my_daroga: Mucha's "Dance" (evil)
[livejournal.com profile] meganphntmgrl's prompt: The most goddamn sincere pairing EVER of House and Emily the Corpse Bride. In SPACE.

"So how'd you get signed up, then? What are you doing here?" Her doll-like face looked down into his—or was it up?—and he realized she wasn't going to stop yammering until he said something. Probably anything.

"Free drugs," he said in a monotone.

"Oh," she said brightly, as if he'd informed her he liked the food. Like she wanted not to believe it, but was willing to give it a try. "I suppose the lack of gravity is great for your bum leg, too."

He stared at her. "I can't imagine what it's doing to your brain," he said, but the jibe was weak and he knew it.

"I didn't choose to come," she volunteered, a little patina of sorrow casting its pall over her face. Or, wait. No. That was a worm. Coming out her eye. "I'm just sort of… stuck."

"Okay, I take that back," he said. "You actually do need medical help. Lots of it. More, probably, than I'm willing to give. So for now, could you keep your worms and things on the other side of the capsule?"

"Oh, don't mind him. And it's a maggot, not a worm."

"Wonderful, you've learned your taxonomy. I'm infinitely reassured."

The girl drifted to the other side, more to look out the window at the retreating Earth than to get away from him, House thought. Too bad. But he didn't look away, even when the maggot-worm-thing retreated. There was something really arresting about her. He thought perhaps it was the remarkable pallor and partial decomposition of her, neither of which he could adequately explain.

That bothered him. But hell, he didn't have anything else to do on their week-long trip to Mars.

"Come over here. I want to look at you," he said.

"Why?" she asked, with a disconcertingly wide-eyed innocence that he hoped did not herald the re-emergence of her grub.

He eyed her up and down, stopping pointedly at her skeletal right leg, which showed no signs of trauma or, you know, blood. "Unprofessional curiosity."

She nodded as if acquiescing to a perfectly reasonable request, and he set about examining her for signs of degenerative diseases, injury, or cognitive impairment. Nothing. That is, nothing he could determine from such a cursory examination. If only he had his equipment, his hospital. But that's why he was on this ridiculous goose chase to the New Frontier or whatever slogan they were touting this week.

"Damn it! I can't find anything wrong with you! I mean, aside from how everything is," he finally burst out.

She looked up—or was is down?—at him sadly, her smile somehow expressing pity for him as well as a slow delight at his interest.

"There's nothing wrong with me, Dr. House," she said at last. "I'm dead."

"Oh." Oh. That made…. a strange sort of sense. "That makes sense."

He turned and looked out the window, where Mars was now a dime-sized red blot against the field of stars.

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