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02 May 2007 @ 11:23 am
High School Is Not Another Name For Hell (House/SGA, House/McKay)  
Title: High School Is Not Another Name For Hell, Or How Rodney Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Prom
Fandom: House/Stargate Atlantis
Pairing: House/McKay
Rating: R
Word count: 5,965
Summary: In which a new kid shows up at Rodney's high school, Mathlympics are had, and Rodney does, in fact, learn to love the prom.
Notes: Okay, so this is kind of a high school AU, and it's mostly zulu's fault. She also betaed it, so you can blame her for all of this twice over.


A new kid comes to Rodney's school in October, and Rodney mostly knows about it because he's placed in a few of Rodney's AP classes even though he's a year younger than most of the other grade twelves, and therefore two years older than Rodney himself. Rodney hears that the new kid is a bit of a jerk through the high school grapevine, such as it is, but Rodney is a bit of a jerk himself, so he knows what it's like.

On the first day, Rodney sits next to him during lunch. The cafeteria is generally pretty packed, though most days people usually clear a good five foot radius for Rodney to sit in, and today, Rodney sees the new kid sitting in his spot. He's tall and lanky, a permanent scowl affixed to his face. He's also eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

When Rodney sits down next to him, the kid scowls at him some more.

"So, you're new here, and since you're the only one who seems to have realized that Mr. Jacobs is really a moron, I figured that we might bond over our shared experiences," Rodney says to him.

"Fuck off," the kid says. He's still scowling.

"Oh, please," Rodney says. "You're sitting in my normal spot. If anybody should be leaving it's you. And besides, it's not really like I have anywhere else to sit, and really, no one else would have me. Mostly because they don't understand my genius. But one day, when I win the Nobel prize, they'll see."

The kid doesn't seem any happier about this. "Do you always talk this much? Or are you just trying to impress me? Sorry, but I already have a date for the prom."

Rodney waves a hand a rolls his eyes. "Doubtful. You've been here for one day and the prom isn't for another seven months. I know for a fact that people don't start planning until about five months in advance unless they're already going out. Plus, you're weird. No one would say yes. Also, don't flatter yourself. I really do talk this much all the time. And anyway, like I would ever go to the prom." In Rodney's mind, there is no high school ritual that's more pointless and frivolous than the prom. There just isn't.

The scowl is still there, and the kid doesn't seem to be doing anything besides sullenly eating his sandwich, so Rodney launches into a rant about the stupidity of the guidance department, and out of the corner of his eye, he might see an amused smirk on the kid's face, but he's not really paying much attention.

---

The next day, the kid is in Rodney's spot again, and Rodney rolls his eyes as he sits down. "Are you going to eat here every day? I mean, it is a free cafeteria, after all. You can sit here if you want, but I really do have to warn you, I'm actually pretty annoying. All the time. At least that's what people tell me."

The kid smirks. At least it's not a scowl. "Yeah, and they're right. Is it a deep insecurity or just plain self-absorption that causes the non-stop talking?"

Rodney takes on scowling duty instead. "Oh, ha ha. Just because I'm smarter than everyone else and have no qualms letting people know it means that I have weird insecurity issues or that I'm self-absorbed. It's all just annoying social niceties that get in the way of actually getting anything done."

The kid nods. "I think I'm going to go with both."

---

The kid turns out to be Greg House, Greg to his parents, House to everyone else. Rodney is very pleased to learn that he's not a complete moron, most of them time. He's American, which is kind of lame, but nobody's perfect. Apparently, his father is a marine or something, so House has been moving around for a while.

Rodney learns this over several weeks of working on an English project with him, which they both agree is boring and stupid. He also learns that House wants to become a medical doctor (which Rodney thinks is a complete and utter waste) and likes watching people (which Rodney also thinks is a complete and utter waste).

They end up eating lunch together a lot, mostly because no one else will sit with them, and Rodney learns that House is occasionally amusing, especially when he's not playing the "I am so misunderstood by my parents" card.

It's not exactly that they're friends, per se, but rather that they share a common outlook on life, one which many other people don't seem to appreciate. They both agree that's because other people are idiots.

---

House meets Jeannie almost by accident when he comes by Rodney's house to work on the English project.

"Oh," she says when she comes by where they're working in the living room. "You're the new kid."

"Oh," House says back with a bit of a sneer. "You're the annoying little sister."

Jeannie rolls her eyes and turns her attention back on Rodney. She flounces onto one of the couches with sort of self-absorbed flair that only a teenage girl can pull off. "Mer, Mom's really upset that you won't go to the prom."

Rodney, who is doing his best to ignore her, sighs. "I've told her several times already that I think it's a massive waste of my time, just a really stupid high school ritual, and why do you even care?" It's been a bit of a point of contention between Rodney and his mother for some time now.

Jeannie shrugs. "She won't shut up about it. It's really annoying."

House butts in. "Mer?" he asks, and Rodney buries his face in his hands, anticipating the rapidly incoming humiliation.

Jeannie grins brightly, only proving to Rodney that he's been right all along; she really is hellspawn. "It's short for Meredith," she says, all smug pride at being able to have this over her brother, and Rodney has never hated her more.

"Scram," Rodney says, and Jeannie sticks out her tongue like she's four and not fourteen and she flounces out of the room.

"Meredith?" House says. "And here I thought I had you figured out, McKay." He's smirking, and Rodney can already see that he's never going to live this down.

"God, I hate you all," Rodney says.

---

"Sarah Hutchison is sleeping with Mr. Stout," House announces one day during lunch. It's been a week since they got a 75 on their English project because their presentation claimed that T.S. Eliot was a self-absorbed idiot who couldn't string two ideas together if he had a gun pointed at his head.

"Really?" Rodney says. "Huh." He has his nose in the AP Physics textbook and is crossing out everything that he finds entirely too stupid for words.

"She was coming out of his classroom after third period. He doesn't have any classes then, and she supposedly has Bio with us. This morning, her hair was braided, but when I saw her, it was pulled into a pony tail. I think he has a bit of a hair fetish." House says all of this as if Rodney cares. Their relationship was at the point where they felt comfortable talking to each other about pretty much anything that caught their fancy. Mostly because what they talked about was the stupidity of other people.

"Yeah, yeah, okay," Rodney says, because House probably expects him to say something, and Rodney's learned to be good at faking his half of the conversation. He sneers at the outdated information on quasars. "You would think that they would be able to afford new textbooks once a decade. Sure, yeah, funding, priorities, blah, blah, blah. But it's not just that they're not teaching us enough, they're teaching us things that are actively wrong."

He's not really looking up, so he misses House rolling his eyes. "Also, I'm sleeping with your sister."

"Of course you are," Rodney says. He wonders where the author of the textbook got his facts about black holes. His ass? Then he realizes what House just said. "Wait, what? You're sleeping with her?" It's probably the most horrifying thought Rodney can think of.

House smirks. "Wouldn't you like to know."

---

It's November, brown and cold and damp, when House discovers some of the requirements at school and flips out in the most annoying way possible. It involves scowling and whining about it at every possible chance.

"There's actually a requirement for extracurricular activities here?" House asks. He frowns in distaste, but Rodney doesn't really understand it.

"You're going to need them to get into college anyway," he says, "which you kind of need if you want to be a voodoo witch doctor when you grow up. And besides, we need more people for the math team, and according to your math tests, you'd be adequate."

House scowls some more. "I can't wait until we move again."

Rodney studies him for a moment. "Is that a yes?"

"No, it's an, I am so joining the marching band instead."

Rodney frowns at him in confusion. Why would anyone pick the marching band over the math team? "You're actually required to have school spirit for that sort of thing. Can you even fake that much? I mean, I know I can't."

"I show up and smile a bunch. It'll be like every other day at home. Piece of cake." House shrugs as if it really were that easy.

---

It turns out not to be that easy, and House, one week later, shows up at Rodney's locker after school, saying, "Fine, I guess I will grace the math team with my presence."

Rodney smirks as he shoves his Bio textbook into his locker, and then leads them to the room where the math team usually meets.

---

When they enter the small, cramped classroom, Rodney announces, "We have a new member. Everyone, this is Gregory House. Gregory House, this is everyone. Okay, enough of that. Chop, chop, people. We have a lot of work to do if we want to be ready for this season."

The team, previously, had been just sitting around chatting, and Rodney's pretty okay with that. As self-appointed team captain, he believes that socializing can be good for team morale, but when it's time to work, it's time to work, and Rodney doesn't believe in coddling the slackers (even though, for some reason, Locklear keeps sticking around, wasting time and space).

A few people wave at House, and House glares back, which, in most cases, would probably have them looking somewhat affronted, but they've known Rodney for a while, so they just shrug and go about their business.

---

House, it turns out, is actually rather decent, better than the pimply-faced excuses for nerds that make up the rest of the team, and while Rodney is generally fine with carrying everyone else all by himself, it's actually kind of nice to have someone share the burden.

Over the course of about five practices, Rodney notices the way House's forehead furrows and his back hunches over the desk when he's completely absorbed in a problem, the way his eyes narrow and get really, really blue. And that's okay, because it's just sort of interesting looking, and it's not like Rodney's getting a fixation on seeing it or anything like that.

Of course, once that happens, Rodney starts noticing other things. Like the way House has long fingers, like really long fingers, and Rodney knows that House plays the piano, has seen the thing itself on the occasional visit to the House house, and sometimes, he thinks about what those fingers would look like while playing (a flare of jealousy, from time to time, about the way people probably think House has artistry in his soul because he's young and angry, and Rodney's just young and precise).

Like the way House's entire face is kind of alive, bendy in all sorts of crazy ways, even thought he spends most of his time scowling.

And since House is Rodney's friend, it's okay. Rodney spends a lot of time with him. He's bound to notice these things.

Rodney doesn't really freak out, per se, the first time he kind of actually wants to reach out and run his fingers through House's hair in a completely pathetic manner (not just watching, but actual touching), sometime during one of their practices, but he does squeak out a, "I have to go to the bathroom," and takes off before anyone can say anything, and spends the next half an hour in the men's restroom, pacing back and forth, cursing the universe for giving him a sexual identity crisis now.

---

He tries to write it off as a one time thing. Harmless. Doesn't really mean anything. Despite this whatever, he still likes girls, still really, really likes girls. But then House does one of his strange scrunching faces during a math class and Rodney just kind of wants smooth it out with his fingers, and yeah, he can't really freak out without tipping off Ms. Calvin and the rest of the class, so he just focuses on how much he hates going to this class and how he can keep himself from falling asleep as she goes over the rules for integrating trigonometric functions.

House taps his shoulder from the seat behind him, and hands over a piece of paper that says:

DO YOU LIKE ME?

YES ___  NO____

A glance over Rodney's shoulder tells him that House is smirking, the smug one that's kind of cute when it's for the idiots and really annoying when it's for him. That pisses him off, so he writes in a third option and checks it off:

YOU ARE SUCH A FREAK  __X__

When he passes it back, he doesn't really let his fingers brush House's or anything like that. That would be really pathetic. The smirk on House's face fades a little as he reads the answer, but Rodney's freak-out is catching up to him, and he doesn't notice.

---

So, Rodney thinks later on, maybe he's a little gay, and maybe he kind of has a thing for tall, skinny guys who have sexy brains and look kind of hot when they're focused on something, and maybe the guy is a bit of an asshole, which is mostly okay, because he doesn't seem to mind when Rodney is an asshole right back.

But the whole thing would be a train wreck. Seriously, the guy makes everyone call him by his last name. It'd be disaster. Matter-antimatter containment leak bad. Rodney knows that the whole adolescent crush thing is incredibly stupid, has known it since he first learned of its existence (sixth grade, her name was Heather, blond, of course). It's best if he just ignores it and gets on with the rest of his life.

He tries not to think too much about licking House's neck.

---

They're starting to strategize for the upcoming meet after school in their normal classroom when Taylor, the quiet, mousy one, comes up to them and says that he's going to the vending machines and was there anything he could get them as well?

The kid looks kind of terrified and is probably half a second away from passing out, but Rodney gets a Coke and House gets a Sprite (which clearly crosses out any sort of possible make-out session, not that Rodney was planning on one or anything like that, but if there was a possibility of one before, there definitely isn't one now.)

"I've always wanted to have minions," House announces, happily. He has an uncharacteristic happy glow.

"And you wanted to join the marching band," Rodney snorts. He adds "6. Competition for minions." to his mental list of "Reasons why this whole crush business is a horrible, horrible idea".

---

Rodney ends up meeting the elder House, the one who's in the American military, after math practice one day. The plan was to sit around and watch bad after-school TV and maybe do some homework, and maybe Rodney would get the chance to watch House work on his Bio, completely consumed by it in a way that Rodney never sees anytime else, not even during the math meets. (That one's #12 on the list, "Gets all hot and bothered over something as lame and pathetic as biology.")

Of course, all of that is derailed by the simple fact that House's dad is around and probably not really okay with Rodney perving on his son.

"So you're Rodney McKay," he says. "Greg told me about you, but I wasn't sure you actually existed."

Rodney's not exactly sure what to say to that, and House is looking a little like he wants the Earth to open up and swallow him whole, and Rodney ends up saying, "Um, no. It's me. In the flesh. Real. Well, as real as anything can be, I guess. I think, therefore I am, et cetera."

House's elbow connects with his ribs before the rambling gets any worse, and oddly enough, House's dad smiles, strained at the edges, instead of looking annoyed. "Good to know," he says sounding like every other gruff military man in the movies ever.

"Yeah," Rodney says, trying not to squirm. "I'm sure it is."

"You boys going to do some work?" House's dad asks. He's mostly saying it to House, a certain "you better be" look on his face that Rodney, for one, would never want to mess with.

"Yeah, Dad," House says with a roll of his eyes, before grabbing onto one of Rodney's shirtsleeves and dragging him up to his room, Rodney only managing to get out a half-hearted "It was nice meeting you" out before they round a corner and go up the stairs.

---

Rodney finds it highly annoying that Lin won't shut up about asking Teresa Hagen to the prom during math team meetings. He's a shy Asian kid, with dorky glasses, but not horrible looking, and he likes to talk too fast. He's got this twitchy, insecure demeanor, constantly seeking approval from everyone, and Rodney would hate it more if he still wasn't a computation whiz.

"Shut up! Trying to focus here!" Rodney snaps, one day when Lin's asking Lee yet again about whether or not she thinks Teresa would say yes if he asked her. Rodney really hates the universal obsession with the prom. Really, really hates it.

"Also," House says, chiming in, "she's lonely and desperate for anyone to ask her. That's a definite thing right there. You should time it right, though. Just after all the girls are getting really, really desperate and right before the other guys do."

A silence descends over the room, and Rodney is oddly proud of him, because it shut Lin up, and now he can actually think. If only everything worked out this well.

---

"AP Physics C for next year. It'll be a joke, but it's either that or taking AP World History or something. What are you taking?" Rodney isn't actually an eggs-before-they-hatch kind of guy, but the only way he can get through this year (Bio, for Christ's sake) is by pretending things will get better in the next. They're sitting in Rodney's bedroom, taking a break from their math homework, and Rodney is sitting kind of close to House, not quite touching, but almost, and Rodney really wishes it didn't give him the thrill it does.

"Physics is boring," House says. "I'm sure your obsession with it is just some sort of pathological need to control the world around you."

Rodney adds that to the list as well ("18. Does not fully appreciate the beauty of the universe.") and makes a face. "Like I'd ever take advice from you about things that are interesting. You like watching people."

"So?" House says, sounding slightly irritated. "People are interesting. That's more than you can say about glorified math."

Rodney's pretty sure the complete and abject horror is showing on his face. "Why do I even know you?"

"I followed you home one day after school, and I wouldn't go away," House replies, and his smirk is oddly fond.

---

"So," Rodney announces one December afternoon during practice, "the Mathlympics is coming up in two months, and we need to be prepared. Last year, we let Kingston pull off a surprise upset at the end, and really, Howard, how the hell did you manage to get that the cube root of 27 is 9?" Rodney glares, and Howard cowers, as well he should. Rodney, appeased, continues. "But this year, we have a chance." He puts his hands on his hips and stares. "No more fucking around, boys and girls, we are going to have to work our asses off."

The troops mostly look properly cowed, except for one. "Your speeches suck. Did you really spend all morning practicing that one in front of a mirror?" House asks, smirking.

Rodney glares and flips him off. He doesn't find House's snug smirk oddly endearing at all, and adds it to the list, right under "27. Secretly reads Cosmopolitan in his spare time."

---

One night, Rodney dreams that he goes to the prom, but it's in the middle of the day, and there's a weird guy at the door who asks for his shoes. The gym has white streamers, and it's packed tightly with people. Rodney thinks he may know some of them.

"Hey," House says suddenly appearing at Rodney's side. "I'm your date." He's dressed in his usual t-shirt and jeans, even though everyone else is in formal wear, and he holds out a hand.

Because it's a dream, it makes complete sense, so Rodney grabs it and hangs on, laughing as House pulls him through the crowd.

He catches a glimpse of a goat, but that makes sense, too, so Rodney doesn't do much besides note its existence. If this were real life, Rodney thinks, he would be complaining right now, loudly, because he hates being dragged places, but it's a dream, and all he feels is comfortable, at ease. He's still laughing, and it feels good.

Then the roof isn't there anymore, and there's sun everywhere, and they're the only ones left, and it's bright, so bright, sunlight reflecting off the waxed floor, and House is pulling him into a hug, warm and cozy, and Rodney hugs him back.

It's about then that Rodney's alarm goes off, and he manages to shove one hand out of his warm cocoon of blankets to slap the snooze button before he gets a headache.

---

That day, he doesn't think about what it would be like to really go to the prom with House, whether or not it could be fun, after all, whether or not it would simply depend on going with the right people. He doesn't wonder whether or not House would say yes, completely on platonic terms of course, buddies going stag because they might as well. It wouldn't be a date or anything like that.

At lunch, Rodney gets fries from the cafeteria, since he's especially hungry, and House, for some reason, tries to steal some.

"Hey, hey," Rodney says, batting the grabby hands away. "Get your own."

House pouts, which makes him look maybe five. "Why would I do that when I can just steal yours?"

Rodney rolls his eyes. "Well, you're not allowed to steal mine, for one thing. For another thing, I know you can definitely afford it. For another, I definitely know that there's more in there. And besides, you're getting fewer fries if you steal from me. Hardly an optimal solution."

"Fine," House says, but he doesn't get up or stop staring at Rodney's fries as Rodney dips them into a generous helping of ketchup and tosses them into his mouth.

---

The next two months pass by quickly. Meets and classes and papers and tests and lunches spent discussing how stupid the teachers are, how stupid the system is, and how much they can't wait to get into college, because at least then they'll actually have peers. The prom fades into the background, along with pretty much everything else.

It's all very easy to settle into a routine, so easy that even the crush thing sort of just becomes a part of it, 12:30 - go down to lunch. 12:32 - get kind of turned on by House licking his lips. 12:34 - remark on how utterly horrible English classes are.

Just like that. Easy. Rodney doesn't even need the list anymore.

---

This sort of easiness was not meant to last, of course, because the universe had decided, a long, long time ago, that it hated Rodney and wanted him to suffer.

Rodney had never been particularly fond of this fact, and of course, the Mathlympics (the highlight of Rodney's year) had to interrupt the nice easy thing he had going on, since clearly the universe has a cruel sense of irony as well.

---

It's February, white and windy, when the Mathlympics comes around, and Rodney thinks that the team is almost ready for it by the time they hop on the bus to go.

The competition at the Mathlympics is cutthroat. Rodney has never understood why sports teams get all the publicity. If you wanted to see the really intense grudge matches, all you have to do is throw the nerds together and watch them seethe. At least the athletes get to beat the crap out of each other to get the resentment out of their systems.

House doesn't look impressed with the competition, and he has a smug, superior, bored expression that is actually probably exactly how he's feeling right now, and Rodney tries really hard not to find that hot.

"I'm really stuck here for another six hours? And no one is going to take mercy on me and end my suffering early?" House whines.

That makes Rodney flail for at least thirty seconds. "For all I care you can commit seppuku after you finish off your part of the relay, but you're the least bad starter we have, and there is no way I am letting Kingston kick our asses again, okay?"

The relay was the most intense part of the entire day, a five person team in a row, each one of them getting a problem that relies on the answer of the person in front of them. The only thing that matters is the answer to the final problem, and there is no limit on the number of answers you pass backwards. It's easy to fall behind or get stuck or have the person in the number three spot choke and make a simple computational error that screws up all the results that come after them.

It's hard to come up with a good strategy, since all the points are necessary, though it's a good idea to put the strongest player at the end (Rodney) so they can attempt to come up with something at the end if all else fails and the next strongest player at the beginning (House) so that they can get a good start and not get hung up there.

It's seven points to the first team to get a correct answer in, three points to the second, and one for all other teams, and a first place was enough to jump a few places, considering how neck-in-neck these things were.

---

Of course, it comes down to them and Kingston, again, and the captain of the Kingston team, Dylan, has the nerve to trash talk them before the final round, and House delivers a surprisingly scathing deconstruction of the fact that he doesn't shower on a regular basis (oil build up in the hair, making it glossier), that the rest of his team hates him (since they're not around to back up said trash talk), and that they were going to win (simply because, person to person, they are far better).

In the end, the relay actually breaks down at Lin, number two, constantly passing back increasingly close, but still wrong answers to Ramsey, who can only attempt to make sense of her own problem, but in the end, Rodney thinks 'fuck it' and scribbles down a guess that kind of makes sense given the problem and the numbers he does have, and manages to turn in his sheet of paper five seconds before Kingston does.

They manage to rake in all the points, and Rodney thinks he could almost cry, he's so happy.

Victory is a heady rush, adrenaline sweeping through his body full force. He blames the giddiness on it, the stupid-making giddiness that says it's all right for him to hug House, to grab him by the face and kiss him on the lips. They've just won the fucking Mathlympics and Rodney can do anything in the fucking world he wants. Anything.

Like, maybe, accidentally act on a verging-on-pathetic crush on his really obnoxious partner in crime.

He kind of expects the surprise, because yeah, it's not every day that you get randomly kissed by a guy in front of a crowd, but then again, it's not every day that you carry home gold from the Mathlympics either. House sort of goes still, and Rodney figures he doesn't care because, fuck it, he's probably leaving in a few months anyway, it was never going to be an actual thing. Screwing it up now was just speeding up the process.

But when Rodney tries to pull away and maybe take a sprint for it so he doesn't get his ass kicked, House grabs him by the back of his head, and holds him still, kissing him again, and holy shit, House is kissing him, and maybe this crush thing wasn't as big a waste of time as Rodney originally thought.

When they pull apart, there are a few hoots and hollers from the audience, but Rodney's not listening to them. "So, you want to go to the prom with me?" he asks, because right now he's happy and reckless and on top of the fucking world.

House smirks. "I totally knew you were going to ask me that four months ago."

"Whatever. You were lying at the time anyway, and I think you should answer the question about now, because I think I feel a freakout coming on, and it would be nice to know for sure before I hyperventilate."

"Yes," House says, and it surprises Rodney so much he nearly falls over.

"What?" he says. "Really?"

House smirks. "Yeah," he says. "It's not like I have anything better to do."

But Rodney can tell that he's lying, because House is a lying bastard most of the time, and especially when he cares about something. "Oh please, you have tons better to do." He can't keep his already wide smile from getting wider. "But you still said yes."

House scowls, looks away and mumbles, and Rodney knows he's right.

---

The next few months pass by even quicker than the two months before the Mathlympics, mostly because there are now entire blocks of Rodney's time devoted to making out with House and occasionally jerking each other off when House's parents were out (which was most of the time when it came to his dad, less so when it came to his mom).

The math team's victory goes unnoticed, of course, but Rodney finds that he doesn't really care. He got a boyfriend (okay, yeah, sort of, maybe one) out of the whole deal, and that's far better than acceptance from anyone else out of the entire school.

Jeannie is still a whiny little bitch most of the time, and he makes her promise not to tell their parents about the dating-a-guy thing or the staying-over-at-his-house-every-other-night thing. She agrees at the price of access to Rodney's math textbooks whenever she wants.

Part of the truth comes out when his mom finds the tuxedo he acquired, and when he finally admits that yes, he's going to the prom, his mom looks like she's about to cry, and when he admits that yes, he's going to the prom with a boy, his dad looks like he's about to join in.

---

So prom turns out not to be as horrible as Rodney had imagined. Rodney feels oddly spiffy in his rented tux, and he and House spend most of the time relaxing at the edges and mocking the girls' dresses, because they are totally allowed to do that now that they're both kind of gay.

They do venture out onto the dance floor once, but they both decide they suck and promise to only ever do that again when they're drunk enough to enjoy it.

They leave early because it gets boring, and spend the night on House's couch watching bad sci-fi movies and slumping against each other, drunk on the scotch House stole from his dad. The movies were far more entertaining that way, and Rodney found that, for some reason, the horrifically bad science didn't bother him as much when his inhibitions were lowered.

"Hey," House says, half-way through Attack of the Crab Monsters. "Dad's being reassigned soon. 'Nother month or so." His expression doesn't give anything away, and the bottom drops out of Rodney's stomach, even though he knew this was coming, he knew.

House isn't really looking at him, so he probably doesn't see the expression on Rodney's face, and Rodney's pretty grateful for that, at least. "Yeah," he says, "okay." His voice probably sounds a little strangled and he kind of really wants to cry, because apparently, he has the beginnings of being a really depressed drunk to him as well.

They don't do anything that night except make out, too exhausted and half-asleep and drunk to be up for much else. After that, things are a bit strained, and their usual sniping feels a little forced. They're still together, mostly, sneaking quickies here and there, but it's not the same. Rodney doesn't tell House about the MIT recruiter who's already after him, even though he still has one more year before the Canadian government will give him his diploma. He has no idea where House is going next, even though he wants to know, needs to know, but he figures that this is going to suck enough as it is, no need to draw it out. A clean break would be the best for both of them.

On the day House leaves, Rodney gives him a perfunctory hug before letting him go, and he doesn't once think about asking House to stay. Later that day, he ends up in his room, sitting on bed, staring at his bookshelf, a numb-hurting feeling in his chest that he wishes would go away, and even Jeannie doesn't have the heart to bother him.

The days pass, then the weeks, then the months, then the years, and Rodney never does see House again.

That is, until a mysterious plague appears in Atlantis, and Rodney is charged with bringing in the best diagnostician in the world.

But that's a story for another time.


FIN.


Random interlude type thing: Summer Rain, Or When You Stop Taking Chances, You Stay Where You Sit

Next: Undressing Like Cross-Eyed Strangers, Or It's Not Paranoia If The Universe Really Is Out To Get You

 
 
 
Baudrillard: like Bob Ross, in a way: issuesdas_kabinett on May 2nd, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
OMG. I loved this.

I loved the uncertain feeling to Rodney here. He was so young and enthusiastic and still so Rodney. And House was fantastic, here. Himself, but with less cynicism and totally high school, angry at the world in a subtly different way than he is when he is older. And I love them together; Love house being smug and Rodney being insane and practical and too enthusiastic.

Rodney/House would be the most destructive pairing ever! I don't mean self-destructive, although probably, I mean destructive to other people... oh god. I can just imagine what House would think of John. He has more issues than Cameron, srsly.

Anyway, anyway, I adored this. I am devoted to this story. It is absurdly satisfying, you have absolutely no idea.

In fact, I feel obliged to cry out for a sequel, especially with the BEAUTIFUL lead in you have at the end.

Also, House being confronted with alien life would make my life almost as much as the thought of House being confronted with John.
thedeadparrot: rodneythedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you. So much. This feedback makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside because yes, that's exactly what I was trying to get at with these versions of House and Rodney.

And they would be like the scariest pairing ever! Everyone would cower in fear of their combined snark and impatience!

You're also totally right about House and John. House would really get a kick out of digging out John's issues and not giving a shit about how uncomfortable it makes John. It would be totally awesome.

Also, if there's going to be a sequel, zulu's going to be writing it, because she totally owes me, and I really want to read it too!
Steph: MRI House greenstephantom on May 2nd, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
And once again, you have made me read something in a fandom I know nothing about, lol. I wasn't going to read it, and then... I decided why not. Because high school House? Yay. So I did and I'm so glad. This is awesome and so cute. I love Rodney's narration and his list of things wrong with House, and his observation of House's dad sounding like "every gruff military man in the movies ever," and the little flare of jealousy because they're both geniuses but House has got that tortured genius persona down. Heh. I don't know his character, but he came across very distinctly in this piece. Very enjoyable fic!
thedeadparrot: focused!housethedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 05:49 pm (UTC)
Haha. Thanks! I mean, it can totally make sense if you don't know much about SGA, because there's almost nothing about the actual set up of the show here, but yeah, Rodney is quite the distinctive character himself, awesome and dorky and kind of sweet when he's not being socially incompetent.

Also, high school House is way too much fun.
bibliokat: Awww Rodney! by ninnuibibliokat on May 2nd, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC)
Eeeeeeeeeeeee! One of my favorite things in the world is high school AUs!

I think that at this point if Rodney and House met they'd squabble non-stop and have a grudging respect for each other. BUT if they met earlier, it'd go just the way you wrote it. Awwwwwwww.

My favorite line is "when he finally admits that yes, he's going to the prom, his mom looks like she's about to cry, and when he admits that yes, he's going to the prom with a boy, his dad looks like he's about to join in."

But that's a story for another time.

Is there any chance at all that you'll write this? Please?

Great crossover, thank you for sharing!
thedeadparrot: flyingthedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I love high school AUs too! A little too much, probably! And yeah, Rodney and House would kind of hate each other at first but then grudgingly admit they respect each other after a while.

I don't think I, personally, will be writing a sequel, but hopefully, I will be able to bully zulu into writing one. :)
(no subject) - bibliokat on May 2nd, 2007 06:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
merelyn on May 2nd, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
I'm so impressed, because I never would have thought of it in a million years, wow, you really made this work. Love it!
thedeadparrot: housethedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It's a pretty crazy premise, so I'm glad to see that it worked.
Dee Laundrydeelaundry on May 2nd, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Love the different kinds of genius. How funny is it that House is the "people person" in this relationship?

And the Mathlympics, sigh. Eighth grade and all four years of high school I was on the math team. I competed as the only member on my team in one event (local level of course) and beat out half the teams. Good days.

You don't mind if I just move into the Parrotfic world, do you? I don't take up much room.

Psst: You've got an extra word in here: a first place was was enough to jump a few places
thedeadparrot: good is dumbthedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Fixed it.

Yeah, I totally believe there are different types of genius, and that pop culture sells the idea of different types of genius short most of the time. Also, yeah. House as the people person is kind of terrifying.

And I totally was on the math team too! Except I only did it junior and senior year.

Also, feel free to move in if you like! Plenty of room here. :)
Girl with Spoon: Misc: House2am_optimism on May 2nd, 2007 09:06 pm (UTC)
omg this is just made of win in every possible way! My favourite AU scenario and my two favourite shows, and how perfectly do teen House & Rodney go together?! The dialogue and interaction between them felt spot on - so beautifully characterised.

Awesome :)
thedeadparrot: housethedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, I totally love the high school AUs, and House and Rodney totally go together like peanut butter and more peanut butter! Extra strong for maximum irritation or infuriation.
Empress Ena: Rodney McKay >>>severusslave on May 2nd, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Awesome! *clapclapclap*
thedeadparrot: happiness is a warm gunthedeadparrot on May 2nd, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed.
lynnmonsterlynnmonster on May 2nd, 2007 11:41 pm (UTC)
I knew I was going to love this when I saw the full title, and I was right! So fabulous and satisfying -- thank you!
thedeadparrot: stranger in a strange landthedeadparrot on May 3rd, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was absurdly fond of that title myself.
Elayna: McKay made of awesomeelayna88 on May 3rd, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
He adds "6. Competition for minions." to his mental list of "Reasons why this whole crush business is a horrible, horrible idea".

That cracked me up *so much.* House and Rodney are amazingly perfect together in this fic.
thedeadparrot: rodneythedeadparrot on May 3rd, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah, I totally see Rodney as the kind of guy who keeps lots of lists.
better watch your ace: True Genius (Rodney McKay)cinaed on May 3rd, 2007 03:41 am (UTC)
My friend randomly linked this to me, and I'm so glad she did. The title is perfection, I hope you know that, as is the rest of this fic. House and McKay are dead-on, the entire premise is believable, and the snark is fantastic. This is probably one of the best crossovers I've ever read. Definitely one of the most believable. :)

Oh, I recced this on my journal. I hope you don't mind.
thedeadparrot: stop and thank youthedeadparrot on May 3rd, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad it seemed believable. I fudged in some places, but I think it still worked. And yeah, I was worried that they weren't snarky enough, because seriously, it's House and Rodney! Talking to one another!

Also, I totally don't mind that you recced. It even makes me happy. :)
HYPERFocused: house stopawhilehyperfocused on May 3rd, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
No, no, no. You have a big typo at the end: This is a story for another time. Clearly this should read "This is a story for right now".

(in other words, I loved this to pieces, and can't wait for more)
thedeadparrot: nowhere manthedeadparrot on May 3rd, 2007 04:28 am (UTC)
Hehe. Thanks! I think that I'll leave that story for zulu to write. ;)
funniest angel in the garrison: [sga] thumbs up!radiobroadcast on May 4th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)
OH MAN.

This was the perfect fic. PERFECT. I can't even think of anything else to say, it was just that great.

Thank you.
thedeadparrot: rodneythedeadparrot on May 4th, 2007 04:19 am (UTC)
Hee. Thanks. I love the icon, too. Aw, Dave Hewlett!
insufferable know-it-all: rodney exasperated with laserbironic on May 4th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
HEE! I am sick and the page is a little swimmy so I'm afraid I can't offer more coherent feedback than that. Maybe a YAY too for good measure.
thedeadparrot: lightthedeadparrot on May 4th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I hope you feel better soon. :)
The Alpha Beta: Slash? OMG - anniesjdiluvian on May 4th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC)
I loved this!

Until: But that's a story for another time.

Damn cliffhangers.

::g::
thedeadparrot: moby playthedeadparrot on May 4th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And don't think of it as a cliffhanger as much as it is an opening for other stories to be told. ;)
[will fuck for sex]: Marvin McKayanatsuno on May 4th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oooh. Yes.
thedeadparrot: housethedeadparrot on May 4th, 2007 10:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks!