ll_cool_cj (ll_cool_cj) wrote in remixredux08,

Viaticum (Sacrament) [House; Chase, brief Chase/OMC]

Title: Sacrament (Viaticum remix)

Author: joe_pike_junior

Summary: Chase and his decision to leave the seminary.

Rating: PG

Fandom: House

Warnings: One swear word.

Original title, author: Viaticum by yevgenie.

At Xavier College he joins Ignatius house. He wears a little red pin on his blazer. He does as other boys do and rakishly stuffs his tie into his back pocket in the morning at breakfast; he quickly slides the knot around his neck in time for morning Mass or roll call. Robert Chase fits as easily into this milieu as easily as he faded into the background of his parents marriage; Robert Chase doesn't get into trouble.

At the seminary the ordinands wear plain brown robes over neat unpolished shoes, slacks and shirts gone shiny and thin from much washing and ironing.

When he moves into the room he rents, he looks at the things he has in the wardrobe. Three pairs of jeans, a drawer of t-shirts, some sweatshirts. The suit he wore to his mother's funeral. Yes, he thinks. I can build myself up from this.


At thirteen, school is more home than home ever was. This year, instead of dragging his schoolbag home as the eucalyptus trees at the end of the street shimmer in the heat, he sleeps in bed 4D, his alcove desk neatly piled with his books and the requisite hit music magazine. He stays awake late at night praying and praying that his father will come back and that his mother will get better. Then, if he can't sleep, he lets the faint sounds of the boarding house sooth him: the hum of faraway traffic, the occasional muffled moan he pretends not to hear.

At the seminary he sleeps on a sturdy bed in a plain, unadorned room. He places a photo of his mother and father on his table. In the photo, they stand on the beach where they used to spend every Christmas. His mother wears a summer dress, and his father's chinos are rolled so you can see his white European ankles.
More and more often, he forgets to pray for his mother's health.
He studies his bible and prays that he might serve God better.


After he confesses everything to the Father, he is made to sit in the anteroom for a few minutes to think over what he has said. There is nothing to read but the Bible, an annotated version. He pores over the coloured map at the back. Paul's journeys. He thinks of the textbook and cigarettes and condoms in his suitcase, and thinks yes, this is right, this is what I want to do.


In Year Ten he is named Dux of the Year. This is a huge honour. The chaplain of the boarders shakes his hand, as do the principal and the head of the Senior School. He is happy -- he's worked hard for this, just as he has worked hard to get onto the Seconds football team (really only in the forlorn hope that his father might turn up to the game).

His mother has told him that they will go out to dinner to celebrate. She will pick him up at school, and they'll throw his bags into the car and go. Chase watches all the other boarders get picked up by their parents. Some live far enough away that they don't go home at weekends. Chase does. He is the man of the house; he has to look after his mother.

When he calls home, his mother is drunk. Her voice is so thick and caring it hurts Chase, sends him into a cascade of silent prayer. He tells her to stay, and then catches two buses and a tram home with his bags.

The Christmas holidays are long, and very hot. Chase hardly dares to go out. Where before he just cleaned and organised, now he does everything. He starts to hide bottles.
His friends often call to invite him out to this or that. I'm having such fun here, he says, as he watches the wet patch on the carpet where he's just cleared away her vomit.


He confesses to the boarders' chaplain and then prays to God that the chaplain will pray for him, that this man, with the power of God, will pray for his mother. The chaplain has the power to forgive sins, and this is something Chase cannot do.


Halfway through Year Twelve, as he frantically studies Ancient Greek and Biology and Mathematics, his mother becomes so sick he is actually afraid she will die. He calls an ambulance and rides along in the back, her hands white and floppy over the edge of the gurney, formulas bouncing around in his head.


He returns to school and sits silently in Mass, responding with his body on autopilot, letting the words wash over him, praying for peace, praying for health.


He calls his father for help with his mother. The number he gave belongs to his solicitor, a man who sounds like he habitually smooths back his hair every time he passes a reflective surface. The solicitor supplements the monthly cheque with another five hundred dollars, and puts a brochure for AA meetings in the envelope as well. Chase hides the cheque under his mattress and pretends he never called.


Chase decides the best thing he can do is do God's work. He makes known his intention to join the seminary, and the approval of the Chaplain makes him feel like he's doing the right thing. The puzzled look on the face of the Reverend Father who teaches Calculus hurts him.


His father has a automatic impulse to clean up any stray threads in his life. In the same efficient way he was bundled off to boarding school, his mother is sent to the care facility, the house sold, a blandly worded letter delivered to Chase at the seminary.


At every stage of his life he has had prayers to fall back on, prayers he would say under his breath at any time of the day. Sometimes, after he leaves, he catches himself saying them, saying them to a God he is scared isn't listening, isn't there.


Chase learns how to administer the sacrament. These rituals seem so valuable. He repeats them over and over, and then prays for enlightenment, prays for health.


Chase scatters the dirt over the coffin. He strips off his suit coat in the hotel room, and puts a fifty dollar note in the pocket of his trousers. All through school he had the nickname "lemonade boy" -- even at parties he never drank anything stronger than soft drink. His friends accepted this unquestioningly, probably because they liked having a perpetual designated driver. Still, he thinks the best time to get drunk would be the night of his mother's funeral. A wake.

As soon as he feels the hand on his shoulder he knows that this is what he came here for, instead. He lets the man take him back to another hotel room on the same street as his, although the man doesn't know that, and he lets him fuck him. It hurts terribly, but that's all he can focus on, that hurt, his own dick hardening against the mattress. Robert Chase, who constantly warded off blasphemous thoughts, Robert Chase, who never got in trouble.


At the seminary they take turns setting up the materials for communion, lighting candles, refilling pews with bibles. Some special days they spend in silence, and Chase prays in earnest then, prays for the clarity that he knows God will bestow in him when the time is right.


He never pleases all those old men, the Fathers who educated him first in the way of God, and then in their own fashion in the way of the world. They had nothing but bland words of compassion when Chase's mother died, and he didn't expect anything more.


He recites the words of the funeral service along with the priest. He likes the hymns, they're well chosen. He likes the church service, and he likes the plump kindly face of the priest, but he can't help the sudden feeling of being apart from all this that he has, the feeling that he doesn't belong. No sacrament.


He never becomes a priest, and he never prays his mother back. He steps around the shadow of his father's influence, flies to America.

Sometimes he finds his lips still following the old pattern of a prayer, even if he is no longer sure he believes.

God's grace was not for him, but he lets it flow around him, grace and forgiveness and healing, into those who believe. Where prayer failed, that is enough.
Tags: character: robert chase, fandom: house md, original author: yevgenie, rating: pg, remix author: joe_pike_junior
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