?

Log in

No account? Create an account

July 21st, 2019

It All Depends On You


(House/Boardwalk Empire crossover written for Walks Into A Bar)

A warm day in 2019.

Gregory House walked into an art deco soda fountain on Cole Street in San Francisco, eased cautiously onto a stool at the counter and a young Chinese woman whose name tag read "Hsieh" smiled sweetly at him and handed him a menu. His eye went straight for the drinks containing alcohol.
"A royal red milkshake please."
"Certainly, sir, but I'll have to go in the back to get the ale and sherry."
The phone rang and she picked it up quickly and started speaking in a rapid and agitated manner. House knew Cantonese and some Mandarin but he could tell by her accent that she was speaking Jiangxi, which he didn't understand at all. He had, however, noticed that what looked like a shelving unit behind the bar was actually a door to a back room so he waited for a moment when she wasn't looking and slipped behind the bar and pushed the door/shelf open with his cane and walked in, expecting to find a storeroom.

A cold night in the 1920's.

An extremely crowded speakeasy somewhere in Atlantic City. House started. "What the hell is this, am I in 'The Shining'?"
Chalky White gave him the fishy eye. "You say 'shine'?"
House knew this was not somebody to piss off. "No, no, no, no, I was talking about something else. I'm just a doctor looking for some ale and sherry."
"You a doctor, huh? Don't move."
Several minutes later, Chalky approached Eli. "That tall skinny white boy who needs a shave say he a doctor. He got a real sass mouth on him too."
Eli's eyes narrowed. "That slob's a doctor? He dresses like he's gonna do some ditch digging. And what's that thing in his hand?"
"He say it's a telephone, but it ain't working. If that thing is a phone, what's he need to carry it around for? He gotta make phone calls when he takin a piss or somethin?"
Eli walked over to House and not very subtly flashed his gun at his hip. "Come with me, Doc. I got someone in the back you need to take a look at right now, and you better know how to patch him up."
They went into the back room and Eli led House up to a very young looking Black man who was writhing in pain on a table. House took a quick look. "This is only a flesh wound, I can take care of this."
"No asking any questions about who shot him, either, hm," came a hoarse whisper from the shadows. House glanced up to see a man with a half mask pointing a sawed off shotgun at him and bit back the temptation to crack a joke about Rene Magritte.
"I wasn't going to."
"Hm, good."
House finished stitching the man up and handed Eli a pill bottle. "Make sure he takes all those antibiotics."
"Anti what?"
"Medicine. It'll keep his wound from getting infected." House couldn't help thinking, "These guys never heard of antibiotics?! This isn't just some roleplay bullshit, did I go through some kind of time warp?!"
Chalky eyed the guy on the table. "He ain't gonna do any piano playing tonight, though, where the fuck am I gonna get another one?"
House smiled. "I think I can help you there too."

Epilogue: A warm evening in 2019.

Hsieh looked startled. "I thought you'd left."
"I did. Where's my milkshake? Playing all those blues songs made me work up a thirst. That Nucky guy tips good though."