"Get down there."
"I think I'm coming down with a bit of a cold – weakened immune system and all – probably shouldn't be around all those sick people."
"Well, luckily, you work in a hospital, so if you get sick, I'll be more than happy to give you a shot."
With the look in her eyes right now, House didn't like his odds on what that shot would contain, so, with a sigh, he reached for his cane. "Fine, fine. But when I get sick, you're going to have to deal with my caseload."
"One case isn't a load, House, and your fellows are already taking care of him."
"If you trust them," he mumbled, leaving his office and heading down the hall towards the elevators. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a contemplative look form on Cuddy's face, and he knew that once he was safely imprisoned in the clinic, she'd hunt down his fellows for an update. Good, the more suffering spread around this week than just on him, the better.
When they arrived in the clinic – predictably full of small snuffly children – Cuddy picked up the first file from Brenda and handed it to House herself. "Brenda, he owes me four hours today. I'm trusting you to make sure he fills them all," she said sternly.
Brenda gave House her usual 'why-am-I-babysitting-the-doctors-too?' look and he decided not to push her buttons just yet. Meekly, he collected a stethoscope that was sitting on the counter and, glancing at the colored post-it on the first file, headed to exam one.
"Now, what seems to be the problem?" he asked, looking through the intake notes rather than at the patient.
"My grandma got runned over by a reindeer," a young boy replied.
House looked up in shock, and saw an older woman with white curly hair, a distinct dirty hoof print on her holiday sweater. "Are you serious?"
'Grandma' flushed and nodded stiffly.
"You don't happen to know a Dr. Wilson, do you?" he asked quickly. "I mean, this isn't a prank?"
'Grandma' shook her head but still didn't meet House's eye. "It was the Christmas petting zoo at the local Unitarian Church," she explained, clearly embarrassed.
"And you picked a fight with Rudolph?"
"No, it was Bli'zen," her grandson helpfully replied.
House blinked a few times, debating which wisecrack to make, and 'Grandma' quickly explained. "It's a very large zoo. They've got all the reindeer, and the sheep and donkeys and whatnot for the nativity scene. There's a petting zoo today and a parade tonight."
"Right, well you're going to need X-rays, to make sure Blitzen didn't crack a rib. I'm gonna have one of my associates handle that." He pushed his stool towards the phone and quickly paged Cameron. As he waited for her to report, he hummed quietly to himself.
Grandma got run over by a reindeer, walking home from our house Christmas eve…