Fandom: House MD/Dead Like Me crossover
Rating: R overall, for swearing and graphic description
Characters/pairings: House, original character, eventual House/Wilson.
Warnings: Afterlife!Fic. Thus, by necessity, also a death!fic, but not depressing.
Summary: "I normally don't object to taking the day off, but the joy of playing hooky is diminished somewhat by the fact that I'M DEAD!"
Obligatory Disclaimer: I don't own, write for, or produce either of these fabulous shows. I'm just a geek with too much time on her hands.
A/N: I'm borrowing the premise of Dead Like Me, not the characters or the plot. You don't need to see DLM to understand this (but you should watch it sometime, because it's fantastic.)
Unbeta'd. All mistakes are mine.
Concrit feedback gives me warm fuzzies.
x-posted to house_wilson and my own journal.
There's something about seeing your body all empty and cold — or, in my case, in little chunks and pieces... It's like looking at a bowl of peach cobbler you just dropped on the floor. As good as it might have been, you just don't want it anymore.
From Dead Like Me, episode 1x1.
"I'm dead?!" House shouted.
"Yep," Kaylin McKay said, sounding annoyingly unconcerned as she sipped her coffee. House felt thirsty, which was impossible. After all, he didn't have a body anymore. Totally illogical and unreasonable that a dead person could have bodily cravings.
That didn't make him any less thirsty.
"And what are you?" House asked caustically. "The ghost whisperer?"
"No," the redhead said in a duh voice. "Do I look like Jennifer Love Hewitt? I'm a Reaper."
The way she'd said it made it sound like everybody knew what that was. "You're a Reaper?" he asked. "As in the Grim Reaper?"
Kay sighed, as though she got asked that a lot. Assuming what she was telling him was true, she probably did. She sat back down on the sidewalk.
"Not the Reaper, just a Reaper. There's lots of us. We take the souls of the newly or soon-to-be departed, escort them to... wherever. And considering the line of work, I'm not very grim," she said, her tone unperturbed. This woman's patience with him was really starting to piss him off.
"Good for you." House spat. "You shouldn't let killing people get in the way of a good mood."
Kay didn't rise to the bait, and instead replied calmly. "The sudden separation of your head from your neck killed you. You should thank Delia for getting you out of there before then."
"She was the reason I stopped here! If it wasn't for her, I'd be corporeal, alive and at work by now. I normally don't object to taking the day off, but the joy of playing hooky is diminished somewhat by the fact that I'M DEAD!" He shouted the last two words. Kay didn't even blink. None of the police, firefighters, and panicking pedestrians surrounding did either.
"If it wasn't for her, you'd still be stuck in your bisected body. It's much more pleasant this way, trust me."
"Stuck in my body?" This sounded like a bunch of bullshit.
"Reapers, i.e. people like Delia and myself, extract a soul out of the soon-to-be departed, i.e. you circa five minutes ago, through touch. Once we make sure we've got the right person, naturally."
House thought back. "So when she shook my hand-"
"She took your soul."
"...That's fucked up."
"Would you prefer to still be in there? Then I could call you Nearly-Headless-House," Kay said, and laughed.
House just stared at her, his jaw open. This was some kind of mistake. A hallucination. A really fucked up dream that he'd laugh about tomorrow. The Harry Potter reference just proved it.
"It's not a mistake," she said, doing that creepy mind-reading thing again. "You both had an appointment to keep."
"Excuse me? I did not make any kind of fucking appointment to die."
She took a yellow Post-It from the breast pocket of the corduroy coat, and unfolded it carefully. She smoothed the creased paper, then held it out so House could read the words written on there in neat print.
Corner of Witherspoon Street and Valley Road
"Found it on the ground where Delia was standing before she... moved on."
House tried to touch the paper, to push it away, and his fingers passed through the note, and through Kay's hands. He felt nothing but the faintest sensation of warmth.
"I'm dead," he said again.
Kay nodded, then refolded the paper and placed it back in her pocket. "I'm sorry," she said, earnest sympathy saturating her tone. She could have given Wilson's sincerity a run for his money.
"No, you're not," House accused.
After a moment, she agreed. "No, I'm not. But people seem to like it when I say that."
House sat down on the curb next to her. "At least you're being honest about it."
"Least I can do," she said. "You've had a rough morning."
"I'm dead. Doesn't get much rougher."
"Oh please. I've had hangovers that hurt worse than death."
"Stop trying to make me feel better."
"I don't even know why you're bitching. Undertakers are better than plastic surgeons these days. You'll probably have an open-casket funeral."
"I could give a damn about my funeral. I just got decapitated by a James Taylor CD! If nothing else, I've got a right to bitch."
Kay snorted. "I've seen worse. Shit, you should have seen my death. Now that was nasty. Industrial accidents in 1931 were not pretty. I was dead before my blood hit the ceiling. What was left of me could have been scraped into a five gallon bucket." Kay seemed proud of this.
They sat in silence for a moment before something else occurred to House. "You said you're supposed to escort me to... wherever. So where's the tunnel of lights, beautiful music, faces of my dead loved ones and all that?"
For the first time, there was an emotion on the young woman's face besides weary patience. She looked slightly... embarrassed? She set down her teacup and leaned forward, eyebrows drawing together.
"I don't know quite how to tell you this," Kay said in a delicate tone. It was the same voice he'd heard doctors give patients terminal diagnoses.
"...I'm going to Hell, aren't I?" House asked.
"No! It's just that..."
"Well. The way the Reaper thing works, is that it's like... a temp job. You take a certain number of souls, and then you move on to... wherever. And whoever you happen to be reaping when your number comes up takes your place."
"Takes their place?" House snarled through clenched teeth, horror and understanding starting to seep in.
"It was your lucky day, I guess, because I'm pretty sure Delia's moved on."
Kaylin smiled broadly. "Welcome to the wonderful world of Reaping."
For the second time in that day, the late Dr. Greg House had nothing clever to say.