DISCLAIMER: No, I don't own House; all the characters, settings, etc belong to David Shore and company, I'm just playing with them. Also, if you recognize any songs, television shows, etc, I don't own any of them either; I again, am just borrowing them for my own amusement.
A/N: I figure that I should warn you; I have a notorious track record when it comes to finishing stories. What seems like a great idea for a week might strike me as horrible the next week. However, since it's been nearly two weeks on this one, I'm hoping that I can at least get it out. Constant and nagging reviews will help keep me on track, and I will warn you if for some reason I just can't continue. I do have a good idea what's going to happen, but the writing process is fickle and things might change. This is set sometime after "Honeymoon" in case you were wondering. I am a House/Cameron fan, and so there will be angst because I don't seem them together without it, but don't get mad at me if Cameron appears with someone else at some point in the story; since "the course of true love never did run smooth." So, there's your Shakespeare. If certain facts are slightly incorrect, please let me know; I'm trying to keep this is accurate as possible, but since I haven't actually seen (I have read them) all the episodes, it's kind of hard.
SPOILERS: Anything in season one is game, I am not a spoiler junkie, so don't worry about me spilling something for the next season; since I like to be surprised. However, since this goes AU pretty quickly, I'm not too worried about season two interfering, which is starting in late August, yay!
Cameron waited impatiently; House was obviously ignoring her. He had his feet up on his desk, Gameboy in hand and his music blaring out of his I-pod stereo set. She itched to go over and smack him or kiss him, one of the two, each had its merits; all she knew was that she couldn't stand the anticipation anymore. She already had a headache and had thrown up earlier in the day, but she didn't want House to know that and if he would just sign off on these forms, she could go home.
Cameron decided that she wasn't going to wait anymore and went and shut off his I-pod stereo and dropped the forms in his lap. "Hey," he said, outraged, much like an eight year old. "I was listening to that."
"I noticed," Cameron said dryly, exhausted with his crap and just wanting to go home where some aspirin could relieve her headache. "Now, sign, and I'll leave."
However, her atypical behavior had peaked House's curiosity and she knew she was in for the long haul. "Someone eat your salad for lunch today, Dr. Cameron," he said slyly.
Cameron glared at him. Did he always have to be such a bastard? Sometimes she even questioned why she loved him. "No, just irritated with my misogynistic boss who won't sign my forms so I can go home," Cameron retorted.
House looked vaguely impressed but even more interested. Damn, why couldn't that have just been a thought? "Misogynistic?" House repeated. "That's hostile, Cameron; anything else you'd like to get off your chest. We both knew that keeping your emotions bottled up causes you to act like a real bitch."
"So, what's your problem?" Cameron asked in spite. Why was she getting into this? There was no way that she would come out ahead. House had too much practice at this.
House chuckled. "I'm not the topic of conversation here, Cameron. So, what's put you in such a lovely mood?"
Cameron couldn't believe he was pushing this. She knew he liked her, even if he wouldn't let their relationship get past the awkward sexual tension phase. House normally messed with her a little; occasionally, when she was tired, she would rise to the bait, but he had never pushed it this far before. "Do you really want to know?" she challenged. She was about to talk about her feelings, and she figured that would be enough to scare him away.
Unfortunately, his keen blue eyes met hers and instead of their usual sardonic light, they were practically emotionless save for what appeared to be… concern? No, she was being ridiculous. House might play with her emotions for his own amusement, but he would never be concerned about her past making sure that did her job, right? "Yes," he said softly
Cameron opened her mouth to speak, what, her brain hadn't quite put that together, and then her world started to spin. She felt her knees go weak, and the concern she thought she might have imagined in House's eyes spread to his whole face. "Cameron," she heard him say vaguely as her knees gave in. "Allison!" Then she blacked out, the look of wild concern on House's face etched into her memory.
House watched Cameron crumple to the floor before him, and as she slipped out of consciousness, he felt his control over his emotions go with her. He pulled his legs off his desk, reaching for his cane as he went, and cursed whatever fate had given him this leg that he had to deal with. The fate that kept him from getting to Cameron four seconds faster.
House dropped to his knees next to her, ignoring the protests his leg gave. He needed to know that she was okay; that she hadn't died right there in his office. He checked her pulse, a little erratic, her pupils, dilated and then her forehead, which was burning up. "Foreman! Chase! Get in here!" he yelled. He knew they hadn't left; Cameron had come in with all of their paperwork for him to sign, per usual.
Foreman and Chase hurried in, perplexed as to why their boss would want them. At the sight of Cameron on the floor, their confusion turned to worry. Foreman was on the floor next to him in seconds, checking her vitals. "What happened?" he asked, as Chase hovered about looking uncertain.
"She decided to take a nap," House said sarcastically. His sarcasm was back, there to beat back him concern until he could express it freely. "She has a erratic pulse, a fever, probably 102° and she's dilated." House gave Foreman a look; they needed to get her into a room but he wasn't the one that could get her up off the floor. Chase would push it, but Foreman wouldn't; Foreman might not always agree with him, but there was a certain amount of respect between them that gave House an edge.
Foreman picked Cameron up off the floor. "Chase," House barked at the shell-shocked doctor, "go get a nurse or something."
Chase took off, and House struggled, painfully, to get up off the floor. Using his cane as leverage, he managed it after about it minute, but with significant pain, which made him grab for his bottle of Vicodin.
He stood for a few minutes, hoping the Vicodin would kick in, before House limped out of his office after Foreman and Chase. He tried to slow his racing heart, but he knew it was futile. He had watched one of a precious few people he cared about black out in his office before him; what was even worse, was that she didn't know exactly how much he cared.
House headed toward the elevator; he suspected that Cameron had been taken down a couple floors to ICU. He would hop on an elevator and join Foreman and Chase; and hope that whatever doctor intended to take over her care wouldn't mess with him.
House had just pressed the down arrow when he heard his name behind him. God, no; he didn't need to listen to Wilson's psychoanalysis of him right now. He needed to make sure that Cameron was okay. "House, hold the elevator," he called when the doors opened, letting a few people off.
House moved into the elevator and considered letting the elevator go on without him, but decided that would just arouse Wilson's suspicions even more. His cane shot out to hold the elevator and Wilson got in with him. "Thanks," Wilson said. He glanced at the panel; only the forth floor button was lit up, ICU. "Why are you going to ICU? I didn't think you had a patient."
"No, I just like taunting those less fortunate than I," House supplied; he really didn't want to have a conversation with Wilson and wished he had pushed another random number to confuse Wilson.
The nurse in the corner gave him a strange look. "You have a problem, Betty?" he asked. She ignored him, and he turned his attention back to Wilson. He had an unreadable expression on his face. "What?"
"Why don't you tell me what, since you're not known to make random trips to the ICU," Wilson pointed out. The elevator chimed and the doors slide open, to reveal Foreman and Chase standing there, looking worried.
"She's down in the ER," Foreman said, stepping into the elevator before House had even moved. "She started having seizures." Chase followed, mute and wide-eyed; Foreman pressed the button and House gripped his cane harder. He hated this.
"Is this a new patient of yours?" Wilson asked, confused. None of them answered for a minute; House had hoped that Foreman or Chase would feel bad enough for Cameron to say what had happened, but apparently not, he had to field this one.
"Cameron collapsed in my office ten minutes ago," House said with a sigh. "She has a temperature, erratic pulse and now she's having seizures."
Wilson looked worried and when the elevator chimed again, the four of them stepped out into the chaotic ER waiting room. Immediately, various patients assaulted Foreman, Chase and Wilson because of their lab coats and tags. House limped past; glad, not for the first time, he ignored Cuddy's constant complaints of his lack of identification as a doctor.
He walked up to the desk, where a nurse and what appeared to be a med student looked very frazzled by their situation. "Where's Allison Cameron?" he asked, hoping that they would be too distracted to ask who he was.
Sure enough, the nurse glanced him over, not recognizing him, but too busy to think about anything other than the stack of papers sitting in front of him. "Doctor Whicker, why don't you explain to this gentleman, Ms. Cameron's situation?" the nurse said, obviously trying to get rid of the med student.
The student, a girl probably no older than twenty-six, glanced at him and swallowed. "Please follow me, sir." She took the file the nurse handed her and had House follow her over to some chairs. "You might want to sit down," she suggested when she opened the file and started to read; her face suddenly paler.
House wanted to throttle her, but he knew if he wanted some information, he would have sit, stand, actually, tight. "I prefer to stand, and what's wrong with her?"
She glanced at him nervously; obviously, he made her uneasy. House couldn't help but smirk a little at that; at least he hadn't lost his touch. "I'm sorry sir, but Ms. Cameron's illness appears to be quite serious. She'll need to stay––"
At this point, House cut her off. He knew a non-answer when he heard one; he had perfected the art a long time ago. "Cut the shit and tell me what you actually know," House interrupted angrily. He wasn't sure if he was angrier with Cameron for getting sick or this med student who was handling the case so incompetently.
His reaction was obviously the last one Dr. Whicker was expecting because she turned a brilliant shade of red and seemed to loose her ability to speak. After thirty seconds of waiting impatiently, House had had enough. "Fine, I'll look myself," House said, grabbing for, and attaining, the file that gave information on Cameron.
"Sir, I don't think you can have that," the med student said, but it fell on deaf ears.
This chart was not good. Cameron had a fever, the seizures had stopped but there was no sign of what might be causing them. Her pulse had settled down, but it still appeared to be elevated. Shit, this wasn't good, and the med student had no clue what might be causing this; hell, he didn't even have a good answer to what might cause this. Well, he had an idea, but he didn't want his hunch to be right.
His eyes scanned the chart; he needed to know what room she was in, 108; excellent. He handed the file back to the stunned med student and set off in search of Cameron. He didn't want to think too much about her situation because the ending didn't include champagne and roses, not that he liked roses all that much, but he suspected Cameron might.
House arrived at the door to room 108 just as a nurse started to wheel Cameron out of the room, on a bed. He glanced at her, and he felt sick to his stomach. She looked pale and peaceful; several more strand of her luxurious auburn hair had come free of her ponytail, and he felt his heart constrict in his chest. This couldn't be happening.
"Sir, you need to back away," one of the nurse's said, pushing him away from Cameron's bed.
"Where are you taking her?" he asked them, keeping his voice as emotionless as possible. He didn't need the whole hospital to know he'd gone soft for a certain young doctor.
"I'm sorry sir, but unless you're family––"
"I'm her doctor," House interrupted, deciding that to claim anything else would be foolish and might be interpreted as caring too much.
The nurse hesitated, obviously trying to decide if he should know or not. "She's gone into a coma," the nurse finally said.
House gripped his cane harder. A coma? The word was so hollow and dead; how could someone always so full of life be in a coma? "Where are you taking her?" he repeated; he had finally realized they still hadn't answered his initial question.
"ICU," the nurse answered. "Now, we really must get moving, excuse us." She and the other nurse pushed past him, and House didn't even try to stop them. He was still in shock; Cameron, bright, young, sunny Cameron, was in a coma. He hadn't even asked if they thought she might come out of it. He knew what her symptoms pointed to, and he doubted it.
House turned to limp slowly toward the elevators; he was still numb and knew that the fury would set in later. He ran into Foreman, Chase and Wilson on his way, each looking frazzled and irritated. "So?" Foreman asked.
"She's in a coma," House pronounced. For the first time he realized that his leg ached, he considered popping some Vicodin, but thought better of it. Chances were that the other pills hadn't taken full effect yet; not like that normally stopped him, but he suspected that his morals might have been upped when Cameron fell into a coma.
"So, what does that mean?" Wilson asked; he wanted House to say what they all feared.
House sighed. "I don't know." Maybe denial would be the best course of action right now; maybe then things would get better.
Chapter one should be up soon, and reviews are appreciated!