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Answer to Your Why Chapter Two

Nothing super duper to say. I wasn't gonna really continue this, but someone commented, so here we go. Gotta plan this one out though lol.

Chapter Two - Ripples on the Surface

Taub arrived at work the next day experiencing the aftereffects of a really bad hangover. His eyes were still bloodshot and he was cranky as hell. the only thing keeping him from snapping at anything that moved was the fact that his mind was occupied.

'Sides, did it look like I had any objections back there?Kutner's previous words had finally made their mark on Taub's refreshed mind, and as he took a seat at the glass table of the conference room, he could see that Kutner looked just as rustled as he did.

Jesus, what the hell did he mean by that?Taub wondered, giving the younger doctor a quick sideways glance. He wasn't suggesting that he... god, if I could only remember how he reacted to my reckless actions...

Kutner held his face in his hands, the bags under his eyes looking a little darker than usual. Thirteen seemed to notice, sending him a worried look as she waved a hand in front of his face.

"Kutner, you in there?" she asked, watching as he snapped into an upright position. Offering him a smile, she continued, "You look a little tired today. Is everything okay?"

"Uh, yeah, everything's just... Fine," he replied, giving a weak smile in response to her concern. The brunette's smile dropped, but she seemed to be appeased by his words, turning her attention to the man that had just limped into the room.

House paused in front of the table, giving his team a sweeping glance. "What's wrong? Did the deathcat sit beside you last night, Kutner, because you sure look dead to me."

Kutner seemed to respond to the use of his name, his eyes widening a bit to look more awake. "Uh, no, I thought that Cuddy got rid of her yesterday..."

House rolled his eyes, moving over to the whiteboard to write down their patient's symptoms, giving the information for the case of the day. He turned around to face his employees, leaning heavily on his cane as he added, "Well, if your idiotic superstitions didn't get to you, did you sleep with Taub last night? That expression totally looks like you have a pain in your ass."

The diagnostitian limped over to the coffee machine and filled a paper cup with lukewarm liquid from a half-empty pot that seemed to be ignored that morning. Carefully, he walked over to his lackey and set the cup in front of him. "Come on guys, I didn't hire you to sit there and gawk at me because I know everything."

Thirteen and Foreman started to throw different diagnoses into the air as House stared intently at Taub. "So, 'fess up, tiny Taub. You guys, you know, do it last night?"

"Why the hell do you think we slept together last night?" Taub snapped, ignoring the cup of coffee sitting beside his arm. "I had too much to drink last night. Happy?"

"That much is obvious, one of lesser proportions," House replied, limping back to the whiteboard. "But that doesn't explain why Kutner keeps looking at you. You guys went out drinking last night?"

"House, what about the patient?" Foreman asked loudly, agitated.

House turned his gaze on Foreman, giving him a heavy stare. He received a blank look in response. Exhaling loudly, House gave him permission to run tests on the patient's arm before going back to interrogate Taub.

Kutner, on the other hand, was trying to get out of the room as quickly as possible, almost bolting ahead of Thirteen when House exclaimed, "Not so fast, Kutner! You're in this too. Take a seat."

"Look, House, I have no idea why you think we had sex last night," Taub stated, giving his boss a no-nonsense look, "But we didn't, and I don't really see how this is relevant to anything, besides the fact that you're a nosy bastard who has to know everything."

"Aren't you fiesty today," House mused, pulling up a chair in front of the two frazzled doctors. "If I knew you were like this when you were hungover, I think I should get you drunk every night!"

Taub rolled his eyes.

"Well, since this guy doesn't seem like giving up answers any time soon," the department head started, turning his gaze to Kutner, "You feel like telling me all the details?"

Kutner glanced away from his boss, looking as if he were trying to make sure that this wasn't all a dream. Sighing, he turned his eyes to the ceiling and replied, "After the whole chair thing, I saw Taub come in to drop off a box of donuts--"

"Which were quite delicious, thank you, Taub," House interrupted with a wink. Taub fumed at the diagnostician and fisted his hands tightly.

"As I was saying, I saw him drop off the donuts and decided that I would be a nice person and take him out for drinks, seeing as he had a crappy day. That's all, House."

Taub chanced a glance at his coworker and saw that he was still wearing the expression that said he really didn't want to be there. He hoped that the younger doctor could see the gratefulness in his eyes in that quick second before he turned around to look at House again.

House hummed loudly, seeming to consider his employee's words. "Alright then, Kutner, Taub. Go check on the patient."

He practically leaped to his feet before limping out of the room, heading straight to Wilson's office. Both Kutner and Taub gaped at the glass door as it closed in his wake.

Taub exchanged glances with Kutner, both of them sharing curiousity about their boss' behavior. Almost immediately after locking eyes, the two flushed, memories from the night before popping up in their mind.

"We should, uhh... You know, check on the patient," Kutner stammered, avoiding Taub's gaze. Not that he really needed to worry, as the shorter doctor was staring intently at the floor.

"Yeah," he drawled in reply, hands on his hips. They exchanged another quick look before darting out of the room.


Foreman looked up from the microscope, waiting for Thirteen to finish examining a test result for their current patient. "Taub and Kutner are acting... Weird."

"Yeah, I know," the brunette replied, leaning back on the counter in front of her. "What do you think they did to be so... weird around each other?"

Foreman shrugged, mimicking his girlfriend's posture as he stared at the many glass cabinets filled with medical paraphernalia. "I don't know. Maybe what House said earlier was... Right."

Thirteen scoffed, giving the neurologist a disbelieving look. "Come on, do you really think he was being serious? Taub has a wife."

"That hasn't stopped him from cheating before," Foreman retorted, picking up Thirteen's abandoned papers and folding them into a neat pile. "Who's to say that he wouldn't sleep with Kutner? They seem pretty close to me."

Frowning in thought, Thirteen looked back at her lover as she said, "No, I don't think that they've had sex yet... This stage of awkwardness means that something happened, but something stopped them from going too far."

"Taub looked pretty hungover, so maybe he got drunk and tried to... do something."

"Yeah, that seems like a pretty feasible--"

"Ahhhh, it's good to see Foreteen gossiping about their coworkers," House interrupted, face alight with glee. "Still on the whole Taub and Kutner thing?"

Foreman rolled his eyes at his boss, turning back to his microscope. Thirteen shot him a look of irritation for handing her the responsibility of appeasing the diagnostician.

"Yeah," Thirteen admitted, tilting her head back at him. "What do you think?"

Limping forward, House grabbed the test results from the countertop and replied, "Well, after eavesdropping your gossip, I'm gonna have to agree with you. They didn't sleep together. It was too late to see if their lips were bruised or anything like that..."

"But they were acting weird, like, teenager weird," Foreman added, looking up at his boss. "It's going to be a few more hours before the results are clear."

"Why don't we just kill time figuring this thing out then, hmm?" House suggested, taking a seat and shifting his weight onto his cane. Pressing his forehead to the handle, he said, "They went out to drink. They have something to hide. What could have happened?"

"House, we're not having a differential on the personal life of our co--"

"What could have happened?"

Foreman could recognize the test of wits from a mile away. He sighed and said, "Maybe someone copped a feel when they were walking back to the car."

"Nope, too insignificant. If it was just that, I think Taub would admit to it to get me off his back. Thirteen, what do you think?"

Thirteen had crossed her arms across her chest, refusing to look House in the eye. After shooting Foreman a look to confirm that they had no choice in the matter, she said, "Maybe it's not one-sided, and that's why they're freaking out."

House seemed to agree with that, falling silent to take a moment to think. He stood up, offering Thirteen a wink before opening the glass door to the lab room,
"See, if you just comply with my wishes, you'll get me off your back eventually."

Thirteen opened her mouth to reply, but House was already making his way down the hall.


"Dr. Wilson," Kutner breathed, panting as he stood in the doorway. "How do you avoid House when he wants answers?"

Without looking up from his paperwork, Wilson stated, "You don't."

The younger doctor gaped at the oncologist, hanging on the doorknob as the sound of House's cane thumping down the hall grew louder. Biting his lip, he earned an eyebrow raise from Wilson before he dashed down the hall.

"Hey! Just because I'm crippled doesn't mean you can run from me very long, Kutner!" the diagnostician called down the hall, watching Kutner cut a corner, disappearing out of sight.

Breathing heavily, he looked for an escape, a closet or something that he could use to outrun the limping doctor threatening to catch up. Dodging unsuspecting men in lab coats, Kutner sighted a wooden door and decided that a place that wasn't walled with glass was a good place to hide. Stretching his legs to reach his destination a little faster, he grabbed the brass knob hurriedly and flung the door open, throwing himself into the small, shadow-ridden room.

He leaned against the door, inhaling slowly. His eyes widened when he realized that there was another sound of harsh breathing accompanying his own. Panicked, he whispered, "Who's in here?"

"K-Kutner?"

Kutner relaxed his shoulders, slumping down against the wooden door behind him. "Oh, it's just you, Taub..." Wait, shit! His breath hitched again, the palms of his hands pressing flat against the door as he backed up again.

"Are you hiding from House, too?" Taub's voice was shaky, though it was strained to stay at a level tone.

Kutner nodded before realizing that his coworker could not see it. "Y-Yeah. Did Thirteen tell you, too?"

"Foreman did. Apparently they had a differential about our... behavior."

Jesus, it's only been one day since it happened and already House is on our tails? The taller doctor thought to himself, annoyed. But then again, House had a right to be concerned about the performance of his team, which would be altered if things weren't settled soon. Kutner bit his lip, feeling his hands slide slowly down the door.

"Look, maybe they're... right. Maybe we should talk about this," Kutner muttered, silently hoping for a miracle to happen.

"What is there to talk about?" The words were a little rushed, spoken a little too fast and harshly. Taub seemed to catch himself the second time around when he added, "I-I mean, it was just a little drunken... thing. It won't happen again, I promise."

The younger doctor had enough of Taub skirting around the event as if it never happened. Blindly, he reached out, almost poking Taub in the eye, indicated by the startled yelp the shorter man released from his lips. Scrambling to move his hands to a more comfortable position, he cupped the side of his face.

"Chris." Kutner decided that this was serious enough to move to a first name basis. "Why the hell do you keep acting like it was some sort of... mistake? I'll admit that I kissed you back, okay? Does that make it more acceptable?"

Taub wrenched Kutner's hand from his face and growled, "I'm not drunk anymore. Being all touchy-touchy isn't going to make this easier."

"Then what is?!" Kutner's voice had reached a volume that he felt could be heard from outside, so he shook his head and hissed, "You're making this more difficult than it should be."

"I made this difficult?! It was you who asked me out in the first place! Maybe if you'd just stayed out of my business, this whole thing wouldn't have happened!"

"Oh, so now you're blaming me for caring, huh? You know what, maybe your wife doesn't deserve such a cold-hearted bastard like you!"

That seemed to shut Taub up. Stunned, he fell silent, the sounds of their harsh breathing filling the room.

Sensing that maybe he'd gone a little too far, Kutner cleared his throat awkwardly, tugging at the collar of his sweater. "Shit, Taub, I... I'm sorry, that was low..."

"Yeah, it was," Taub spat in reply. The short response left Kutner without words once again. Just what do you say to a stubborn man like this? He was saved when Taub sighed exasperatedly. "Kutner. Just drop this. We can tell House what happened and then it'll be over."

"Oh come on, you know House will keep bothering us about it anyway," Kutner scoffed, annoyed at his deflection. "Why are you so eager to let this go?"

"Because there's nothing to hold on to in the first place. It was an accident, nothing else." Taub's tone was low, as if he had regretted what happened. It elicited a spark of anger in Kutner, What, am I not good enough to remember? You're the one who kissed me first.

A quiet growl rose from Kutner's throat. "How can you accidentally kiss someone, Taub?!"

"An accident is something that wasn't done on purpose, and I didn't mean to kiss you, Kutner."

"Well, you did, and there must have been something that made you do it, whether or not you really planned to do it." Is there something wrong with kissing me? At least I wasn't the one who tasted like cheap alcohol. ...Though that was my fault.

"What do you want me to tell you, Kutner? That I wanted to kiss you? That it wasn't an accident? Because then I'd be lying."

The spark erupted into something fierce as Kutner reached out again. His eyes had adjusted to the dark a while ago and he could see the faint outline of his co-worker's body. His hands didn't miss this time, grabbing at the lapels of Taub's labcoat as he pulled him closer to him. Their lips met roughly, Kutner's teeth clicking with the contact. You did want to kiss me, and if you won't admit it, then I'll just have to make you admit it. Drunk or not...

Something in the back of Kutner's mind wondered why he was so concerned about it, but this was Taub and his pride was now involved as well, so he ignored the little red flag of warning. Taub's yelp of surprise was muffled against his mouth and he raised his hands to Kutner's chest to push him away, but all strength left him as he tried not to react to the soft lips against his.

The taller doctor took note of Taub's declining reluctance and pulled away. He watched as Taub's eyelids fluttered open, his expression uncharacteristically soft and smiled smugly at him. "You can't honestly tell me that you didn't enjoy that."

Taub merely scowled at him in reply. Kutner chuckled quietly and laced his arms around the other man's waist.

Averting his eyes, Taub put his hands on Kutner's and muttered, "Don't do this..."

He continued to smile as he dropped his arms to his sides. "Fine. But I'm not letting this go anytime soon."

In the dark, Taub's gaze flickered back to the taller doctor's shining eyes before he sighed faintly. "Whatever. Let's just get out of here already."

Kutner grabbed the doorknob and pushed the door open. The first thing he noticed was the bright lights of the hospital hallways, then the smirking face of the head of diagnostics. Thirteen and Foreman were hanging around in the background, both of them feigning indifference, but he felt their attention shift to the pair emerging from the closet.

He had the modesty to blush, yet he grinned brightly at them. Thirteen rolled her eyes and smiled in return, Foreman raising his eyebrows.

"I told you that you couldn't outrun me," House stated, leaning heavily on his cane. He tipped his chin at them. "I would propose a celebration for the new couple, but you have a job to do. Taub, go with Foreman to the patient's home and check for toxins and whatever you can get your hands on. Kutner, try to talk to the patient again. I have a feeling she's not telling us everything about her family..."

Kutner nodded, barely registering the command as he walked to the patient's room with Thirteen. he couldn't wait to get out of the hospital and talk to Taub later, but for now, he settled on chatting with the patient, the diagnosis taking second seat to his priorities.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
mellamomuyloco
May. 16th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Ahaha, second chapter uploaded a month to the day after the first. =P Anyway, nice move, turning the 'morning after' (so to speak) into a largely comic scene. The differential was a hilarious move~! Also, I really like the way you write House. And... the last scene... just worked. There's no other way to say it. <3 Haha, and you were afraid of being out of character when you first started writing them! xD You've really got a hang of the characters.
blehgah_nyahmeh
May. 17th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
Icon love~ x]
The month difference is due to the fact that I only finished this chapter up after that last person commented. I had up to the "Shit, that was low" part written then I abandoned it, then I finished it up. I first imagined doing it one way where Taub gives in, but I forgot what I was gonna write and spent a few days afterwards trying to think of something that would fit. x]

I'm still nervous about the characterization, but that's just my personality, nothing I'm going into lol. Especially House x] I rewrote the deathcat line three times before even settling on that idea. x]

So yes, thanks for commenting again! I always love receiving your feedback. I still haven't bothered planning this one yet lol x] Procrastination, it kills me. Oh, and long reply is long lol
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )