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CHAPTER TWENTY ONE: TIME’S UP


House looked again at his calendar. Time was up. His trio of highly trained doctors had not come up with a diagnosis on WolfBoy and if House didn’t do something about it today, well, it was a full moon tonight, and we all know what happens then.

“Don’t all rush me at once,” House said as he walked into the diagnostics office. He received a trio of blank stares. “Okay, who wants to go first?” Nothing. “Times up. Today is the day you lose the bet.”

Cameron was the first to speak.” You’ve ruled out every diagnosis we’ve come up with.”

“Because they’re all wrong.”

“Can’t you just tell us?” Chase was tired of playing.

“That would be cheating.”

Foreman’s temperature was rising. “This isn’t a game House. We are dealing with a human life. Just because this kid was unfortunate enough to get stuck with you as his doctor doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be treated like a human being.”

House thought about this, then smiled. “Once a month he shouldn’t be treated like a human being.”

“What?” Was Chase’s literate reaction.

Cameron’s reaction was to grab a book that was open on the desk and start flipping back through the pages. She’d gotten the hint. Foreman just folded his arms and stared House down.

“Male menstruation,” Cameron announced excitedly.

“There’s no such thing,” Chase said, horrified.

“Yes there is. It’s very rare,” Cameron spun the book so that House could read the article she’d found. “But there have been noted cases. It all fits. Mood swings, tired for no reason, everything happening once a month...”

“Where’s the blood?” House didn’t even bother looking at the article.

“What?” Cameron tried to keep her bubble from bursting, but House was towering over her with the proverbial pin and she knew he was ready to use it.

“The blood, you know the menstruation bit in the whole male menstruation, unless you think this is some sort of psychosomatic sympathy menstruation, emphasis on the psycho.” He looked pointedly at Cameron.

“There are many documented cases of sympathy pregnancy. The mind tricks the patient into thinking they too are suffering from all the symptoms of pregnancy while the wife is going through them.”

“And who, exactly, would this kid be having sympathy for?” House was fascinated with watching her grab at straws. She was trying so hard to impress him.

“His mother, girlfriend...”

“Wrong, but you get a gold star for the effort.” House turned to Chase. “What have you got?”

“Nothing,” Chase said honestly. House moved on.

“Foreman? What neurological condition do you think is causing this?”

“I do not automatically think everything is neurological. I think Gerard is suffering from Lycanthropy.” He turned toward Cameron and Chase to explain. Mostly because he couldn’t stand looking at House’s smug smirk any longer. “Someone suffering from lycanthropy will actually believe they are a werewolf. They think themselves into all the symptoms you see in the movies, the hair growth, moods, blackouts, all revolving around the phases of the moon. Look at the kid. He’s one of those Goth types, who wants to be a vampire or a werewolf or something else he thinks is cool. Trying to impress his friends, or scare his enemies. At his age the mind is impressionable enough to buy into the idea, and before long he is no longer in control of it.”

House grinned from ear to ear.

“I’m right, aren’t I?” Foreman wanted to hear it. He wanted to make House admit that he was right, that House wasn’t the only one who could come up with crazy diagnoses and have them be right.

“You’re certainly close.” House nodded appreciatively. “Well, gotta go.” He spun on his good heel and hurried out the door.

“What?” Chas looked at the door.

“I said it was all in his head and I got laughed at.” Cameron looked at the place where House’s ass had just vanished from. She could still see it if she used her imagination.

“Asshole.” Foreman started straightening out the books on the table violently.

“Just because he didn’t pat you on the head and tell you you did good doesn’t mean he’s an asshole.” Cameron protested. “Besides, he didn’t say you were right, only that you were close. Clearly it’s something psychosomatic.”

“Then why did he practically laugh when you suggested it?” Foreman snapped.

“He didn’t laugh!” Cameron pouted.

“Well, he didn’t take it seriously.” Foreman thought for a moment. “I don’t think he meant that this is all in the boys head. I think he meant the werewolf part was close.” Foreman sat back down and grabbed a book. “We’re looking for something that presents like a werewolf.”

Chase laughed until he realized Foreman was serious. “Should I go rent a copy of Werewolf in London?” They both glared at him. “For research.” He protested jokingly as he sat down and grabbed a book. “What the hell presents like a werewolf?”
Welcome to the end of the thought process

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houddybob
Save House in Time: A House/Dresden Files Crossove

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