Authors Note: Okay so I have a lot of apologising to do. I'm so sorry for the rather astonishingly long wait for this, I don't really have many excuses. I had a little writer's block and wasn't sure how to proceed with the story but I think this chapter came out okay. I actually wrote half of this a couple of weeks ago but went on holiday so I had to finish it, which is why I'm uploading now. Good news is that School is now over for the holidays and I'm planning on finishing the story up in another two chapters or so. Who knows, I might write a sequel if people like the idea. Promise I'll upload sooner this time. Sorry again and please review!
Chapter 13: Found
Present – Chase
Preoccupied by counting the ceiling tiles religiously, something to take his mind off of the current situation, it took Chase a moment to realise that he could hear something: a slight scuffling. That was all, very quiet but hurried, increasing in speed and noise. After nothing but a choked silence and further screams the new development seemed deafening, a small ink blot on the otherwise silent and pristine canvas. Raising his head from his foetal position he locked eyes with Taub; he had heard it too.
Slowly, moving as cautiously yet quickly as he dared, Chase crept closer to the rusted grate on the farthest wall, the source of the sounds. Holding a finger to his lips to Taub, he eagerly pressed his ear to the corroded metal and waited. The scuffling grew louder and a small smack was heard. It took a few seconds for him to place it, but to Chase it sounded like the sole of a shoe hitting tarmac. Raising his eyebrows at Taub he mouthed his uncertain discovery questioningly, and received a confirmative nod to his suspicions. He agreed. Just as he turned his head back to the small hive of activity, a loud clunk made him freeze. The floor vibrated a little, whatever had fallen was heavy. The next noise was all too familiar: the loading of a gun. Before he could contemplate whether the people outside were friend or foe, he heard a small chink which filled him with hope. Handcuffs being fastened, a way out of here at last!
The spark turned to an ember and the embers set his hope on fire to a full flame: this was it. A crackle of a radio cut through his brief euphoria and Chase strained intently to focus on the distant conversation. Unable to hear most of it, he could only ascertain a few words and phrases:
"Rescue…..doctors…..hostages…searching now….yes Sir."
It was enough to rouse Taub out of his delirium and a smile broke out before he could stop it, a massive Cheshire grin worthy of the fictional cat himself. The police had found them, wherever they were. This meant a way out, an escape. It meant life.
Present – Princeton Police Department
This was it, the elusive hiding place of a suspected Darrien McCurdy, the assumed perpetrator of the whole operation. They'd already detained a large man seen fleeing the site wearing a distinctive red bandana over his fac. They couldn't be sure but the voice of the criminal individual matched the telephone call they had received and the man was believed to be the boyfriend of the former convict. He's already been cuffed and is on his way to the station however; they wouldn't have to deal with him anymore. The main operation was still underway, and cops gripped their weapons nervously, a sheen of sweat on many of their capped foreheads.
Waiting for the order to move out, one such rookie kept pacing back and forth, aggravating his older and more experienced colleagues. Finally after a good few minutes of building irritation, a thwack on the tarmac resonated loudly as the rookie tripped over a curb. Grabbing the beginner by the scruff of his shirt, the chief mouthed a very easily interpretable message: Shut up! At that moment the radio sounded in the chief's pocket and he picked it up straight away.
"Rescue mission is underway…. yes, three doctors taken hostage….will begin our search now…preparations are almost complete Sir I- …. searching now….yes Sir."
Only half of the negotiation was heard but it was enough. The chief gave a quick sharp nod and the whole squad was away, in a tightly organised formation they fanned out and surrounded three crates. Another hand signal and the rookie kicked down the door, yelling the announcement that the Princeton Police Department was here and for people to put their hands on their heads. What that group found however was not the murdering suspect they expected. Instead two dishevelled and sick looking doctors, oh the irony, were sat in the middle of the floor, shaking. Their hands seemed bound to their foreheads as they awaited instructions. A more senior officer relayed the discovery to the boss whilst other officers helped the civilians to their feet. The blonde man refused to listen to the rookie's reassuring advice that they were safe now and interrupted with a desperate edge to his voice. It made all the other officers stop, the voice was that of a man who had lost everything: it demanded to be heard.
"Please there's a girl next door, she's dying…you have to help her!"
Present – House
Back at Detective Sawyers' office House was embracing his ignorance. Foreman not so much. His fellow was pacing so fast back and forth that House was sure that the friction would almost certainly affect global warming. His employee had such an angry protruding stress vein on his forehead, that House decided it needed its own pay salary and desk. And a nickname, something comical. He deliberated for a moment - what name would annoy Foreman the most? It had to have some pun in it, yet be a name which erodes his composure over time, leading to a big diva-esque storm out. Veronica maybe? Hell it didn't matter much.
He fiddled with the object in his pocket thoughtfully, a minor change in his otherwise relaxed demeanour. It did not go unnoticed however. Cuddy reached out and clamped her hand down on his fidgeting wrist with a thoroughly not amused expression.
"House if that's your gameboy or another toy of yours so help me god!" She scowled at him with such fury that most men would wilt instantly.
Pulling his hand out of his pocket, she retrieved the mysterious item which had captivated his attention. She turned to him questioningly, a slight frown of confusion appearing on her brow as she glanced at him questioningly. She held up the contraband high enough for Foreman to see and he gasped in recognition.
"Remy's inhaler? How did you get this?"
"I stole it from her locker – I like lesbian toys. And anyway, you don't even know her name so don't lecture me." House tried.
"No… you wouldn't have hidden it." Foreman pondered out loud, seeing through House's obvious remark. "You care about...her? Why else would you bring something this far, it's obvious. You actually care about someone other than yourself"
House spread his hands over his leg, his thigh aching more. He looked at the bewildered expressions on his colleagues faces and sighed.
"Look she… I mean I think that she…okay I don't know why but I brought it in case she needed it, satisfied?" His tone was gruff but they weren't deceived. Foreman arched an eyebrow.
"Fine Thirteen's like a twisted mess of a lesbian daughter to me. I don't want anything that bad to happen to her which would mean that she's late for work. Happy?"
It wasn't much but it was probably the closest the others would come to seeing House's true thoughts. And that scared them. For if House was worried, then Thirteen didn't have a hope in hell.