyone to notice when he was and wasn't working. At lunch he'd see if he could corner Cuddy and let her know about his relationship with Amber. As casually as possible, without getting trapped in any implications she wanted to throw to him.

He hadn't heard whether House would be in today. With House's track record, that meant probably not. The blinds were closed when he passed House's office, and the lights were off, which only meant that Foreman was right; he was the first one in. He went in through the conference room, flicked on the lights, hung up his coat, and turned on the coffee machine. When he'd started a new pot dripping, he picked up the mail that had been left on the desk. Glancing at the return addresses, he opened the connecting door and stepped through, intending to get House's direct mail as well. Might as well start by telling a whole bunch of consult requests that they were out of luck.
g_house: house peeks out the window (distant)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-11 07:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Snap, crack. Just the elastic rub on his thumb as House stretched, stretched, then a light pinch before the band soared through the air, crashing against the window. Again: snap, crack. A small graveyard pile of elastic bands accumulated at the base of his balcony door, and an emptier office supplies box was by his elbow. These go fast. Snap, crack. The harder, the faster, the better. Snap, crack. The sound resounded louder in the darkened room.

Foreman wouldn't expect to find him here, in his very own office. It'd be a good surprise; House hoped to catch his expression of surprise, then of supreme annoyance. No one could pull off pissy like Foreman. He wouldn't be able to mess around with the precious department documents without crossing the dragon, or, for that matter, without a few digging remarks about his recent personal decisions. His own fault, for coming back.

House liked his new system. Liked discardable employees. No commitment, no promises, no obligations. Enjoy, use, throw out. It was fun. He didn't even have to feel guilty; precarious status was written into the law of the game. He could fire them all, if he liked, start from scratch; not as if he didn't solve the cases just as well with temps as he had with the long-term weights on his back. These guys didn't demand things of him, didn't get personal, didn't look betrayed when he failed to live up to their standards. Just lasting the day brightened their miserable little lives.

Foreman coming back fucked with that. He'd begged Foreman to stay; his return was like spitting up bile. Bitter, and it'd just have been that much nicer if he'd kept on his merry way and vanished. But, no, he was back. And with a girl on his arm, as if that would justify his return, make him any different. Snap, crack. Snap, crack.

House stopped at the new sound; listened, then watched as Foreman went about his morning routine, unaware. He'd grown soft in these months away. House knew what kind of a department he'd run at Mercy, all sweet and "you can do it!" and namby-pamby; the old Foreman wouldn't have been so stupid as to assume he was alone. House brought his feet down, from where he'd been resting them on the bookcase, and sat up; took an elastic band, waited for that inevitable moment when Foreman crossed over. When that door opened-- how could he be so careless, sleeping with cut throat bitch?-- House let the rubber fly, smacking the glass door precisely right next to Foreman's head. Bull's eye.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - exasperated (exasperated)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-11 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Snap! Foreman's head shot up as something whizzed past his face and smacked into the glass next to him. He flinched, hard, but managed not to jump a foot in the air and yell at the surprise. His heart seized up, and then started pounding. For an instant, he'd thought it was some giant bug flying at him, but a second later, he got it. House, with a giant pile of elastic bands next to his elbow. Foreman clenched his jaw, forcing himself not to show his shock. House must've already gotten a good eyeful. Fucking bastard. Glaring, Foreman deliberately tamped the envelopes he was carrying back into order and walked into the office. "I'd ask why you're sitting here in the dark, but I don't really want to know," he said. House would probably have some disgusting reason, even if it wasn't true, just so that he could try to poke Foreman into responding.

In other circumstances, Foreman would have promised himself he wasn't going to react to anything House said. But Amber's words came back to him: Until he's bored. Looked like that moment had arrived. House had given them all of a day to feel like their lives weren't going to be on his microscope slide, and now here he was, probably intent on ruining it. Otherwise he'd be off playing with the other candidates' lives.

To some extent, Foreman's good mood was a buffer between him and House's stupid pranks. It wouldn't last, so Foreman took advantage while he could. "I'm surprised you're not downstairs molding a new generation into your mindless followers," he said, aiming for indifference as he finished going through the mail before dropping it on House's desk.
g_house: if i think hard enough the answer will come (ponder)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-12 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
Nice. It wasn't so dark House didn't catch the panicked contortions of Foreman's face as he nearly jumped back. In retrospect, House should've been waiting with a camera. But for a momentary satisfaction, it did the trick. House flung another elastic band, letting it fly over Foreman's head; he'd lost the element of surprise, but annoying the hell out of someone was the present that never stopped giving.

Foreman tried to cover up his fright with a flippant remark, providing House a far too easy a target to shoot. Foreman really had softened up; maybe he didn't talk much with CTB, hadn't had a reason to watch his words. Or maybe CTB did all the talking. "Some things are just more romantic in the dark." House spoke as if he were confiding to a friend, and yet there was a sharp, sarcastic edge to his tone. "You'll understand when you grow up."

And now Foreman was trying to be indifferent. Cute. House deliberately raised his legs to the office desk, dumping his feet right in the center where Foreman might've left the mail. He never could move his legs without at least a dull ache deepening into his thigh, but then again, nothing House did was free of pain. But some of his actions came with a reward. House watched Foreman's face for one, now. "This generation is easier to mold, they learn faster than my last bunch." They actually did; they'd already killed a patient and solved a case. Those two were the biggest rites of passage in his department. "I guess a cutthroat environment does eventually win over evil and bring goodness to human hearts." The adjective was deliberate. Last House heard-- Cuddy bitching at him that the two had left the hospital together yesterday, as if that were his fault, as if Foreman even being on the payroll was because of him-- he was still with CTB. Foreman’s reaction to that one word would probably tell House everything he needed to know about how the relationship was going: if it was floundering or flourishing. If there was a new way to make Foreman's life difficult, House needed to know about it.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - skeptical (skeptical)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-12 01:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Right. Like he’d thought. House was going to make juvenile insinuations, play word games, and shoot elastics at him. It was really nothing new and Foreman wasn’t interested in playing. “Uh-huh,” he said, leaving a hint of scoffing disgust showing around the edges of his blank expression. “I’ll let you get back to that, then.” Since House was getting in the way of everything--including getting his own mail—Foreman wasn’t going to hang around and indulge him. He could work in the conference room just as well, and he might as well make House chase him down if he wanted any fun; Foreman wasn’t interested in making it easy for him.

He was headed for the door when House spoke again. He snorted at the idea that House’s candidates learned faster—learned faster that rules didn’t apply to them, learned faster that they could take a life in their hands and disregard the consequences. Great teaching. They were practically House’s disciples. Foreman wasn’t going to think about what that meant for Amber. Partly, he didn’t think she’d learned any of it from House; House was only refining what she’d brought to the table. He’d said that he wasn’t going to interfere with her getting the job, and he wasn’t. He’d done plenty of stupid things working for House that he regretted in hindsight, even knowing that they were probably the only actions he could have taken at the time. That was the extent of the judgement he was making, in Amber’s case. As for the rest, he’d wait and see who House actually hired before he bothered giving a crap about their life choices.

At the door, Foreman turned back long enough to raise his eyebrow at House. The word wasn’t lost on him, but neither was the fact that House wanted to irk him. When he knew that’s what House was aiming for, it was so much easier to piss him off by not rising to the bait. “I’m getting a cup of coffee, and then I’m answering your mail, and no, I don’t find that demeaning. It’s my job until you manage to mold your fellows into working on a case.” He suited actions to words, letting the door fall shut between them.
g_house: if i think hard enough the answer will come (ponder)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-12 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman was taking everything in stride; all signs pointed to Yes I'm Still Having Great Sex With Her. House had thought as much, when he hadn't done more than metaphorically roll his eyes after the shock of the elastic band at his head, but then again, Foreman could maintain a five-second holier-than-thou attitude under all conditions. Provoked any longer than that, though, it crumbled, and how long that attitude took to fall apart depended on his mood. The longer Foreman kept it up, the more pleased with himself he'd been.

House had nothing against CTB. She did the job, and sometimes she did it better than the others. It was one of the reasons why he'd paged her to save his life, because if there was one person who wouldn't let him die before she'd gotten everything she wanted out of him, it was her. Great legs, too, and knew how to advertise them. Cuddy's breasts were better, though. Thirteen had the best face, but prettiness was more Wilson's (very girly) thing. But House appreciated CTB's desperation and rule-breaking. It came in handy.

Which was why her fucking Foreman again was intriguing. Her story on Monday had been that they'd hooked up before they knew they worked for him; plausible enough. She'd been embarrassed enough at the time to make up a million lies to cover her ass, but Foreman's own anger and puppy eyes at her confirmed her version of events. House hadn't doubted she'd dumped Foreman once she'd figured out the complications. What he didn't get was them getting back together. It'd been fairly early on in the day, from what Wilson said-- he said he'd been told by a reliable source that they'd been spotted in the locker room together. Was this a ploy? Did CTB think that sleeping with Foreman would impress him in some way? Was she a double spy?

Whatever CTB's motives were, Foreman was smug enough to keep up his face of stone at House. "Another thing you'll learn when you grow up is that the dark, romantic things are better with company," House taunted, even if he was the one doing it alone, at home. The point was to irritate Foreman.

Apparently he wasn't doing a good enough job, or the sex really had been that good, because Foreman got up and left. House flung another rubber band as the door closed, making it snap as hard as he could. House looked down at his legs, weighing his options. Getting them back down meant another ache, but it wasn't as if he could keep them up forever. Chasing after Foreman would ruin his own keep-it-cool air, but staying here meant letting him have the last word. The last word belonged to House. So he got up and grabbed his cane, which had been leaning by his desk. Stalked to the conference room, throwing his arm wide to open the door. "Who said anything about sorting mail being demeaning?" he asked, gleefully taking hold of the opening. "I never said anything about it being demeaning. Does that mean you think it's demeaning?"

Coffee would actually be good and worth hanging around for. House leaned on his cane, waiting for Foreman to do his thing; nodded at the coffee machine. "Make it how I like it, black." Let him read into that statement as much as he liked; racial insinuations always dug into him, and House knew it, no matter how much Foreman tried to hide his reaction. "Or is making coffee also too demeaning for you?"

"So," House started conversationally, but his tone became increasingly steeped in acidity. "I get that you didn't want to be me, but fucking a female equivalent is okay?" It made no sense. Foreman had run away, avoiding the terrible fate of becoming House the Second, and now he was running into CTB's bed. "Or are you okay with being a big, fat hypocrite?"
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - exasperated (exasperated)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-12 11:00 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman threw the mail on the conference room table and went straight to the coffee maker. After his 'breakfast' of pretty much nothing, the coffee wasn't the best idea; he knew it'd leave him jittery if he didn't eat something soon. He dumped a couple of packets of sugar into his cup to tide him over until he'd eaten something more substantial than bread. He knew that House would follow him--sooner or later, he was like a kid with a scab, he couldn't leave well enough alone. Foreman tried to breathe through however long his reprieve turned out to be.

Not long at all. He'd barely finished pouring himself some coffee and sticking the pot back under the drip than House flung the door in, like he'd had one of his fucking epiphanies. It was pointless now to think about getting any work done. House wouldn't shut up and even if he did he'd probably take his arsenal of rubber bands to Foreman's head. The smart thing to do would be to walk out of the damn room, faster than House could keep up. Take the stairs. Go to the cafeteria and buy some food. Come back once House's miniscule attention span had focused on something else. It wouldn't take much; he was like an ADD kid watching a sloth cross a room.

Foreman could leave, but he knew House would see it as a win--making him run away. Shit, it was running away. Foreman wasn't going to give up that quickly. "No," he said flatly. House had been the one to imply that working for him again, in any capacity, was demeaning for Foreman. It was. It wasn't one step down from Mercy, but more like half a dozen. But Foreman was determined to put in the time and get back on top, so he refused to see any of the work he did as less than vital, and that was all there was to it. He wasn't going to bother explaining that to House, since House would stare at him like a gaping fish and pretend not to understand. He rolled his eyes, but he poured another cup of coffee for House. Anything to prove that he wasn't the childish one here.

"Yeah, since you weren't available, I decided Amber was nothing more than a substitute," Foreman said, sarcasm edging his voice. God, even the thought was a nightmare. Like he'd ever want anything to do with House if he could avoid it. And House couldn't be more wrong. Amber was nothing like him. She had actual feelings, she didn't cut Foreman down to prove she could, and she didn't make it her goal in life to make him as miserable as possible. Foreman made a dismissive noise in the back of his throat. "Sorry, House, but your metaphor sucks. She's not you, and I'm not becoming you by being with her. But enjoy the delusion if it helps you get over me."
g_house: just a piece of my soul (part)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-13 01:59 am (UTC)(link)
Something inside House snapped harder than the elastic bands he'd been firing. He'd gone too far, given too much bait. Foreman should not have been able to make so sharp a dig. Getting on Foreman's nerves by making not-at-all veiled references to jerking off and wanting to fuck him was one thing, but to be accused of mooning over him was another. House would make him pay.

House sipped on his coffee, slow and deliberate, the sucking sound loud. Couldn't let it show that Foreman had gotten to him, otherwise he'd be making who knew what assumptions.

"Alright, let’s pretend for argument’s sake she’s not me." House granted. "She's only manipulative, deceitful, and self-centered." He pulled out one of the conference chairs and sprawled all over it, hooking his cane on to the table. Sipped his coffee loudly again. "And her ass is better than mine. But she’d never hurt a fly, she'd never screw anyone over for her own benefit, and she certainly wouldn't do that to you." How much was CTB playing Foreman? He wouldn’t be this perky if she hadn’t done a good job of making him think she was sincere.

There was also the tiniest, remotest possibility that CTB wasn’t fucking Foreman for an ulterior motive, but if House was going to believe that, he’d have to change his name to Cameron or Wilson. It could also be just about the sex, but you don’t fuck your career by fucking your coworkers, not if you were Foreman or Amber. They couldn’t be stupid enough to think this wouldn’t have repercussions with him, with Cuddy.

There were things House wanted-- needed-- to know. How things were going to be, now that Foreman was back. How much independence and authority Foreman would try to impose for himself. Why he was back, why he hadn't accepted the position at Zion. And did he really think that CTB wasn't just as calculating and power-hungry as himself? These were things he'd have to find out with time, by testing him.

“I know no one else would take you so you were forced back into this non-demeaning job,” House prodded, his voice dripping with false sympathy. “Does putting her through a Springtime for Volakis make you feel better?”
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from Houes - hands (hands)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-13 01:44 pm (UTC)(link)
"That's all you see because that's all you want to see," Foreman said, dismissive. House was right, to an extent, but to hear him call anyone else selfish was laughable. Yeah, Amber could be manipulative. It served her well in House's game and, from her stories, most of her life so far. She liked winning. Foreman got that, understood it, even if he didn't always like her methods. She wanted to prove herself, show that she was the best. If House thought Foreman had somehow missed that character trait or that he was blinding himself to it, then he must have even less faith in Foreman than Foreman had assumed.

Even though he hadn't meant to show anything, Foreman couldn't help making an amused sound at House's assessment of Amber's ass. No kidding. Amber's ass was amazing. As for House's, Foreman had never checked, but he was pretty damn confident that Amber won that contest without even showing up.

But, for fuck's sake, House wouldn't shut up. Slurping his coffee down so that even when he wasn't talking, he was making himself as obnoxious as possible. Foreman sat down at the desk, set his coffee in front of him, and laced his fingers together, trying to shut House down with an assessing stare. House had always known how to get to him, and he'd done it again, prodding at exactly the worries Foreman himself had. Amber might leave him if something better came along. She might throw him under a bus to save herself, professionally or even in their relationship. But...Amber had shown him things that Foreman couldn't connect with someone who was only in it for herself. Last night...

He snorted at himself. "Yeah, she might," he said. He was letting his infatuation get in the way of his reason if he didn't admit the possibility. And he knew it would hurt like hell if she ever did. "But she wouldn't do it to hurt me," he said, notching up his glare. That had been House's only motivation, last spring when he'd sabotaged every move Foreman made. If Amber ditched him, or betrayed him somehow, it wouldn't be because she hated him or wanted revenge. It'd be for herself. Foreman didn't know how that would make it better, only that it did. He wanted what was best for her.

Christ, he had no idea why he was even saying any of this out loud to House, who was still on about this demeaning job. Foreman shook his head, slowly, realizing it even as he answered. "I'm happy," he said. "I know you hate that. And don't worry, you've made it clear that it won't last." House had gone nearly apoplectic the last time Foreman had dared to be content with his life, done everything he could to ruin it. But he'd been right that Foreman couldn't just love everything and expect the world to conform to his wishes. This time, he knew what he was walking into. Nothing was perfect. But with Amber, things were damn good. Foreman let out a short laugh. "Is it really because I might not put you or this damn job first, or are you so petty that you're jealous?"
g_house: if i think hard enough the answer will come (ponder)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-13 03:24 pm (UTC)(link)
House slurped out the last of his coffee, then kept up the sounds a while longer before purposefully clattering the cup against the glass table. How much had Foreman heard about CTB’s exploits? "Her first day here, she single-handedly got half the group walk out. And last week she nearly convinced Thirteen the patient she’d killed came back to haunt her. I'm seeing what there is to see."

Yeah, she might, he said. Interesting. Foreman knew CTB would ditch him in a heartbeat for the right reason-- immunity in this contest, to get someone else kicked off the competition, or, if House knew her, just for a good lunch. And yet Foreman really was in a good place, he wasn't lying about that; if he weren't confident and pleased, he wouldn't have gone this long in the conversation without snapping. Damn it, it was annoying. Foreman shouldn’t be this smug, this long. "You know she'd dump you for the right price and you're happy? But I shouldn't be surprised you're a masochist, if you've worked all these years for me and came back for more."

"I get it," House tipped his chair back, put his hands on the back of his head. "You like that she's controlling. That's why it didn't last with sweet, gentle Pediatrics Wanda: the hand that wiped away children's snot wasn't firm enough for you." That last patient of theirs confirmed it all, by imitating CTB, as did Foreman’s shame to have it announced in front of everyone. “Tell me, does she spank really hard, or are you more a tie-me-up kind of guy?”

House snorted at Foreman's accusation that he would be the one to drive away his happiness. "Oh, please. I've never needed to make your life miserable, you did that all on your own. Just look at yourself. You're falling for a girl you know would throw you to the lions." It almost made House want to tell CTB that it was her or the job; almost. He could do that later, though. After he'd seen more of this drama fold out. Maybe CTB wouldn't even wait that long, maybe she'd sabotage Foreman all on her own, without House's incentive. And for all either he or Foreman knew, CTB really was doing this as a double-spy.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from House - angry (angry)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-14 02:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman ignored all of House's stories about what Amber had done before he'd met her. Like he'd said, he knew what she was capable of. He'd already admitted that he knew Amber might screw him over, but that didn't mean he thought she would. Capable and willing were two different things. Maybe that was why he was able to be happy, even knowing that. Foreman trusted her, and it wasn't because he expected her to change, it was because he expected her to be honest. Not just about what opportunities came her way, but about how she felt. That was it, really. She'd been more honest last night. She'd let Foreman see her even when she wasn't in control.

He frowned sharply when House brought up Wendy. He hadn't told Amber about her, and he could just imagine House dropping the wrong word in her ear at the wrong point. Something about their deathless love, when really it'd just been a couple of months of dating. House would never fucking accept that he knew nothing about it. Foreman wasn't going to get into an argument about his exes. House had to know he had enough ammunition to fight that battle just as well. How would House like it if Foreman brought up Stacy Warner, started asking insinuating questions about why House couldn't make it with her even after her husband was even more crippled than House was--was it just because Mark Warner was better? The question was on the tip of his tongue, ready to be fired off angrily, and Foreman gritted his teeth to hold it back. Yeah, he could hurt House, that had never been in question; Foreman knew enough about House's skeletons that he could make some pointed guesses that would probably pay off. But that would make him into House. He wasn't going to descend to House's goddamn pettiness.

What the hell did it matter what he liked or what Amber liked? God, when they'd gotten into Amber's apartment--when Foreman had felt like he'd never be able to smother the boil of his anger at Marcus, when he'd felt desperate enough to push--Amber had...hadn't done anything more than demand what she wanted, slowed him down, drawn the limits, and Foreman had never been so damn glad of someone defining some portion of the world. Black and white, right and wrong, no fucking grey areas, and if he stepped out of line she told him so. Made it easy. There'd been nothing like working for House, when being right meant hurting people; or Mercy, where being right meant getting his ass fired for no fucking good reason. Being right, doing the right thing, when he was with Amber--it was the right thing, it was that simple, it let them both get what they wanted, and it felt so goddamn good.

Not like around House. House twisted everything Foreman said, insinuated the opposite of what he meant, and Foreman was fucking tired of it. His muscles knotted, his heart beating anger through his body. "Is there some problem, House?" he said tightly. He hadn't missed the fact that House hadn't answered his question about whether he was just jealous. House wouldn't answer, he'd just keep pushing, because that was all he knew how to do, even when there was no fucking point. "My life outside of this hospital isn't your business. Unless you're concerned about my misery, which I doubt, then you can keep your damn speculations to yourself."
g_house: house peeks out the window (Default)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-15 12:38 am (UTC)(link)
House tapped his cane against the table, keeping up a steady stream of sounds. He couldn't give Foreman a break. Strange, the remarks about Wendy should've gotten more of a reaction. She might've meant almost nothing to him, but Foreman was proud, didn't like anyone scoffing or belittling his experiences. Dissing his joke of a romance with her should’ve pissed him off. And Foreman was angry, testy, practically hissing like a rattlesnake, but he wasn't livid. He hadn't gotten up and left, gotten to his feet to rail at House about what a prick he was, hadn't retracted into smoldering resentment. Even if the Wendy bit hadn't gotten to him, the sub remarks, that should've gotten his blood boiling. Made a real scene. House tapped his cane harder without realizing it. That was some good mood CTB put him in.

He had to see CTB, see what her angle was. Because she couldn't possibly be as world-now-rose infatuated as Foreman was-- so either Foreman really was that far gone for no good reason, or CTB was doing a damn good job faking. And CTB was good, but not that good. If she were, she wouldn’t be despised by everyone that passed her way—present company excluded, but it was probably a matter of time before she got to him, too.

Foreman finally snapped back. Felt good to hear. Good to know he'd gotten under Foreman's skin, at least a little. House smirked despite the inevitable burst of pain as he stood up. "Of course I'm concerned about your misery," House said as if he were nice and did care. He went to the hallway door, taking wide strides. The fewer steps he took, the better. "It affects your work. It's happened before: the minute you get happy, you suck. And if you get too woeful, you suck even more. I'm just trying to maintain that fine balance of misery that keeps you at your best." With that, House left the room.
eric_foreman: Eric Foreman from Houes - hands (hands)

[personal profile] eric_foreman 2009-11-15 10:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Foreman didn't know what he expected House to say. If he did have some kind of problem, Foreman doubted it was the kind that could be solved by a trip to HR. House wouldn't care if his fellows started an orgy, as long as they could still throw out suggestions when House set up the whiteboard. No. Any problem House had, it was with letting Foreman live his life, or Amber hers, for that matter. House would interfere because his insane curiosity wouldn't let him leave anything alone until he'd vivisected it. With no conception that once he'd taken a scalpel to every human relationship around him, he couldn't put it back together again.

Fuming silently, he watched House leave with more surprise than satisfaction. The light had gone out of the morning, the good mood Amber had left him with. Now the work seemed even more pointless than before, and he'd have worries on top of it--what if House told Amber about Wendy? Or even mentioned that Foreman thought that Amber might leave him after all? Foreman tensed, wanting to dog House's steps to make sure it didn't happen, but it wouldn't work. He'd only goad House into saying the worst, and prove that he was a fun toy after all, if he made any move that looked like he was buying in to House's provocation. All he could do was stay put and, however demeaning it was, keep his mind on his work.
g_house: if i think hard enough the answer will come (ponder)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-16 12:20 am (UTC)(link)
House headed for the elevator at a quick pace, his anticipation spurring him forward despite his leg. This was gonna be good. Whatever CTB had to say for herself was likely a pack of lies, but that was exactly what he was hoping for. Lies he could sift for the truth. Lies told more than the truth did. No one as ruthless as CTB would let herself be put off-track by someone as staid as Foreman. There had to be another reason, another angle, and House was almost gleeful that he'd find out what it was. Foreman deserved to hear it from him. It would serve him right for being "happy"--House snorted at the thought. Foreman would love to think he was happy after getting sacked in New York. House wondered if CTB knew about that, whether she realized she had to be in some part compensation for Foreman's poor lost department head position.

Yeah, he'd bet she did better positions than that any day. House would pay good money to find out just how flexible she was. The sex might be amazing, but that might be all it was. It had been less than a week. Something quick that would fizzle just as fast. Not nearly as much fun to mess with, but even if it ended, it would always worth mocking the two of them for. If he kept CTB around to mock. House would let the decision take as long as he needed, long past the point of Cuddy breathing down his neck--otherwise, what was the point?

The elevator opened on the ground floor and House stretched himself, heading for the lecture theatre. With a dramatic slam, he burst in the doors at the top of the room--always catch them by surprise, and from behind would do that nicely. He didn't care what they'd been doing with themselves, as long as waiting patiently for him was part of it. "Sitting around here's not getting me a case," he said loudly, glaring at all of them. He didn't really want a case, but a master needed room to work. "All of you, out of here, and don't come back until you find something interesting." He turned on CTB, his eyes narrowing. Repressing a smirk, he lifted his cane and pointed it at her like a god singling out a mortal to smite. "Everyone who's not sleeping with a coworker, that is." House spared a glance around in case Thirteen had anything to admit, or Kutner and Cole had gotten way too close on one of their man-dates. When nobody admitted to anything untoward, House barked, "Go!" and made his slow, deliberate way down the stairs, with CTB in his crosshairs.
g_house: house holding something and smiling/looking skeptical (smirk)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-16 08:37 pm (UTC)(link)
House turned his shoulders after his scrambling minions, making sure they made every possible bit of speed getting out of his sight. When the door slammed shut, he leaned against the desk at the front of the room. He used space to his advantage--when someone was uncomfortable, House was happy to get in their face. Foreman hated that. With CTB, it was a different game, one she was already bracing herself to play. It was an intimate conversation, so House took up his position of authority at the bottom of the lecture theatre. CTB was sitting halfway up, so that any conversation they had about her personal life was going to be nice and loud and as public as an empty, echoing room could be.

"I don't suppose I get the same menu as Eric," he said, leaning on Foreman's first name with the sort of girlish note-book doodling cutesiness that CTB probably hated. He was enjoying himself, and through the first salvos, he expected she would too. He wouldn't reach for the big guns until he'd softened her up with attacks she could easily turn aside. "Unless I do, and you're sleeping your way to the top. If Cuddy's next, I want to watch."
g_house: if i think hard enough the answer will come (ponder)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-16 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Perks, huh. One of them was undoubtedly the chance to play poker with a pirate. House narrowed his eyes, waiting to see if she'd name any of those perks, or if she was canny enough to leave them to his imagination. Insinuating they were there could be enough, if she wanted to get him thinking about why it was worthwhile to have her around.

And she wasn't going lightly on the physical side, either. Every posture, every breath, all of it screamed availability, which was a lie, but still intriguing that she'd take that direction. Foreman had been right; she was already stomping all over whatever promises of "exclusivity" they might have made. CTB would sleep with him, if he promised her the job. And House wasn't going to back away from the offer, either. He let a hint of a smile soften his face, letting her score a point by being attractive. That was her ante, but she'd have to increase the pot more than that if she wanted to see his cards.

"Foreman's my date to the premiere," he said, dropping the Eric as soon as it didn't produce results. Cuddy wouldn't touch CTB with a ten-foot pole, and, happily for House's imagination, that had nothing to do with CTB being a woman, and everything to do with her personality. He'd already had to roll his eyes through a litany of Cuddy's complaints. But if CTB admitted to 'working on' sleeping with her, and recording it to boot, then Foreman's sensibilities about faithfulness had just been ground into the dust. "Do you really think he'd appreciate the show?" She was talking about cheating in order to gain something; she was making that promise too easily for it to be true. House wanted to know how easily she'd retract her claws from Foreman's twitching corpse. Was this all just words, or would she really go behind his back?
g_house: house thinks (mouthchew)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-16 10:30 pm (UTC)(link)
House's eyebrows raised, and it was only partly because that was the reaction he wanted to show. "Has he finally found his way out of that 'boring' rut?" he asked. "Because--" He dropped his voice into a well-meaning stage whisper, "He always comes back, even when he promises he won't." House had reported Foreman to the Fun Police more than once, sadly without any results. At least it made him good to bait. But harnessing someone plodding to someone as fired up as Amber seemed like a good recipe for implosion.

Well, that's why he was here, after all. To set that particular ball rolling. "Starting small?" House contorted his face in surprised disappointment. "The locker room gossip was wrong after all." Not that he needed to know--or have CTB think he cared about--anything physical about Foreman. The point was to show her that she was--heh--belittling him, whether she knew it or not. Once they'd gotten into the habit of insulting each other behind their backs, it was only one very small step to the next betrayal.

Still, she was taking the early rounds a little too easily. House already knew she could handle a euphemism fight. This was about learning something new, not sparring over old news. It was time to drop his first bomb. "So you're better than that?" He nodded in faux understanding. "Moving on when you've sucked him dry is a good plan." An infinitesimal pause, and then, "Don't worry. Foreman won't be surprised when you screw him over." And, in another calculated move, he let his face slip into comic dismay. "Oops, did I say too much? You're already doing that. I meant 'shank in the back'."
g_house: (intent smirk)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-17 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
CTB's reactions were nicely delicate. Much more interesting to tease out than Foreman's unsubtle temper tantrums. House found himself leaning forward, investing more in the game. He caught her--interest? Worry?--about Foreman's previous indiscretions. House actually knew less about them than he was implying. He'd like to know more, but two in four years wasn't a winning hole card. Foreman might have snuck in more of a personal life than House ever would have allowed if he'd known. "Aww, please don't tell me you think you're unique," he said, staying loose but examining her for any tell-tale sign. "You're not even the first person to sleep with him to get to me." Seeing Foreman's reaction to finding out that the new Arnie had only wanted into House's pants--or at least, into his pockets for his pharmaceutical business had been damn sweet. That had been personal and about as short-lived as this little affair. A week. Getting his neurologist back on form had been as simple as blowing the chaff from the wheat.

There was better to come, though. Instead of the bitch he got the Ice Queen, eyes like glaciers. "I don't believe that, and I know you don't believe that," House said. CTB was not better than that, and that's why she was still in this game. She'd been proud of that before--was she backing down now? Over Foreman? House's stomach twisted at the idea, but he didn't show it. "Love" got in the way, and CTB was proving that--she was losing her edge. Besides, it wasn't love. It was convenience and sex. And pretty soon it'd be inconvenient, for him, and House didn't want to deal with that. Nipping it in the bud might be the best way to deal with it--once he'd finished playing cat and mouse. House left off leaning on the desk and took a step forward, sly interest increasing as he touched of the detonator, speaking softly despite the distance between them, sincerity radiating from his voice. "And Foreman doesn't believe that."
g_house: (intent smirk)

[personal profile] g_house 2009-11-18 03:26 pm (UTC)(link)
He was beginning to score more hits. Might as well turn the metaphor into a game of Battleship--CTB could hide the places where it hurt, but all it took was enough potshots and House could work out where the cracks in her armour were deepest. She definitely didn't like the idea of Eric cozying up to other women. House grinned, imagining the cat fight that would result. Damn, if only that kiddie nurse was still at Princeton-Plainsboro. He'd introduce them like they should be old friends--after all, they had something in common!--and then step back and watch the sparks fly. His money was on CTB, of course, but Chase would run a good book, and House might even benefit from a little cash along with the spectacle. And that was only the start. House had even better material than that--hell, he knew things about Foreman's family that would probably set Amber back on her heels, because Foreman was a close-mouthed bastard with a chip on his shoulder.

House brushed aside the idea of CTB's plot to seduce him "working". Yeah, it might be something, to have those long legs wrapped around him, and he'd bet she was inventive as hell, not to mention completely capable of sucking his brains out through his dick. But he wasn't interested in hiring someone who'd compromise herself that far. It'd be too much like assuring him he was right during differentials, when what he wanted to hear was stupid ideas he could shout down, and good ideas he could poke holes in. Not, "You're right, House," and, by association, not "Here, let me blow you, House." It was a nice fantasy but Cuddy should be glad to know that House had some sort of standards. One of those was no sleeping with anyone nicknamed cut-throat bitch. Even if he'd been the one to name her.

He knew he'd scored again when CTB tried to go on the offensive. It wasn't much of an attack. House knew everything there was to know about his employees, and if he didn't, he tracked down the information until he figured it out. If there was something he didn't know, it was because he hadn't bothered to find out yet. Learning it from the candidates themselves--when they slipped--that was more satisfying that just checking their references or their personnel files. Thirteen, for instance: he'd find out her name, and whatever she was scared of, when he was ready to prod for more information. So far it was more interesting just to watch her trying to hide in plain sight. "Oh, hasn't Eric shared?" he said. "I'm just glad he could love again. Hasn't been long since the last one--" He waved a hand vaguely, as if the name had slipped his mind-- "Left the hospital in disgrace. Or was that because her career was completely stalled here?" Shrug. "Either way." He frowned and nodded, as though it was all academic and he could reassure CTB. If she still was CTB, that was; if she hadn't turned into Weepy Mess overnight. "I'm sure you're not the rebound at all. You two crazy kids have a good time."

With that, and a smirk, House headed for the doors. He wasn't interested in CTB's reaction; knowing that she'd have one, and that it wouldn't be sweetness and light, was good enough for him. It served Foreman right. He wasn't going to be "happy" on House's time; he was going to be good. And CTB would either stay CTB, or she'd break and leave the game. With five other candidates to trim down to two, House didn't really care which.