Taub didn’t notice House limp into the office, he simply continued staring at the new
OBGYN nurse chatting at the nurses station. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five
with blonde hair and was wearing scubs that did nothing to hide her long legs or slim waist.
She was, strictly physically speaking, out of his league. She was in the prime of her life while he
was most assuredly past his. He was on the wrong side of forty, pudgy, balding, with a rather
large nose, and most assuredly, body image issues.
Images of his wife swam through Taub’s head. A beautiful, intelligent woman that he
didn’t deserve and that loved him despite all of his failings including his rampant infidelities.
She understood his constant need to prove himself, it was what made him a great doctor and
had led him to work under the nefarious Doctor Gregory House but for some reason it was a
personal issue he was still dealing with.
“The great beast awakens,” House growled like a cheesy actor in a monster movie.
Taub didn’t bother to turn around to look at his supervisor. He was caught and he knew
it. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said as he pretended to stare down at his
“I take it everything is going fine at home,” House said as he shuffled over to the coffee
House’s question wasn’t a question, it was a declarative statement and Taub tried not to
rise to the taunt. “Everything is fine,” he said simply.
House laid his cane next to the counter and began fiddling with the coffee maker,
pretending not to look at Taub from the corner of his eye but obviously looking at Taub from the
corner of his eye. “I only ask because with most men, when things are going fine at home,
where their wives are, then they tend not to stare at the new, winsome nurses,” he said as he
blatantly knocked things around on the counter to make it obvious that he had no intention of
making coffee, “Where as you tend to stare at the new, winsome nurses whenever everything is
perfectly fine at home.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Taub said as he continued trying to ignore
House and failing not to rise to the bait. Yes, he had his issues, yes he and his wife were
working on them, yes he had been staring lecherously at the nurses but House wasn’t the type of
person you opened up to.
Shuffling the items on the shelf around until everything was scattered about, House
grabbed a coffee mug and filled it with water. “How’s your Couples Therapy going?” House
asked smugly as he grabbed his cane and began limping back to his office.
“Busy with paperwork,” Taub said as he continued to fail to ignore House and his
sophomoric verbal jabs. He’d gotten caught looking, nothing wrong with that. Nobody
blamed a guy on a diet for looking at a menu after all.
From the doorway to his office, House turned around and peered down at Taub like he was
a slightly boring science experiment. “That’s right, you’ve got nothing to prove to me,” he said
with a wicked smirk before closing the door and leaving Taub alone with his thoughts.
Taub sighed in frustration and wondered exactly how someone could argue back against
an argument made up completely of subtext. Yes, his therapist had gotten him to admit to
himself that the reason he cheated was to prove to himself that a guy that looked like him could
get an attractive woman. He had spent most of his life traveling from one attractive woman to
the next just to prove to himself that looks weren’t everything and that a guy with enough
intelligence had the same shot with an attractive woman that a guy with enough muscles, or hair,
or money, or fancy cars, or dressed really well, or charming enough, had.