House frowned as he played with his ball. Ever since a patient named Lana Lang had come in regarding the bizarre green glowing tumor near her clavicle, the staff had been acting very strange. Cameron had decided to become Lana's very best friend. Now Cameron did have a habit of becoming chummy with the patients but even he thought it was weird when she sent Lana flowers and talked about tattooing Lana's initials on her ankles. He wondered about Chase when the man started gushing about her `perfection.' House had mocked him by asking him, "Oh, are you starting to kissing young girls again?" Cuddy had taken to visiting her everyday and reassuring her that they would find a way to get rid of the evil tumor that strangely enough kept growing back almost instantaneously. Wilson was flirting with her and giving her HIS macadamia nut pancakes. That was the last straw. Nobody partook of Wilson's pancakes except him.
"You said you wanted to see me," said Foreman as he walked into the conference room, looking a little peeved as he usually did around House. He looked around and said, "Where are Cameron and Chase?"
"I'm sure that with your amazing powers of observation that your colleagues seem to have become enamored of one of our newest patients named Lana Lang. Frankly, I think we are the only ones immune to her charms," said House as he put his ball down.
"Yes, I've noticed. It is weird," said Foreman. "But what can we do about it?"
House took up a black marker. "Let's write down all the symptoms." He wrote on the whiteboard:
Foreman raised an eyebrow at that.
"You're not describing her symptoms but everybody else's."
"Precisely. Now I don't know why we are immune to her charms. It's not like we have much in common except for our taste in shoes. However, this did remind me of cases I read in the Arkham Medical Journal and the Metropolis Medical Review."
"I've never heard of them," said Foreman.
"That's because the Arkham Medical Journal is devoted to arcles regarding the psychiatric cases of the criminally insane of one particular asylum in Gotham and the Metropolis Medical Review centers around rather unusual cases regarding the effects of genetic mutation due to the peculiar effects of low-level radioactive meteorite fragments."
"And what does that have to do with her? She's not a former psychopath or mutant."
"Those aren't things that one would willingly confess, are they?"
"Of course," scoffed Foreman. "Everybody lies."
After they both did some research and made some calls, House and Foreman met again in the conference room. Cameron and Chase were too busy rolling around on the ground in an empty hospital room elsewhere. Sadly, they were fighting over Lana instead of having sex with each other.
Foreman said, "I called the Arkham Asylum. Lana Lang or anybody resembling her has never been a patient there. I also found out that there was an asylum near where she lives and Belle Reve has never had her as a patient there either. I will say that there have been a few inmates who have either stalked or tried to kill her."
"That reminds me," said House. "A patient from an adjoining room was found trying to put a pillow over her face. He said he felt this incredible compulsion to snuff her. It seems to be quite a common sentiment."
"How so?" said Foreman as he thought that putting a pillow over House's face was probably equally as common.
"I found that peculiar things happen around her."
"Fatalities and attempted murder attempts. It's like she's the Typhoid Mary of insanity. Incidents in Smallville, the town she used to live in, actually decreased drastically when she moved to Metropolis. Interestingly enough, incidents in Metropolis sharply increased."
"You don't believe in coincidence?" said Foreman.
"No," said House. "Everything is connected. Besides, a resident of Arkham Asylum did turn out to have a tangential association with the patient. Her name is Desiree Atkins, a former resident of Smallville. Due to exposure to the radioactive meteorite fragments called Kryptonite, her body oozed a lovely mist of pheromones making men do her bidding. I hear the attendants have to wear a gas mask and surgical gloves to avoid being affected by her. It sounds vaguely related to what our patient seems to be doing."
"This sounds like something from the Weekly World News," muttered Foreman. "Do you think she knows what's doing? I don't see how making most of the hospital nuts works in her favor."
"How about we ask her?"
"All right," she said.
"Have you ever been exposed to meteorites?" He would soon regret asking that question.
"Yes, it was the same meteor storm that took my parents sixteen years ago," she sniffed. "A photographer from Time . . ."
"Never mind that, has there been any other time you've been exposed?"
"Due to the loss of my parents, I was inconsolable . . ."
House immediately closed his eyes and started to fake snoring.
"Excuse me, I was talking!" she snapped after gasping like a fish in surprise that someone actually copped to being bored in her presence.
House opened his eyes and mock shook his head as if to clear it of any residual sleepiness. "I'm sorry. I was napping until you got to the good part of your fascinating saga."
Lana sullenly got to the point. "My aunt gave me a necklace with a piece of the meteorite that killed my parents."
"How long did you wear it?" said Foreman.
"About twelve, thirteen years before it aban . . ."
House frowned. "You wore a piece of the rock that killed your parents? Holy crap, that's nuts! Especially when the rock is both toxic and not worth a damn. A smarter girl would've asked for a diamond necklace."
Lana flared her nostrils and scrunched up her face in an approximation of rage.
"Oh, by the way, don't you find it odd that you have so many admirers in this hospital?" said House.
"I don't know what to say to that!" Lana sniffed. "It's always like this," she sighed. "Surrounded by hundreds of people who all claim to worship me and want to be my best friend, yet feeling so alone. Boo hoo."
"Oh, spare me," said House, rolling his eyes as he opened Wilson's jar of cookies and eat one. "Mmm, sugar cookies with real butter. Yummy!"
"What are you doing?" she said.
"Cookies are bad for you. As your doctor, I'm only thinking about your health." With that he popped another into his mouth, closed the jar and walked off with it.
"The lab results have returned and the patient has indeed tested positive for Kryptonite poisoning," said Foreman. "Now what do we do?"
"According to what literature there is on this unusual condition, Kryptonite is like a heavy metal despite its anomalous chemical structure and behavior. So, I'm prescribing Dimercaptosuccinic acid and the zinc salt of diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid."
"They're used for chelation therapy, the removal of heavy metals from the body. The second chemical I mentioned can be used to remove plutonium. I'm prescribing it since the green meteorite in question is made out of a metal alloy that has a low level of radioactivity."
Foreman nodded. "There's one problem with that, however."
"Results from the therapy can take a long time to show up. I don't think that this hospital can tolerate more than a few more days of this . . . love-in." Foreman was frankly getting exasperated at the fact that he felt like he was the only sane person in the building with the hospital acting giddy with the occasional outburst of someone jumping on the couch screaming he loved Lana Lang or attacking each other using IV stands as weapons. Also, having to deal one on one with House was not putting him in the greatest of moods.
"We'll increase the dosage," said House, feeling rather pitiless from having to listen to Wilson warble in the shower. It was some horrible song about how some girl was wonderful, beautiful and resurrected baby pandas from the dead.
"That'll poison her," said Foreman.
"Actually, there's an experimental therapy that might speed things up or at least get rid of some of the more annoying symptoms until it's out of her system. According to Metropolis Medical Review, Kryptonite binds tightly to and is neutralized by lead. If we pump her full of lead, I think our problem might be solved."
"You're suggesting that we give her extreme lead poisoning in order to neutralize the other poison then give her chelation therapy so the Kryptonite that's bound to the lead can be flushed out of her system."
"We're going to make her much worse before she gets better. That's insane, that's completely unethi . . . Oh, wait that happens almost every time we have a case."
"Oh, I have to warn you, she's liable to pee green glowing liquid that needs to be regarded as hazardous radioactive waste. The nurses might appreciate being warned."
"I don't want to take this medication any more and I'm getting out of here," snapped Lana as she began packing her travel bag in a huff.
House smiled, noticing that the sudden influx of offering to the altar of her royal highness had dwindled noticeably. He was especially pleased that there were no more packages from Wilson. Lana . . . was not looking so hot. "Why?"
"My pee is green! I look terrible! I feel horrible!"
"Well, this is a hospital stay, not a vacation. At least your tumor hasn't come back." House briefly wondered how much Kryptonite Lana had ingested over the years for the tumor to have grown back three times previously. My God, did she use it as a dessert topping and soap, he thought. I wonder if she sucked on the green crystal like a lollipop as a kid.
"I don't care. Your hospital staff treats me like dirt now! And what would you know about pain and suffering?" Lana sniffed, ignoring's House's limp, cane and the fact that during previous visits, he had scarfed down several vicodin pills.
House barked out a short laugh out of surprise.
Lana threw her travel bag on the bed and clomped towards the door. "I'm going to complain to the administrator of this hospital about you!"
"Oh, Ms. Lang."
Lana paused in the doorway, turning her head back with a half smile as she waited for her apology.
"You should take a magazine with you, there's a long line."
Lana huffed and stormed down the hallway.
"No, she's decided that I'm the love of her life because she found out that I think everyone lies and that I get pissed when people lie. Sadly for her, I'm discharging her. I might even get a restraining order if she doesn't fly back home."
"Do you know why we were immune?"
"Not a clue. If there were more people known to be immune then it would be a lot easier to find a common denominator. There is always a few who are resistant to any given condition. After all, there appears to be one man immune to Desiree Atkins . . ."
"You're lucky I'm in a forgiving mood. After work, I am jonesing for some of that luscious Kobe steak you've got in the fridge that you were going to waste on her."
"You got it."
"Now hop on!"
"You've got to be kidding."
"I'm serious. Get behind me."
House smiled as he drove them to the hospital. God help anybody who gets between me and Wilson's cooking, he thought. It's more addictive than vicodin.
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