Disclaimer: I don't own any characters, places, or anything else you recognize. This was written (will be written, I suppose--it's not fullywritten yet) for fun (and angst, which is sort of another kind of fun).

Oh, G-d.

Chase looked at the table, as though somehow his coffee had the ability to shift the letters on the page. He needed the facts to reverse themselves. When Chase looked back to the newspaper, the letters were indeed rearranging themselves, but not for the reason he had hoped. He swore and swiped the tears from his eyes with uncharacteristic fury. It was a damn good thing Cameron and Foreman weren't about, and-- Oh, G-d, Chase thought for the second time in under a minute. What if House had seen him cry?

Aware of his panic levels rising, Chase took a deep breath. If anyone found out about this, he didn't think he could handle it. He could already feel himself shutting down at the prospect of Cameron's gentle, flat sympathy. At least Foreman wouldn't say anything, unless Chase made some stupid mistake; of all the team, Chase feared Foreman the least. It was House he was truly frightened of. House hated Chase. House would use this to make him suffer, and it might just break him.

With his usual response to such stimuli, Chase rolled his eyes upwards. All he had to do was stay in control of the situation. He certainly had enough practice at that.

"Hey, Chase."

"Oh, hey, Cameron." There, you see? he asked himself. That sounded completely normal, she's got no idea and she never will. Even in his thoughts, he skipped half the 'r' sound.

"Anything interesting in the paper?"

Why is she being so polite? Oh, G-d, House told her. No, House doesn't know. She's polite because she's Cameron. Crap, now she's lookin' at me like she knows somethin's up. Crap. "No, well, I'm just reading the comics." He quickly folded the paper to prevent Cameron peeking at it and calling his lie, but she seemed interested in nothing of the sort. In fact, Cameron accepted Chase's lie and turned to Foreman, who had just come in, to ask about traffic. Why does she have to be so perky all the time? Chase knew he was being unfair to Cameron, but at the moment he needed to be angry with someone. That helped. Usually Chase could simply redirect his anger to his father, but that door was now closed to him.

Rowan Chase was dead.