Vile!author has taken my entire continent and thrown up on it in words. She sends House and the ducklings to save the Africans, who have never before beheld the majesty of white!Cameron but are just smart enough to rejoice at the sight of the metal bird.
Yup, this fic has a ‘metal bird’ in it. Srsly.
A/N: MST is House-Wilsony, with a dash of Cam, and PG-13-ish. Fic is G, for God-awful. Also, one teeny little spoiler for ‘One Day, One Room’.
Normally I’m a bit of a sap, who feels somewhat guilty about MSTing bad!fic authors’ heartfelt but useless attempts at story-telling. This time I felt nothing. Well, that’s not strictly true: I felt overwhelmed by scarcely-containable rage. Enjoy!
House: *leaning way back in his chair, feet up on his desk; looking suspiciously as if he’s sleeping*
Wilson: *bursting into House’s office* House, wake up!
House: Wah! Uh– Wilson, I was sleeping.
Wilson: Too bad, you have to wake up; I need a diagnosis. I found this map of Africa clutching its head and running around in the hospital foyer screaming. And, no, there’s no cockroach.
House: *glancing at the wild-eyed continent Wilson has dragged in behind him on a gurney* Seems perfectly calm now.
Wilson: It’s pumped up to the eyeballs with Ativan!
House: What are those papers in its hand?
Wilson: Don’t know. Dosed it with extra muscle-relaxant as well, but even that couldn’t loosen its grasp. I’ve never seen a patient this unresponsive to meds.
House: *sighing dramatically* All right – wheel it into the conference room.
Ducklings: *look up expectantly*
House: Differential on –
Wilson: Uh, it says ‘Africa: student study map’ at the top here.
House: Differential on Africa; go.
Foreman: We don’t know anything about it!
Chase: That’s because you’re American.
Cameron: *approaching gurney* Hi! I’m Dr. Cameron. How are you feeling?
Cameron: What’s that you’re holding... mind if I have a look?
Map: *gurgles quietly; loosens grip on papers*
House: *to Wilson* See? All it needed was a woman’s touch.
Cameron: *reads papers; pales* No. No.
Foreman: Let me see. *grabs papers* Oh, man. *passes them to House*
House: *glances through papers; flicks a Vicodin to Map*
Wilson: House! It’s already full of drugs!
House: Settle down – it’s going to need that.
Map: *slugs down Vicodin*
Prologue: Four doctors, six months
Wilson: *scans ahead* More like four viewings of Mean Girls, six flicks through the 1952-edition of That Dark Continent.
The sun positively throbbed in the cloudless sky. The pulse of heat and light beat down on the sliver of silver descending to the parched land.
Foreman: We have another adjective discount-shopper.
Rural Africans ran outside of their mud-brick huts,
Chase: Be difficult for them to run inside a hut.
Cameron: Vile!author means ‘out of’.
Map: Wh– where are we?
Cameron: You’re in hospital. You’re all right now – we’ll get you better.
Map: No, I mean, where in Africa are we; Egypt? Cote d’Ivoire? Namibia? The DRC? I’m a big continent.
Wilson: That’s okay; Cameron has this fantastic grapefruit diet...
Cameron: Maybe the oinkologist could do with a few grapefruit himself.
Map: Could be.
cheering at the familiar sight they associated with full stomachs. Young children clutched at their mother’s skirts,
House: That one woman was quite a breeder, but then you know what Africans are like...
staring with wide eyes at the metal bird that made the air hum. But the older children, the teenagers, started to run towards the long strip of cropped grass that they remembered where such a bird landed, once a month.
All: *stare in abject horror*
Foreman: Metal bird? Metal bird?!
Map: I had quite a time with security at your JFK metal-bird resting place, you know.
Cameron: Oh, what brings you to the US?
Map: Well, I’m actually a map by night and a chartered accountant by day–
Chase: Just like Flashdance!
Cameron: Exactly like Flashdance. Except for their being no welding, or dancing.
Map: I’m here for a risk management conference. But, really, my dream is to pack it all in and be a map full time.
And with it came people with food and pale skin that went red in the sun.
Chase: Yeah, because, as we know, all Africans are black.
Their clothes were odd and they jumped at simple things like cobras in the huts,
House: Well know fact – all Africans are also impervious to cobra venom. Apart from the dying, of course.
Map: *mutters* Feel as if I’m dying... *to House* Say, do you have any more of those Vicodin?
House: *looks cagey* One more. *flicks pill to Map*
but they were very kind. One woman from the last lot stayed behind and married the chief; she stood stoically by the side of the grass strip, trying to hide a wide smile.
Cameron: She alone knew that it was not a colossal avian cyborg, but an aeroplane.
Her husband, surrounded by his other wives, looked on in disapproval with his wife’s show of emotions,
Chase: I think vile!author is thinking of Calvinists.
Wilson: Or perhaps House.
House: No Greg privileges for you this week.
Cameron: *quirks an eyebrow*
but seemed nevertheless glad that resources and medicine had been brought to his village. He knew the white people would circulate throughout the other villages, bringing resources to the area,
Foreman: God bless ’em!
Map: Neo-colonialism gives me – aaagh! – pains. Dr. Wilson, I think I need some more of your medicine in a plastic stick. You know, with the sharp metal pointy bit at the end...
Wilson: *rolls eyes; administers Ativan*
Map: Aaaaaah, that’s the ticket.
and for that he was thankful, although he remained wary. Tales of white-skinned demons he had grown up with still haunted the recesses of his mind,
Cameron: His mother always told him he shouldn’t read so much Fanon.
Chase: How do you know all this fanfic jargon?
Cameron: Frantz Fanon, you goon! Wait, how did you know his name was also a fanfic term?
Chase: I’m, uh... well read.
and he knew the pain the white men had caused his people many years ago.
Wilson: Many, many moons ago.
House: Luckily, all’s right with the world now.
Wilson: You mean I haven’t really lost my Greg privileges?
House: No, you’re still in trouble.
They extended a hand of friendship now, but it would take decades before his people would fully trust them.
The Africans, swarming
House: ... like an amorphous human mass...
out onto the landing strip, suddenly started to move back to the trees to see the plane land. They knew that the food would not come unless every soul had left the strip.
Foreman: Sit! Paw... Okay, now you can eat.
Map: I really need another–
House: *fixes Map with terrifying stare* Stop that thought right there.
Map: You know, suddenly, I’m A-okay.
The plane circled overhead once and slowly landed. The whirring in the air grew, throwing dust up and outwards towards the Africans.
Wilson: None of them was a distinct individual with a name; this due largely to the fact that they could never tell one another apart.
House: *eyes Foreman warily* Who is that man, and why is dressed as a doctor?
Foreman: *gives patient sigh*
Cool waves of air ruffled the grass, disturbing little dirt-coloured savannah birds into a flurry of feathers, cheeping wildly as they soared into the sky.
The plane landed with a high, keening thrum, running the full length of the landing strip and slowing down at the end. It made a 180º turn and slowly drew parallel to the Africans cautiously emerging from the bush.
Map: It’s true – we’re terrified even of our own airports.
Foreman: So how did you get here?
Map: Made a raft.
When the blades stopped rotating, the chief’s white wife walked forwards. The door opened with a thump and a few black men jumped the five-foot drop, hurrying around to the cargo hold and dragging out calico sacks filled with mealie and brown rice.
House: Some of them had boot-black on their faces and wore striped waistcoats and boaters. From time to time they grinned widely and broke out into a song-and-dance routine. *does jazz hands* Oh, mammmmmy!
Wilson: *tries to roll eyes and look disapproving; fails; starts laughing*
A ladder for the other occupants was dropped from the door and out appeared four doctors.
Chase: No jumping for the brittle doctors!
First came a black man with dark eyes
Foreman: Contact lenses. My eyes are really an even more dreamy, crystalline blue than House’s.
and a blue shirt.
Chase: To match House’s eyes.
He was conversing rapidly in the English language
Map: Commonly known to my people simply as ‘English’.
to a woman behind him, a white woman who made the men stir slightly in discomfort. They were not used to such beautiful creatures.
House: All African women are as ugly of sin, of course.
Wilson: “Cameron blended right in...”
Cameron: *smirking* My Greg privileges haven’t been revoked, you know.
House: I’m afraid I’ve been captivated by the beguiling demon woman. She blinded me with her hauntingly white skin.
She wore a wide-brimmed straw hat and a light, colourful dress without sleeves. She laughed at something the black man said and smiled brilliantly at the gawping Africans.
Foreman: If only they could close their mouths. Too bad those sub-standard drugs being off-loaded by pharmaceutical multinationals had had irreversible side-effects.
More than one boy had fallen in love when she moved forwards to let a blonde man forward,
House: Who could possibly resist the way she moved forwards?
who seemed to feel uneasy with the African’s stares. His hair was longish and perspiration clung to his forehead underneath the fair strands. The long pants and shirt did nothing for his level of comfort,
Foreman: Or for his image.
the heat oppressively closing in. He wiped his forehead and sighed, the backs of his arms already red.
Cameron: The villagers surmised that he had not used a sufficiently high SPF.
Chase: I’m a bloody Australian – it’s not like I’ve never seen the sun before!
Map: Do they teach geography in schools here? Do you have schools?
When he moved out of the way, another man walked forward, or rather, limped. He held a wooden cane in his right hand and leaned on it as he watched the Africans watching him. He made a comment that the woman seemed to disapprove of as she turned to him and made a scathing remark.
Wilson: *to Cameron* So, um, what kind of Greg privileges were you talking about, exactly?
Alison: Sorry, you have to be this slim *holds up hands to demonstrate* to get on that ride.
Wilson: *wails* How-oww-ouse!
He shrugged and limped forward, blue eyes narrowed as he scanned the Africans who were starting to grow nervous at his heavy examination.
House: *to Wilson* Hmm, perhaps you’ll get a heavy examination later.
Wilson: *perks up*
Cameron: *peers out the window* Nice weather, today... for a climb up Mount Gregory. *gives Wilson pwnd look*
House: Sorry, Jimmy – it’s that glaringly pasty skin; I can’t help myself.
But he nodded and said something in a low voice which was obviously a signal as the chief’s wife walked forward, hand outstretched in greeting.
She shook hands with all of them, then turned to her husband and spoke quietly to him. He turned and announced in a loud voice, “These people come from America. Come, meet them.”
House: *screams a sentence in Japanese*
All: *stare at House in stunned silence*
House: *jabs Wilson in the ribs with his cane*
Wilson: Oh, Dr. House, please do tell us why you tried to perforate our eardrums.
House: Just a little scientific experiment – to see how loudly I have to scream that before you understand.
Chase: I think vile!author meant that the chief was speaking the indigenous language.
House: Whatever. I still stand by my hypothesis: anyone; any language. It’s just a matter of the right number of decibels... *yells a snatch of Latin at deafening volume*
Chase: Did that last word mean ‘spleen’?
The Africans slowly stepped forwards, still wary at the sky-eyed doctor’s glare. Unexpectedly, a small child, barely walking, toddled forwards, arms extended. His bright brown eyes, like liquid drops too large for his face, were spread out in expectation.
Foreman: His eyes were spread out?
Cameron: Like cheap margarine on toast.
Wilson: Ooh, I could really go for some hot, delicious French toast right about now.
Wilson: Mmm, mmm – toaaast.
Cameron: *starts chewing her lip*
The four people stared at him, momentarily stunned,
Chase: Because, come on, who expects a small child to toddle?
Wilson: *pulls chocolate from his pocket and begins eating it slowly, savouring each bite* Mmm, so much – hmm-nmm – chocolaty goodness.
House: *swipes and eats remaining chocolate*
Wilson: *produces replacement chocolate, and a sandwich*
but then the woman gave a little cooing noise and stooped down to pick him up. He chuckled a little and grabbed at a strand of dark brown hair, laughing quietly to himself.
House: As he plotted the downfall of Western civilization.
This was enough for the Africans. They thronged forwards, laughing, cheering, helping to carry the sacks to the village. The men hugged the black and blonde men; they were more courteous to the woman,
Cameron: Whom they did not mistake for a whale.
Cameron: *makes whale sounds*
Chase: Hey, Cameron, you’re pretty good at that!
politely introducing her to other women and unburdening her of the baby, but to the other doctor, they were at a loss.
He did not seem to want or expect any greeting; instead, he led the way back to the village, slapping at bugs and taking out a little bottle filled to the brim with white, oval pills.
Foreman: They wondered if it they could sell him their stash of E at an inflated tourist rate.
He swallowed one with obvious relief, snapped at the woman who berated him about rationing them, and limped straight into a mud-brick hut. He didn’t seem to mind the few furnishings, instead, sank into a chair
House: Made of mud.
and rubbed at his thigh irritably, for what reason the Africans could not perceive. They had assumed that the problem was in his foot, but decided that they would know by the time this party left in six months time.
Foreman: Still, six months... wonder if that will be enough time for them to grasp the basic principles of logic and draw a conclusion about the leg.
Map: *sobbing into its pillow*
Cameron: Oh, hey, don’t cry. Is this fic making you homesick?
Map: *wails* No! I’m from Lagos!
Foreman: In Delaware?
Chase: *sighing* It’s in Nigeria.
Map: We have skyscrapers and traffic jams and everything. I have a laaaaaptop! I did see a lion once, though – that time Dad took us to the zoo.
The woman was allocated a small hut across the village to the men’s. The male doctors had to all share a room, which neither seemed happy about,
Chase: Neither of all of them? Both of us six are starting to come up with ways to permanently prevent vile!author from ever putting fingers to keyboard again.
and the limping man was seen dragging a bed outside. Generally the chief would have been offended,
Wilson: All the villagers knew that if there was dragging going on, he better be in on it.
but there was something about this man that made him feel inferior.
House: That’s okay, Europeans feel it too.
Wilson: And Camerons.
House: Come on, can’t you two get along? If you know what I mean... *leers*
Wilson and Cameron: *look shocked*
Unused to this, and unsettled, he prided over his place on the head mat, but the man did not seem to notice; instead he threw himself into the food.
House: *hurls himself towards Wilson’s sandwich*
Wilson: *whips his lunch away just in time*
But, with a smug feeling of satisfaction for the chief, the unfortunate doctor was hung over the toilet pit for the rest of the night.
Wilson: Trussed up like a hog and hung over the pit, while the natives cackled evilly and danced around him in grass skirts.
Chase: Mental disorder?
Cameron: Massively dumb?
House: Mindless drivel.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Yes, a little different to what I’m used to. I’ll probably branch out into a ship
Chase: A great metal fish.
eventually, but I want to see how these characters will respond to the harsh rural African experience. I think the only reference in here that most people wouldn’t know about is mealie; it’s just an ear of corn.
Cameron: Ooh, actual research!
House: I’m presuming she means ‘a mealie’ or, if she’s really intent on not using an indefinite article, the kind of porridge-like starch ‘mealie pap’. Of course, when it’s dry and in large quantities in sacks, as she mentions it, it’s far more commonly referred to as ‘maize’.
Wilson: Where do you pick up all this stuff?!
House: I get around.
I know you’re wondering what the heck would get House into Africa to cure little sick kids; all in good time!
Foreman: Oh, yeah, promise us more of this – that’s what we want.
House: I so am wondering – not!
Chase: I need some steel wool to scour my mind clean.
Cameron: *whispers to Wilson*
Wilson: *whispers back*
Wilson: We-ell, we...
House: *smirks* Oh, good!