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alanwolfmoon

Don't you know there aint no devil, just god when he's drunk.- Tom Waits

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Hurting and Hot Tubs
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alanwolfmoon
Title: Hurting and Hot Tubs
Pairing: House/Foreman
Author: alanwolfmoon
Rating: PG
Warnings: not much
Summary: House comes in in pain. Foreman deals with it. It leads to something a lot more.
Disclaimer: MINE! ALL MINE!....uh, no. Not mine.
Feedback: Reviews and flames are welcome. (They make it look like I'm writing fast)
Notes: written for zulu for their donation to  help_haiti.

Foreman sat down on one of the chairs in the conference room, and watched House’s office. House was late, later than he should have been–but Wilson was in already. Foreman knew that probably meant House was sick or in pain, which definitely meant House would be extra annoying. 

Foreman sighed, as the door opened, and House came in. House was limping much more heavily than usual, and moving quite a bit slower. It was pretty clear he was having a bad day, and Foreman could only grimace at the thought of how crappy this would be if they actually had a case.

Thankfully, they didn’t, and House would probably just stay in his office and be miserable by himself. Or he would take both his pain and boredom out on the team, but that was probably less likely. Foreman hoped.

House dumped his bag, and started heading towards the conference room. Foreman groaned to himself, and got up, meeting House at the door between the two offices, “you’re not going in there.”

House glared at him, and Foreman groaned internally at the red rims around the blue eyes. House was in a lot of pain, and was probably in a proportionally bad mood. But Foreman didn’t back down, “we don’t have a case, you’re going to be unbearable. Go home.”

“Does the door say Eric Foreman? No? Then I’m still head of this department. Get out of my way.”

Foreman knew House was right, and that this was more interference than House had ever stood for before now...but Foreman just really didn’t want to deal with House like this today. He shook his head, “no. You should be at home anyway, you look like hell.”

House just kept glaring at him, but Foreman noticed that he was trembling. Shit. He knew the team was staring at them. He shook his head, “go sit down. Hire a masseuse, get some pt. Hire a hooker, for all I care. But you’re gong to be useless and incredibly annoying if you hang around here. Go away.”

House tried to keep glaring, but had to abruptly turn away and limp to a chair, half collapsing into it and immediately starting to rub at his bad leg like he was trying to sand it with the palm of his hand. Shit. House looked paler than he had when he’d first come in. Foreman hadn’t seen him look that bad since Tritter.

Foreman glanced at the conference room, and then back at House. He sighed, “look, I lied. We do have a case. But I’m not letting you near the team until I can trust you not to tear their throats out the minute they say something stupid. So either feel better, or go home.”

House raised his head, glaring up at Foreman, chest heaving, “yeah. ‘Cause I can totally... turn off my leg...”
He dropped his head again, starting to rub at his ruined with more desperation than before. Foreman grimaced, and crouched in front of House’s chair, “what’s the name of the masseuse Wilson hired you that one time?”

House snorted, “that’s not going to help.”

“Why not?”           

“It’s too bad. Fell. Pulled something, ‘s been spasming since. Not gonna help.”

Foreman was a bit surprised at the honest admission, and got to his feet, “if you pulled something, heat should help.”

“Tried that.”

“You tried a hot tub?”

House stared at him, “excuse me?”

“The Physical Therapy department has a hot tub.”

“You’re not serious.”

“We’ve got a case.”

“You’re lying.”

“About the hot tub?”

“About the case.”

“No I’m not.”

“There’s nothing on the whiteboard, there aren’t any files on the table, and cuddy didn’t call me to bitch about my being late. There’s no case.”

Foreman sighed, “whatever.”

“Which leads me to ask the question, why did you lie about that? You knew there’d be no chance of me going home if I thought there was a case. You clearly don’t want me to stick around. So why did you lie?”

“To see you wet and mostly naked.”

House snorted, but gripped his cane, and pushed himself back to his feet, “I doubt that.”

Foreman shrugged, “believe what you want.”

House shook his head, turning away and grabbing his duffel from under his desk. Foreman sighed, and grabbed the duffel away from the older doctor, who was pretty clearly having trouble walking even not carrying anything.

House glared at him, but didn’t ask for it back, which Foreman considered as permission enough to carry the bag. They walked to the elevator, and Foreman didn’t say anything when, halfway there, House suddenly stopped and leaned against the wall, lifting his right foot off the ground completely. House was paper white, and his lips stayed pressed tightly together the whole way down to the Physical Therapy department.

They lucked out, and nobody was scheduled to use the hot tub for the next few hours, so Foreman was able to commandeer the use of the thing for the next hour and a half without ending up owing too many favors. He carried the duffel into the bathroom after House, and handed it to the older doctor when they reached the curtained changing rooms.

After a minute or two, House came back out in swim trunks, and shoved the bag back at Foreman, with a vehemence that was rather ill-advised, as he had to then grab Foreman’s arm to stay upright, face losing color altogether.

Foreman stayed outwardly impassive, as he let House hold onto him, and tried to ignore the shaking of the older doctor’s hands on his arm. House was eventually able to let go, but he didn’t stop shaking, and his steps were tiny, halting, and slow after that.

Foreman didn’t know why he’d come in to work today. He could barely stay upright, Wilson would certainly have vouched for him that he really wasn’t in any shape to come in to work. Foreman realized that that was probably the answer right there–Wilson probably would have insisted on taking off work to stay home with House, and House would have found that unbearable. And if Wilson hadn’t vouched for him that he wasn’t feeling well, cuddy wouldn’t have believed him, and he would have had to come into work anyway, just with more people knowing how crappy he was feeling.

Foreman watched House awkwardly sit on the raised rim around the edge of the hot tub, and slowly ease himself down into the water. Foreman sat on the rim of the hot tub where House had just vacated it, and watched the older doctor ease himself onto one of the seats protruding from the wall of the hot tub under the water.

He sat there, and watched House sit, massaging his bad thigh under the water. Foreman hadn’t ever actually seen House’s leg, but he could see the contours of it now, where House’s swim trunks clung to him. Foreman made himself look away, even though he had a certain amount of sick curiosity about what it was that caused House that much pain.

Instead, he looked at the rest of his boss. He’d seen House mostly naked before, but not for a while, several years at least. The right shoulder was almost twice as muscular as the left, though the left was nothing to laugh at. He was a bit surprised at that. House took such crappy care of himself normally, that Foreman couldn’t really picture him going to a gym and lifting weights or something.

Foreman tilted his head a little, studying his boss. House in general was actually pretty decent to look at, Foreman wasn’t going to deny that. House suddenly looked up at him, and Foreman briefly considered trying to pretend he hadn’t been staring, but decided instead to ask, “do you actually go to the gym?”

House snorted, “no.”

“Oh.”

House sighed, watching him, “the pool.”

“Oh.”

“Somebody’s articulate today.”

Foreman shrugged, “what’s there to say about you going to the pool?”

“Well you could, I don’t know, explain why you were staring at me.”

“I was trying to figure out if you went to the gym or not.”

“Well I don’t. You can stop staring now. It’s creepy.”

“Like you’re one to talk about creepy.”

“I don’t just randomly stare at people.”

“Yes you do.”

House shrugged, conceding, “yes I do.”

Foreman noted that House seemed to be in a better mood after even just a few minutes in the hot tub. Obviously, this had been a good idea. Foreman wondered why it had taken him so long to come up with this. Though, granted, he was still a little surprised House had gone along with it.

“Why did you agree to come down here?”

House shrugged, “it was a good idea.”

“So were you going home and you staying in your office.”

“No, those were stupid ideas. I probably couldn’t have driven myself.”

“Then you would have gotten a cab or the bus.”

“Or I would have gotten into a car crash.”

“Then you would have been the idiot, not me.”

“I never said you were an idiot for suggesting those things, I just said they were stupid ideas.”

“Are you actually saying I’m not an idiot?”

House glared, a bit defensively, “no. I’m just saying I wasn’t saying you were an idiot right then.”

“Of course.”

House glared at him more, seeming genuinely pissed off, “you’re an idiot.”

“Uh-huh,” said Foreman, smirking, and giving House a smug look.

House splashed him. Foreman immediately lost his amusement in irritation. He liked this suit, “you have the maturity of a five-year-old.”

“Shut up.”

Foreman shook his head, and got up, walking away, picking up House’s duffel, “I’m borrowing your spare clothes.”

“You’d better not! They won’t even fit you!”

But Foreman was already in the bathroom, and the door closed on House’s protest. He walked into one of the changing rooms, and peeled off his wet shirt and pants–the shirt was probably ruined–and changed into House’s spare scrubs. House was right, they didn’t fit him at all, and he looked ridiculous, but at least he wasn’t wet anymore. He’d get his own spare set of clothes when they went back upstairs.

He found a few safety pins in House’s bag, and started pinning up the hems at the bottom of the pant legs, so that he could actually walk without tripping. He finished doing that, and then straightened. He’d let House simmer for a while longer before going back out there. Hopefully House would forget about whatever snit he was in that time and he’d actually be somewhat reasonable again. Somewhat. Hopefully.

Eventually, Foreman got up, and walked back out into the room with the hot tub in it. He walked over to the hot tub, the hems of the pants still trailing a bit on the floor, and then stopped a few feet away from the tub, at a sound. House was snoring. Foreman snorted, and walked the rest of the way over, crouching down by the side of the hot tub.

They only had the thing for about another half hour, but House was conked out completely, and Foreman was reluctant to move him. He’d looked exhausted from the minute he showed up for work, and Foreman knew he didn’t’ sleep well when he was in a lot of pain.

Foreman sighed, knowing he should probably wake the older doctor, and moved around to shake House’s shoulder. The minute he shook House’s shoulder, House opened his eyes, and grabbed Foreman’s wrist, and yanking him forwards into the water.
           
Foreman surfaced, coughing and spluttering and glaring at the laughing doctor, “What the hell!?”
                                       
“You are such a gullible idiot.”

“And you’re an asshole!”

House just grinned at him. Foreman glared back, grumbling, “I take it you’re feeling better.”

“I am, but that’s not the point. I can’t believe you fell for that...literally”

Foreman splashed him. House shook the water out of his eyes, and splashed back. Foreman didn’t retaliate again–this was obviously going nowhere. He climbed out of the hot tub, and then realized there had only been a towel in House’s duffel.

He looked back down at House, shivering, “you’re an asshole.”

He climbed back down into the hot tub, and sighed, “you’re getting me a towel.”

House smirked, “but I’m a cripple!”

“You’re an asshole.”

“That too.”

“You’re getting me a towel.”

House snorted, “in your dreams.”

Foreman shrugged, and pulled the towel out of the duffel, walking towards the bathroom, safety pins clicking on the tiled floor.
                       
“Hey! Where are you going?!” yelled House from behind him.

“To dry off,” replied Foreman, as he reached the bathroom and pushed the door open.

“Asshole! Get bac--” yelled House, as the door closed behind him. Foreman smirked, and stood there after stripping off his wet shirt, shivering for a bit, before turning around and going to open the door to give House the towel. If House got cold his leg would probably stiffen up again, rendering the whole exercise useless. But Foreman couldn’t have just given him the towel...

He opened the door, and jumped a bit when he found House stumbling through it as he pulled it open. He ended up grabbing his boss’s arm and wrapping an arm around his waist, because House had slipped, and was falling.

House glared at him, and tried to push him off, but the floor was wet and slippery, and he ended up grabbing right back onto his employee. Foreman snorted, and waited for House to straighten up off him. He didn’t. Foreman frowned, “what are you doing?”

House shook his head and didn’t answer. Foreman rolled his eyes, pushing House fairly gently off, and handing House the towel. House didn’t take it, stood there, frowning at him. Foreman sighed, “what is it now?’

“What the hell was that?”

“What the hell was what?”

“You grabbed me.”

“You were falling.”

“You still grabbed me.”

“Was I supposed to let you fall flat on your face?”

“Why didn’t you?”

“Because....what... who the hell lets someone just fall over?”

House shrugged, “most people.”

“You have a weird definition of most people, House. Here, take the damn towel and dry off, you’re shivering.”

House didn’t take it, kept staring at him like he wasn’t quite sure if he was human. Foreman rolled his eyes, wrapping the towel around House’s upper body, “dry off before your leg gets stiff again.”

House shook his head, “you still haven’t answered.”

“I did answer.”    

“No you didn’t. You said why wouldn’t you, that isn’t a reason why you would.”

Foreman stared at him, “House...”

“You don’t do pity, you aren’t Wilson, you’re not Cameron... why?”

“Because I’m a decent human being. Take the damn towel.”

He was holding it on the older doctor, because just kept staring at him, and didn’t answer. Foreman rolled his eyes, “House. Take the towel.”

House’s response wasn’t exactly expected. He shoved Foreman against the wall, the towel falling to the floor, “why?”

Foreman stared at him, “What the hell, House?!”

House was breathing heavily, and Foreman realized he was losing color again–he was in pain, and inexplicably upset, and probably embarrassed about almost falling. Great. This had ended well.

Foreman pushed him off, and picked up the towel, “why does it matter?”

“It doesn’t,” muttered House, getting himself under control again, “forget about it.”

Foreman rolled his eyes, handing House the towel. But he didn’t let go when House tried to take it. House glared at him, “let go.”

“Why did it matter so much?”

“Now you’re the one obsessing.”

“It mattered because there’s some motive you wanted me to have.”

“Or one I wanted you to not have.”

“Or one you wanted me to have.”

House shook his head, yanking the towel out of Foreman’s hands, “or, one I wanted you to not have.”

Foreman shook his head as well, “you didn’t just get mad, you got weird. You get mad when people do thinks you don’t like, you get weird when they do things you do like but don’t understand.”

“Shut up.”

“House–“
           
“Shut up.”

“House. You’re the one who’s an idiot.”

“I said, shut up.”

“Uh-huh, because you totally yell that at people who aren’t getting close to something you don’t want them to figure out.”

House sighed, shaking his head, “look...what’s going to happen here? You’re going to say what you figured out, and it’s never going to get unsaid. Nothing good is ever going to come of you saying it. There’s no point–“

“Who said nothing good would ever come of it getting said?”

“Me.”

“House.”

“What?”

“You’re an idiot.”


Foreman looked up, as Wilson came into the conference room, frowning and looking rather upset, “have you seen House this morning? He didn’t come home last night, and he hasn’t answered his phone since yesterday evening.”

Foreman nodded, “he’s in his office.”

“Did he sleep there, or something?”

“I’m pretty sure he didn’t.”

“Are you sure, though? If he did, we really need to talk about why–“

“Wilson. He... didn’t sleep here.”

Wilson blinked, “then you know where he slept?”

Foreman looked up at the oncologist, and sighed, “yeah. My place.”

Wilson looked surprised, but shrugged, seemingly just glad House was okay, “did he sleep okay?”

“Yeah. He slept fine.”

Wilson sighed, “okay, well, good. Thanks for letting him stay over, I guess.”

Foreman nodded, awkwardly, watching Wilson walk away. He got up, and walked into House’s office, leaning against the wall after closing the door behind himself, “House.”

House looked up at him, “yeah?”               

“You didn’t tell Wilson?”

“Tell him what? That his presumably straight best friend had sex with one of that presumably straight best friend’s presumably straight employees?”

“Yeah.”

“No. And I’m not planning on it.”

“So it was just...”

House looked up at him, “well it certainly wasn’t a marriage proposal.”

“Could it be not just...”

“What? You can’t find anyone less disgusting to sleep with?”

Foreman stared at him, “what?”

House shrugged, “or are you turning into Cameron? First a dying woman and then a cripple? I think you are.”

“House.”

“Or maybe you’re turning into Wilson–“

House.”

“What?”

“I like you. Shut up and don’t argue with that.”

“I’m not arguing with it, I’m just doubting it.”

“Why?”

“Because I have no reason to trust it.”

Foreman regarded him for a while, and then shook his head, “stand up.”

House rolled his eyes, “what are you going to do?”

“Nothing. Wilson brought a case, we should get started.”

“What’s the case?”

“Pediatrics patient with ocular melanoma presenting with–“

“You’re lying.”

“What? How did you--”  

“Wilson would’ve come straight to my office if it were a kid. Would have wanted to make sure I took the case. So what are you playing at?”                       

“Just stand the fuck up.”       

House snorted, but did stand up. Foreman walked towards the conference room, House followed him. He was almost to the door, when he turned around, grabbed House shoulders, pushed him against the wall, and grabbed his head, pulling it down so he could reach it with his mouth.

House grunted, and fought for a moment, then gave in. It was awkward, House was a lot taller than him, and Foreman was a bit, er, stiff, from the night before. But it served the purpose. When Foreman finally let go and stepped back, House was staring at him, apparently convinced.

....of course, so was the rest of the team...

           
Foreman grunted, awkwardly scooting off the older doctor, and lying next to him, breathing heavily and stretching, as he tried to catch his breath. He felt an arm wrap around his waist, and a head rest on his shoulder. He grinned, and rubbed a hand over House’s back.

He moved his hand in lazy circles, over the sweaty, muscled back. He grinned again, when he heard House start snoring. He turned his head, briefly pressing his lips against House’s temple. House would have yelled at him if he were awake, but since he was asleep, Foreman got a soft, friendly snuffle in response. Foreman grinned for a third time, and closed his eyes, resting his head against House’s.


Nine years later, Foreman finally managed to mostly convince the man he’d been married to for five years that he might possibly not be going anywhere all that soon. If he’d known that all it would take was sitting there non-stop for while House had a two week bout of food poisoning, he would have taken them to the restaurant with the bad oysters years ago. As it was, he woke up the morning after House stopped vomiting, and didn’t get kicked when he tried to give House a good morning kiss. House still shoved him off, of course. But he didn’t get kicked.


  • 1
Liked it, a lot. I think you're the only person to make Foreman human.

Love it! I normally can't see House/Foreman happening, but you make it very real. Thanks for sharing!

I love this!

I don't know how many times I've read it but the last paragraph still make me sqee

Thank you!

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