Chapter 1: A Tequila Infused Remedy


She was late to work. Again. House was going to kill her when she got in. Sighing heavily as she contemplated which rude remarks she could expect in the DDX room that morning, she brushed a lock of her brunette hair behind her ear. Last night hadn't helped her already pounding headache, and the combination of the Huntingdon's drug trial and her hangover was anything but pleasant. Still a few too many shots to relax at the end of the day was worth the regret later. After all, that was the thing she loved about alcohol: not the bitter taste or the flood of temporary warmth, but the blessed amnesia it caused. She could forget House, forget the patient and forget her damn degenerative disease. If only for a few hours.

Her mind side tracked by flashbacks of last night, it caused a loud horn beep and a flash of a red light to bring her back to her senses. Jamming her foot on the break she stopped just in time. Ignoring the filthy looks from onlookers and the slight tremble in her left hand, she breathed a small gasp of relief. Suddenly the world spun away from her, colours blurring to the right of her vision and as she watched deliriously they turned into puddles of grey. The car shook with the impact of the other vehicle and her head collided with the windscreen, shards of glass shattering over her and opening wide cuts as deftly as the stroke of an artist's paint brush. Her arms and legs were raised in the air in slow motion, as she was flung like a ragdoll into the car door. Sounds were muted except for her own gasping breathing as liquid filled her mouth. Dimly she felt her eyelids clamp shut, glued together by blood and they were too heavy to lift. Just before she floated into unconsciousness, a scraping noise of shoes on tarmac grew nearer.

Last Night

She was drunk. She, Remy Beauregard Hadley, was absolutely out of it. Words slurring into an unintelligible alphabet soup she plead on with the bartender, inebriated courage making her stubborn and foolish.

"Jussssshhhst one more drwinnk, goo onnnnn. I won't tellll anybody. I sweaaaar."

The bartender frowned and slowing as he wiped a glass he replied "Docto,r I think you've had enough now. Come on, I'll call you a taxi – don't give me that look! It's either that or walk home and I'm having your keys"

Shooting him a look she stumbled away from the bar, off in search of another place in which to drown her sorrows. As if reading her mind the bartender, John she thinks his name was, held up a mobile.

"No, you're not going anywhere. Here, what's your boyfriend's name again?" He said firmly, eyebrows raised in such an expression of mockery similar to House, that Thirteen wanted badly to hit him. Deciding that the lawsuit probably wasn't worth it, nor being barred from her favourite place in town (not to mention the bruised knuckles she'd have to deal with in the morning), she sat on the stool again and looked at him glumly.

"Foreman. But I don't think yooouu should botherrrr him though. I'm fine to drwivveee!" she protested weakly.

Giving her an authorative stare, John or whatever his name was, rang Foreman. A half a minute later the chat was over and Foreman on his way. Wondering why men could always manage to have such short phone conversations, Thirteen didn't notice Foreman until a warm hand gently shook her shoulder to get her attention. About to give some alcohol fuelled jubilant greetings, Thirteen's smile stopped short. Foreman did not look happy. His scowl broke through her mood and she registered the sudden change almost immediately, surprising given the amount she'd had to drink. After all she was no lightweight; she had been at that bar for a while now.

The short stumble to the car was lost as her vision grew hazy, her eyes struggling to stay open. Once dumped rather unceremoniously in the passenger seat, she was only half awake when Foreman began his rant. "Downward spiral" this and "Self destruction again" that. She was sick of him sometimes. His over concern made him feel like a parent and she really wasn't in the mood for a lecture. After all, she knew better than anyone what an annoying parent could feel like.

That Morning

"Just leave it out will you Foreman? I'm fine, you're fine, everything is just fine." She retorted angrily, nostrils flaring briefly.

"I am not going to just stand here and watch you slide down this slippery slope again Remy, I'm just not." Foreman held his hands out to her despairingly. After a short pause, it was Thirteen who broke the silence.

"I think you should make your own way to work Eric. We'll talk about this later, when House isn't breathing down our necks."

Nothing more was said, it didn't need to be. Their body language said it all: Thirteen with her arms crossed furiously, Foreman with his beaten down stupor and rejected puppy expression. For once, they didn't need House to read their emotions or thoughts. Unfortunately, this open book would not reach the Diagnostics Department at all. Not in one piece anyway.