A/N: So here we are. I'm really sorry kiddies. But this is possibly the hardest thing I've ever written. I wrote it and re-wrote it and just could never seem to get it right. After a while it really put me off. So I am truly sorry about the wait. Also I would like to say thankyou to all my reviewers, especially if I didn't send you a reply straight away. Sorry I try to get most people but alas a few slip through. Also a big thankyou to Naja Melanoleuca, for anyone who's unaware I basicallycopied my first story from hers. Somehow, believe me it was really accidental. But she has been a really good sport about it and has even encouraged me sorry thankyou. Oh and if you haven't read Sleeping Beauty go check it out. Thankyou for putting up with me and heres the next part. Enjoy. Oh, and I still haven't gained rights or ownership.

Ten Days Away

Part Two


All The Days To Go

Perhaps they were right in putting love into books.

Perhaps it could not live anywhere else.

William Faulkner



Saturday 14th October

The door clicked closed and Foreman jumped, then rubbed his hands to cover it. Because really he shouldn't be scared. He hasn't done anything wrong… has no criminal record despite what House may think.

A tall slim redhead takes the seat across from him, sitting down and tucking her legs neatly beneath the chair. Her suit pressed and crisp, the deepest shade of navy one can manage without making it black. Foreman flinches as she flicks on a tape recorder and shifts files out of her arms and onto the table.

"Good ev'nin Doctor Foreman." Her voice was inflected with an accent Foreman couldn't quite place. It was deeply worn, almost gone, obviously she hadn't lived at home in a long while.

"I'm Special Agent Clarice Starling of the FBI, how do you do." She smiled extending a hand.

"Fine thankyou." Foreman mumbled and shifted the metal chairs in his opinion modelled after something used by the inquisition.

"Now as I understand it Detective Scanlin-" Detective Scanlin was ex-Russian army, a huge blonde hulk of a guy, who spoke in low tones and chewed his tongue almost constantly.

"-Has explained to you that although you aren't under arrest you may also have a lawyer present, if that would make you more comfortable." She exhaled, with an elegance that reminded Foreman of some delicate royal rather than a FBI agent.

"Yes." Foreman offered and omitted the fact that Scalin more told, then explained anything.

"And you have no objections to giving a statement without counsel?" That small polite titter…

"None." Foreman frowned wondering if he looked guilty.

"Okay so why don't we just start with the last time you saw Doctor Chase." Brushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

"Ummm I guess it was Thursday morning." The conversation flickering in the back of his thoughts.

"Thursday… the 12th of October." She added.


"Did he seem okay to you…" She prompted and Foreman wondered if he should spill about House… Did she already know… Would she find out?

"He was tired, he'd been pulling a lot of hours at the hospital." Foreman tried to slow his breathing.

"He had… But no one else had." She dug, prodded.

"He and House… had a bit of a run in…" Foreman said numbly because none of this seemed real. Scene's like this were saved for B grade movies.

"Doctor Gregory House, your boss." Foreman nodded and she scribbled something else down and Foreman's stomach lurched. Maybe he should explained that…

"So what did you two talk about?" Foreman lost his train of thought as the conversation between he and Chase bubbled back up in his mind again. How desperate he'd seemed, how broken up and all Foreman had done was…

"Just a case…" He said guiltily.

Cameron watched as the needle pierced flesh, felt the patient wince slightly, tried to steady the shaking tremble in her hands. Ground her teeth as the welts on her arms now covered by the lab coat itched and burned.

"Thankyou." She mumbled politely and excused herself quickly. She stumbled slightly outside the door and then regained her footing, the lights overhead seemed too bright. They washed out the walls, dulled the brief flickers of sunlight from outside. Cameron blinked and breathed as tears welled and pricked and burned at the back of her eyes.

Cameron put one foot tentatively in front of the other as she stepped through the clinic. Fighting the urge to wrap arms around herself. It was like needlepoints on her flesh, sharp little digs… They were all watching her, wondering why she'd sent him home, wondering why she'd sent him out there. Because if she hadn't he'd still be okay. Pig-headed and rude and jaggedly weak, but still okay.

Its times like these that she likes the cold darkness of the lab. Loves the way it's heavily air-conditioned and windowless. Adrift from the rest of the world, cut off from outside, separate from time and if it were empty she would know she was hiding.

"Hey have you given the police a statement yet?" Thankfully it's not empty.

"No," Cameron frowns, setting the sample down on the counter. Foreman frowns and sighing leans back in the high-backed chair.

"I was supposed to this morning but…" Cameron turns her back on him, plays with one of the many pieces of plastic lining the walls. Pretends she doing something important, because as long as she is then she doesn't have to turn back.

"We were so busy around here that I just…" Cameron shifts and can feel heat breaking out across her shoulders, she rubs her neck and feels the beginning of welts. Fights the urge to cry because of it, because its not rational, people don't fall apart over the allergic reactions they get from switching detergents.

"Cameron there hasn't been this many healthy people walking around since before the dawn of time." Foreman frowns. Everything was dead quiet, the clinic emptier than Foreman had ever seen it. Christmas day wasn't this quiet. Yet everything seemed to have screeched to a halt in the wake of Chase's disappearance two days before. Foreman couldn't figure whether that was unsettling or not. It seemed as though everyone was taking a day off from being ill.

"I just thought get through back-logged samples and blood-work while it lasts so… I mean I can talk to the police anytime, it's just…" She turned back and looked at him. Realised that she couldn't put it off any longer. Some cold hard lump settled at the back of her throat and she had to focus to breathe.

"Cameron you have to talk to them." He pointed out and watched her shake her head minutely.

"I know it's just its not like I have some shocking insight to offer…" She said and pulled absently at her lab coat.

Chapter One


An the many men so beautiful; and dead did they all lie,

And a thousand, thousand slimy things lived on- And so did I.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner

"Besides having the words 'worlds biggest idiot' tattooed to your forehead… The cream Doctor Chase gave you should work, you just need to take the ring out." House sulked after seeing more of this twit then he ever wanted too. The guy had also spent more than twenty minutes arguing with him on who he was. God, send someone to fill in for you once and everyone gets bent out of shape.

"Hey do you know how much it hurt getting that done." He whined.

"Thankfully no, but I doubt you'll like the other option." House grumbled.

"What is it?"

"Leave it in, maybe the antiseptic will still clear it up… If it doesn't though amputation is just around the corner." House smirked.

"Amputation of what?" House glared pointedly.

"God, I'll take it out." He said shifting on the table.

"Good choice." House dug.

"Can you believe I spent almost half an hour convincing some patient that I was Doctor House."

"Well I wouldn't admit to that if I were you." Wilson said twisting a plastic fork between long fingers. There was a worrying angry edge to it.

"So which long term patient kicked off?" House questioned.

"None." Wilson snapped.

"Well I assume something's chased you out here into the wet." House lathered; looking at the staining on James's back from where the man had sat on a water-slicked chair.

"I'm just thinking." Wilson sighed, rubbing tired eyes.

"That's a misnomer if I ever heard one." House barbed.

"House do you not care… can you not comprehend what's going on?" Wilson spat bitterly.

"Is this about Chase?" The sarcasm was more than inlaid.

"No it's about the left side of the bed!" Wilson snapped. House actually took a step back, retreated a little, which he never did. Especially where Wilson was concerned.

"Oh please Chase is a bored little rich kid." House puffed.

"He'll be back in a few days from Paris with some leather clad supermodel and some really nice hickies." House said rolling his eyes.

"I'm just gonna put aside the fact that that is by far the most rambling piece of drivel you've ever spouted and ask are you taking something else besides Vicodin…" Wilson snarled pulling himself up out of the Chair. Practically swinging himself up infront of House.

"Do you honestly think this is all just gonna turn out okay… This… creature has butchered twelve people do you honesty think that Chase has just gone running off on vacation… Do you really think that…" House has the distinct impression that Wilson is well on his way to a stroke or perhaps just bursting a blood vessel. Maybe one of the huge one's in the prefrontal lobe.

"House… it is not okay." Its like a curse almost, some hideous threat that House should be weary of and then the other is stalking back off inside.

He turns in the door once more and House is reminded of another similar, and entirely different conversation they had only a few days ago.

"Oh and just so you know… The staff, are blaming you for this… The 'I hate House' fan club has just had the name changed to 'we wanna dismember House and throw the parts into the East River'." A weary twist of lips and then he's gone once more and House falls down into one of the sopping chairs. Blames it on his leg when he thinks it may be shock.

Chapter Two


We never notice how hopelessly alone, or ridiculously out of place we are until we are surrounded by others.

Terry Pier

"Doctor Cameron hi, you were supposed to come see me this mornin'." The lilt is an unmistakable southern drawl, even faded and worn as it is.

"Detective…" Allison stutters and then decides that breathing would probably help the whole speech thing. Wonders briefly if she is actually a detective or is that just something bleeding over from every cop show that Allison has ever seen.

"Sorry I had matters at the hospital that had to be attended to. I did call your assistant…" She tries to wriggle off again but finds it hard when actually talking to another person rather than the mouthpiece of a phone.

"Yes I appreciate how busy you do all get, but I interviewed the bulk of nursing and orderly staff yesterday and was hoping to get around to the rest of you'all today. Especially those closest to Chase." The you all is contracted slightly and for some reason it calms Allison marginally.

"I interviewed Doctor Wilson and Doctor Gillian late last night. Then Doctor Foreman early this morning, I was just on my way to see Doctor Cuddy but since I have you here…" Cameron bites her lip and starts to filter through excuses. She's outside in the corridor, the lights overhead still bleaching out the room.

"I am actually just on my way to see a patient…" Cameron tries.

"This won't take long…" She corners and Cameron's reminded of the African documentaries she use to watch. Packs of Lions pulling apart small animals. Only this woman doesn't need any help. There's something persuasive and authoritative about her and Cameron doesn't think its just herself who'd have a hard time arguing with her. The gun and badge probably help as well.

"We can do it right here if that makes you more comfortable." She presses, possibly the way only she can.

"Alright." Cameron breathes, tries to remember to do that at regular intervals

She does herself in really; she should have gone through more excuses than what she did. But then how would that help Chase?

"So as I understand it you were really the last person to see Chase…" So here they are…

"Yes he was asleep in one of the rooms." Cameron shifted carefully. Didn't want to let the other see her doing it. Because if she were shifting it meant she was uncomfortable and if she was uncomfortable she had to have done something wrong. She had done something wrong, she'd…

"One of the rooms? With a patient?" Starling presses digs if only to get a reaction because she already has heard about Jessica Pamella from Doctor Gillian.

"Oh no not like that, she's twelve…" Cameron pauses and realises that that sounds worse.

"He was asleep in a chair beside her bed, there was a book sitting on her bedside table, I think he was reading to her." Cameron explained.

"The book was closed on the table?" She asked and Cameron considers the question before she answers. Wonders what the other thinks, what she thinks of her.

"Yes, his glasses were on top…" She scrawls something down and then pauses to glance at Cameron.

"Interesting." She breathes and Cameron's stomach twists.

"Doctor Cameron did you know that Doctor House was making Doctor Chase work 24 hour shifts?" She asks and Cameron's world tilts a little off kilter.

"Yes." Red creeps into her cheeks and Cameron feels stupid now for letting House do it.

"Did he talk to you about it?" She's tapping her pen now and each rapid pat seems to match Cameron's fluttering pulse.

"No. But then Chase is a kind of a private person." Allison breathed.

"But you knew."

"It was kind of obvious." Allison gropes at the table slightly trying to still shaking hands.

"But you didn't do anything about it?" Her mouth tilts a little to one side Allison realises and doesn't know why. It's just some random observation that she didn't consciously make. Though she wonders if the other is disappointed with her.

"No." She almost sighs, puffs into the cool air of the empty breakroom, pushing herself back into her chair as her face floods redder. Because she should have done something, she should have done a lot of things… Should have done anything other than nothing.

"Why didn't Chase?" Cameron's eyes widen…

"Ummm…" And she grasps at straws.

"There were people he could have talked to, Doctor House was flouting hospital rules by keeping him on that long. He was wearing down to his very last threads I've heard. So I just find it strange… He didn't say anything at all to you?" Her lips purse as she waits and Allison wonders at the answer that she wants.

"No… I don't think he talked to anyone." Allison blinks and wonders at how much she never questioned about Chase. Wonders at how much she doesn't question now.

Chapter Three


Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, Time is eternity.

Henry Van Dyke

Cuddy's accosted just after three, caught trapped behind her desk with so much paperwork stacked up that she couldn't even begin to lie convincingly about 'just stepping out' even if she wanted too.

"What can I do for you Agent Starling?" Cuddy smiles, tries to layer on sweetness like cake frosting and then wonders why? This isn't exactly a social visit or even an official one at the best of times.

"Actually I came to take your statement, forgive the informality but everyone here seems to be so short of time I have just been grabbing them where I can." She beamed.

"Hijacking your breakrooms as it were… I hope you don't mind." She breathes picking at Cuddy's desk lamp. The tone suggesting that she really doesn't care one way or the other.

"No anything to make things easier. Not stir things up." Cuddy sighs.

"One of your staff has been taken I think that's about as stirred as it gets." She said sucking her bottom lip lightly.

"Capricious choice of words." Cuddy pursed looking over the other.

"Capricious…? I'd say negligible…" She pushed back.

"Are we talking about some else Agent Starling?" Cuddy frowned.

"As far I knew we were discussing phrasing. Did I miss something?" She frowned innocently. Somehow Cuddy didn't think she missed anything.

"Speaking of negligibility though I've heard from other staff members that Chase was brought before a disciplinary board midday the day before last." She prodded.

"He was." Cuddy gave only a small bit of ground because this was her office after all.

"But you would already know all this for sure considering I've given you access to the files… including the disciplinary notation." Cuddy hit back.

"Of course… It is however just a little unclear on the outcome." She frowned falsely.

"I don't see how, it clearly states that although Doctor Chase could be held accountable for the infraction, it was deemed inappropriate since there was no wilful negligence behind it. It was a human error." Cuddy breathes.

"I see. So it had nothing to do with the fact that you personally were holding Doctor House responsible for it. After finding out that he was over working the other." Starling was slowly laying out a hand.

"I did find that there were certain…" Cuddy picked out each and every word.

"Flaws in Doctor House's roster… It however had no effect on my, or the rest of the boards decision. I sent Doctor Chase home and was planning on re-working the roster with Doctor House at a later date… All of which seems blatantly trivial now. So may I ask how this has any bearing on Chase's disappearance?" Cuddy snipped in frustration.

"At this point… probably very little… But it's better to be over-informed than under-informed." She said curtly.

"You think he's dead don't you?" Cuddy frowned wondering at the tightness in her chest. She'd let it get out of hand. Unwittingly, but ignorance was never an excuse… Maybe if she'd…

"No at this point I think he is very much alive." Cuddy listened to what she said and even more to what she didn't say.

"For how long?" Starling paused, stared off into space for a moment.

"Sorry as such I'm not permitted to share certain facts." Cuddy's fingers were already wondering towards the phone.

"Naturally…" The smile was ice tinged.

Chapter Four

Avoidance And Deception

And much it grieved my heart to think,

What man has made of man.

Wordsworth, Lines Written in Early Spring

"So generally when working on missing persons case you have about a 48 hour window before your chances of finding them start to slim rapidly." Will Graham paused looked over the uniforms.

"However this is slightly different… we know who we are dealing with. That is a blessing and a curse. He is a creature of habit so we have a pretty good time-line, unfortunately unless we turn over some staggering connection with this new disappearance we still don't have even scraps of evidence." Will paused to breathe, pacing back and forth.

"No blood, no fluids, no fingerprints or fibres." Will was listing them off on his fingers.

"We need double time on this. The first rape happens on day four; torture starts on day six and come nine he kills them. So two days until Doctor Chase is raped, four he starts losing body parts and seven-we're too late.

Now you can forget about evidence from the car park. Tech's combed over it from the better part of three hours and got nothing… Despite the fact that the guy's prerequisite calla lily was left on the hood of Chase's car we're pretty sure he wasn't snatched from there… There was no signs of a struggle and at that time of night it was pretty high traffic considering in was shift change." Will explains.

"So then where was he taken from and why leave the lily there?" A uniform asked.

"Probably on the street… Chase's apartment is only three blocks from the hospital and he was tired so he probably decided to walk home. As for the lily… they are not always found at the crime scenes. Ben Prest's lily was left on his bed in his dorm room… Now we know he never made it back from the library that night."

"Why Calla lilies?"

"We don't know… There are obvious funeral flower references but I don't think so... I think it has more to do with 'them' then flaunting the fact that he's going to kill them." Starling watched from the door.

"Please tell me there was something earth shattering at the hospital." Graham sighed as they fell into step beside each other.

"Distraught colleagues and busy doctors." She huffed.

"Interview everyone yet?" He breathed.

"All except Doctor House. He's supposed to drop by." She frowned with distaste.

"Not your favourite person?" He hitched a brow.

"Not even close, I haven't even really met him and already I know he's an arrogant son of a bitch." She pursed.

"Speaking of which." She pulled out a silver cased mobile and punched in a number.

"Yes doctor House please… Thankyou."

"Doctor House, Agent Starling here… you were supposed to drop by… ten minutes ago!" She lilted after a moment of silence. She pulled her phone away from her ear after another moment.

"You know if he was just gonna hang up he could have done it with a bit more class. Bad connection or something." Will smirked as they pushed their way into one of the smaller case rooms. Whiteboards… full of disturbing pictures and both his and her scrawls. Winding and untidy as they were.

Will put up a picture of Chase at the end of a long line, then dropped down into a stiff-backed chair.

"Anything new on Justin Billings." Starling asked.

"Nothing useful." Will frowned, thinking about the very first victim.

"Are we slipping in our old age?" Will asked, leaning back and resting an arm over tired eyes.

"You may be I'm neither old nor addle-brained." Starling flipped through well picked over files as though they would suddenly offer up something new.

"Good you work on the case, I'll sleep." Will said removing the arm and looking up at the non-crime-scene photos.

"I don't get it, why can't we find one decent suspect from Justin at least… He was the first, the killer should have some affinity with him." Starling breathed and it was her turn to lean back, close overworked eyes.

"Not always… and Justin might not even be the first." Graham offered.

"But what he does to them… all of them reeks of familiarity… He scoops out their eyes and cuts off their hair for Christ's sake…" She bit.

"While their alive…" She added.

"Yeah but theirs no connection between them… If he was on any kind of terms with all of them we would have him by now." Will pointed out as something started to pull at his mind.

"Maybe not, maybe he's just below notice." She chewed her cheek. Will was only just listening.

"Starling give your opinion…" Will said pulling himself up and plucking photo's from the board.

"What's the similarities between these two?" Starling looked over the two shots he was holding up. Both pictures provided by the families.

"Nothing." She breathed after a moment. Benjamin Prest and George Walcot were two non-sequateurs. Ben had been a College student studying entomology, while George was an apprentice chef.

Will took away Ben's and added Chase's photo. Two pairs of startlingly alive green eyes stared at her. Will held up his finger. And then swapped George's photo with Ben's and suddenly she was looking at two of the most unfashionable haircuts she'd ever seen.

"It really could just be the lack of sleep talking…" The words trailed on Will's lips and Starling's eyes went up to the board. He was right it was flimsy, but all the boys on the board bore some resemblance not to each other per se, but rather to Chase. Some even could have passed for him at a distance. It was the kind of thought that settled in your stomach and nested.

"But maybe Chase isn't the latest and maybe these others were the firsts…" Will offered.

"Chase is the obsession and these are the warm up acts…" They both looked at the morgue photos, so astringent and sickening.

"Don't envy the fact that he has floor seats to the main event." Will frowned.

"Alright its flimsy, but until we find something more solid…"

"You need to go depose Doctor House." Will said, thinking of all the statements he'd taken from hospital staff. Wondering over anything that seemed off.

"Oh joy."

Chapter Five


If I can stop one heart from breaking,

I shall not live in vain.

Emily Dickinson, Poems, 1

"I should have said something." Foreman finds Cameron curled up on one end of the breakroom couch, staring blankly off into space.

"A lot of us should have said something." He won't excuse her, tell her its not her fault because that would sound false. In wouldn't offer any comfort.

"I was blinded by my own trivialities." She mumbles, knee tucked up to her chin.

"I looked but didn't see it." She puffed and it sounds like some drunk rambling, all the worse because Foreman knows she wouldn't have had a drop.

"I didn't see the strain, the weakness… Because I didn't…" Tears are weighing on her voice and Foreman ventures further into the room. Cameron looks up at him.

"I didn't want to see it… I didn't…" She sighs shakily. Lips pursing and pulling into a frown.

"Because if I saw it then it was problem and I didn't want to care…" It cuts off into some sort of wounded little whimper and Foreman drops down beside her. Allison latches onto him like he's the Titanic's last lifeboat, her face pressed to the crook of his neck. Tears and hot puffs of breath itching his skin.

"I didn't do anything about House… Couldn't even stand up to him for one second." She panted and Eric rubbed her back at loss with what to say, could anything ever make this better?

"Chase must have felt so alone… I jumped ship on him… House threw him in the deep-end and I just left him there to drown." She sobbed.

"Now he's gonna die thinking that no one cares… His father isn't even here… Couldn't blow off a couple of meeting to see if his son's okay…" She sniffled.

"Allison you aren't alone in this." Eric mumbled.

"None of us stood up to House…"

"You did." She breathes in a tired sort of way.

"No… I whined and suggested and stayed well within my little comfort zone…" Foreman admits and feel his cheeks colour because its absurd that he should be afraid of House.

"We all may have jumped ship but I hopped the rail first… I sold Chase out when House was looking to fire one of us." Foreman spews up bitterly and actually feels a deep streak of hate towards their gimpy boss forming. Foreman didn't actually think he could hate anyone just on the merit of being. But House pricked every nerve he had, made him feel inadequate and stupid and…

"I could see Chase falling apart and I was glad that it wasn't me." Foreman sighed.

"Aren't we?" She breathed.


"He's pulling us all slowly apart…" Foreman sifts uncomfortably because she shouldn't be able to look at him and know that.


"What?" Cameron says looking up at the other.

"You smell like coconuts." Foreman clarifies and licks dry lips.

"My lip gloss." She mumbles.

"I broke up with my last boyfriend over it." She sighed, because as long as they were talking she could stop thinking.

"Over gloss?"

"It smells and tastes like coconut… he wouldn't stop eating it." Under normal circumstances Foreman would laugh over that. But then under normal circumstances they wouldn't be talking about it because under normal circumstances he and Cameron rub and grate and don't really like each other. Usually she wouldn't be pressed up against his chest, close enough to hear a steady heartbeat. That aside though and usually he would laugh… Only this isn't usually and heavy silence follows the confessions, both big and small.

Chapter Six


Ignorance is bliss!


Cuddy looked pale. This is the only thing that seemed noteworthy to House as he stands in her office door. She looked pale and drawn and sick and if she weren't sitting House would worry about her falling over. Her suit jacket has disappeared to somewhere that isn't her shoulders and there's a half-emptied bottle of scotch on her desk. A half-emptied glass sitting beside it. No ice… Cuddy always has ice… Cuddy almost never drinks at work…

Cuddy ignored House's outline in the doorway, knowing that he'd announce himself when he felt like it. She took another swallow, as the familiar fresh taste of vomit crept up to the back of her throat.

Twenty minutes after her makeshift interview and she'd been on the phone with a reporter friend, an hour and three hundred dollars later and she had the entire case file in her lap. Half an hour after that and her head had been over the toilet, lunch making an unexpected reappearance and if anyone had explained to her what fish tasted like coming back up she would have gone with chicken salad today instead.

"Well at least you're not in here with all the lights off." House prods coldly and when has it ever been anything but sarcasm between them. Even sex had been sarcastic…

Cuddy realises in a wash of sickly heat that she still isn't drunk enough, not for the conversation, not to forget the crime scene photos…

"Come back in about half an hour House." She breathes and refills the glass, wonders if maybe she should just slug straight from the bottle.

"Sorry unconscious chicks never did anything for me." House barbs and Cuddy snorts because she's cracking down the centre and he's still…

"House go away." She spits and maybe slurs a little. Can you ever really know for sure if you're slurring or not.

"Oh not you too." He frowns as though she's done something to him.

"Go away House!" Cuddy sighs, clutches the bottle for dear life, because she doesn't want to do this to him. She better than anyone knows that House is layered ice. Not steel. Not some unbreakable substance. Just frozen water, one really good whack and it cracked right down the centre. Shattered, fractured into tiny little bits that would never fit back together again.

"As I said to boy-wonder Chase will come ambling back in a few weeks with a cool tan and a cool and stylish European hooker." House says acerbic as ever.

Cuddy would splutter if she weren't so drunk, because now under the haze of alcohol she can except that that's just House. Another sip and she picks up the case file, flicks it to him across the table… knows in her bones that it'll break him… and doesn't care. She cracked the other before and somehow didn't put him back together right… A joint effort between her and Stacey really. Now he didn't trust her enough to… Had he ever!

"This is your fault!" She breathes because she doesn't cry, can't afford to anymore. Not with doctors and nurses under her care.

Cuddy's stands shakily, taking the bottle and glass with her as she fights to take each step out of her own office…

Chapter Seven

Kicking And Screaming

Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship, never.

Charles C. Colton

"She asked me ya'know, right off the bat." House winced, because he doesn't mind drunks so much when he's one of them. Cuddy to her credit though is a lot less plastered then James, or at least she was when they parted company.

House drops the weighty file down onto his desk. The desk that James is sprawled behind, an empty bottle of some description sitting discarded. The other actually waiting to vent frustration's on him… It happens about as often as Cuddy knocking'em backing at work.

"And I was left wondering if I was really transparent… or if she was just…" James's hands are talking for him, moving to and fro in front of his slumped form.

"Figures you'd loose your head over a girl." House scoffed, because maybe, just maybe he can avoid this. If he ignores it… maybe…

"I lost my head over you." James says bluntly and sits up, tries to stand and falls to his knees laughing. Holding onto the top of House's desk.

"She… Stolon or Sterling…" He's almost-sort-of-half-sobbing, half bitterly chuckling and House didn't think James could sound like him. Dejected and depressed and sarcastic at the same time, because hell he'd practiced to get that tone down.

"She asked me just straight out if I was fucking you…" James is standing now, standing almost steadily.

"Well she didn't say that!…" He toyed with some random part of the wood. Some smooth blemishing notch.

"She asked me if I was 'in a relationship' with you." He actually exclaims with his fingers.

"I only realised after I said no… That it was the truth…" House thinks that maybe he should say, something, anything because he has the distinct impression that whatever he may have with James is about to come to an untimely end. Maybe it ended a while ago… or at least should have.

Yellow light from the street behind the blinds flickers across chance bits and pieces. Highlights of nothingness.

"I always pitied Cameron and Cuddy and… Stacey…" Wilson rambles on, runs some words together and still House can't seem to find anything to interrupt with.

"Because they just didn't get!…" A small little hurting out of place pause.

"That you can't have… anything with you, just can't…" He explains and House feels a lump settling into his stomach.

"And I always thought they were so stupid to try… Turns out I'm the pathetic one! 'Cos I knew it for years… just never got it…" House just wants it to go away and if Chase were here right now he'd hate him all over again.

"James…" House says as the other starts to walk out on him, just like Cuddy. House wonders vaguely if the other will blame him too, twist the knife a little more.

"House don't…" A whole speech… and its those two words, House knows there's never gonna be any fixing it.

"Don't coddle me, I don't need it." James sighs, tired and even a little forgiving maybe. It still stings.

Chapter Eight


There is no creature loves me,

And if I die, no soul shall pity me.



Sunday, 15th October

They were both hung over, only it seemed to have flip effects or so it seemed to Cameron. Cuddy was waspish and snippish and heaven help, anyone who irritated her.

While Wilson was quiet and sullen and generally dejected, moping about the hospital in a sort of a daze.

House of all was least himself, quiet like James, only more thoughtful than sullen, though House was usually pretty frosty anyway… and he wasn't hung over. At least not that Cameron could tell.

It didn't seem right some how. Cameron worked her way through clinic duty and rounds, barely there at all. The world seemed to move on around her, without her, settling this terrible sense of detachment around her… Was this what it felt like to Chase, did he think they'd all just moved on without him? Was he going to die thinking that?

Cameron twisted vaguely red coloured strands of pasta around a plastic fork. Watching as the pasta clumped and grew eventually falling in on itself, only to start all over again. What a frivolous exercise, like eating itself. Like the police reinterviewing everyone! What did they really think they'd find a second time?

Cameron forked her lunch into her mouth finally and spat it back out in half the time. The spaghetti ice cold and slimy.

"Couldn't be that bad." Foreman commented as he pushed into the room, looking as tired as she felt… and realistically probably looked too.

"It's cold." Cameron mumbled pushing hair behind her ear and hoisting herself up. Scraping the offending meal into the trash.

"You know…" Foreman's voice was cut off by the door closing behind Cameron… She was two steps off running as she headed down the corridor, because she didn't want to hear it. Couldn't hear it from him, because she'd cried on his shoulder only a few hours ago, had shown him all those raw little wounds and if they went back to trading bland little trivialities now she'd just fall to bits.

Cameron ducked into one of the empty hospital rooms, shutting and locking the door. She leaned against the cold panel and let her legs fold beneath her weight. Huddling in the corner like some kind of scared child.

Allison fished her phone out of her pocket, flipped it open and turned it on, sniffling slightly as she flipped through the memory.

She closed her eyes and brought the piece of plastic to her ear. There was clicking and shuffling and then a dull kind of ringing which sounded a million miles away.

"Hello." It was light and airy and so achingly familiar.

"Mum." Cameron croaked.


"It's really good to hear your voice…"

Chapter Nine

All The Pieces Of Us

We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

Sam Keen

House spent the day largely avoiding people and had the impression that Wilson at least was extending him the same curtesy. He hadn't seen hide nor hair of the man all day.

Cuddy though didn't seem to be in the same generous mood. She seemed to be lurking around every corner since nine o'clock. Snapping and snarling at him to get his overdue clinic duty done. Damn it where was Chase when he needed his Clinic duty handled... Little piker! Even without Chase there though House still wasn't doing it. Probably a bad idea since the vein on her forehead was starting to show. House pushed buttons anyway.

He got busted though just before three. He was casually limping up the third floor corridor when a rather annoying, rather pissed southern drawl interrupted.

"Doctor House, I am now conducting a second round of interviews and have yet to see you even once!" House grimaced and turned to face the neurotic redhead.

"Agent Starling though I'm sure there's nothing short of dentistry that's better than your company, I am really busy at the moment!" He smirked and started to make a break for it.

"Doctor House have I explained that I'm not some bimbo of a patient, who you can just blow-off at your leisure." She snapped closing the distance between them.

"Well now that you have I'm sure I'll take it to heart." House pricked- the wrong lady apparently.

"Doctor House I have been more than accommodating with you… So you can either be interviewed or arrested… It makes no matter me to drag you out of here in cuffs." She lathered.

"Really? No matter? Funny, I get the impression, agent that you really wanna hurt me." House shot back.

"It's on my Christmas list…" She said coolly.

"Beating a crippled man… That'll look good for you…" House taunted.

"I've been caught doing worse." She added not missing a beat.

"I'll bet."

"Doctor House!" She sounded really pissed now… He still didn't care… Unfortunately it was at that moment precisely that all of House's bad karma decided to kick in and bite him in the ass.

"House! Why the hell is your clinic duty still not done!" Cuddy snarled, barging up the corridor.

"If you don't get it done right now…"

"Take me! I'm yours!" House breathed grabbing the obnoxious redhead's arm…

This was how he found himself inside an interrogation room. It was somewhat disappointing really; House had always pictured something more imposing. That was how it always seemed in the movies anyway.

"Doctor House why exactly was it that Doctor Chase was working 24 hour shifts before he disappeared?" She breezed pertly.

"I was teaching him the finer points of sleep depravation." House smirked and Starling gritted her teeth in a mocking grimace.

"You were having a fight with him?" She pushed.

"There wasn't really much fighting." House frowned.

"But you-s… were… at odds." She said drawing out her words, as though picking each.

"Not really." House puffed and she glared slightly.

"I've heard several different people that the two of you were in the middle of a terrible-spat." There's a taunting note deeply inlaid.

"Well if ya know why ask." House sighed.

"Just trying to get your perspective on things." Starling smiles, more a pursing of lips.

"I'm a mean old bastard, who tortured poor Chase relentlessly-what other perspective would you like?" House bit.

"So it's true then?" As if it really needed clarification!

"More or less." House admitted.

"You hated him." Round and round in circles and it was starting to piss House off.

"Would you like me say no now-because he's gone… Is that what everyone else has said. That they're so sorry they never new him better." House snapped.

"Weren't nicer too him… Didn't protect him from the big bad House monster." He half-rants.

"Yes I hated him. I hated the fact that he was completely spineless, all teary-eyed, trembling mouthed and awkward elbows and-" House stops abruptly and smirks bitterly because she's better than him-

"He was a pain in my ass." House finishes simply.

"So you didn't have any other kind of relationship with him?" And she just continues on as though she didn't even notice.

"Yeah, prepubescent-looking, skinny little blondes are really to my taste." House smirks coldly.

"They're to someone's taste." She reminds painfully and has House really curious.

Chapter Ten


A life without love is like a heap of ashes upon a deserted hearth-with the fire dead, the laughter stilled, and the light extinguished.

Frank P Tebbetts

House had made the catastrophic near-fatal mistake of reading the thick file Cuddy had given him. It was all he could think about after his interview/interrogation. This was what found House sitting alone in Chase's apartment, feet kicked up in a lounge sofa.

All the lights were off and Starling would probably have a field day if she found him here. But they weren't coming here; no one was…

House closed his eyes and tilted his head back, breathing in cool, stale air. Breathing in Chase, that sweet-spicy, almost bitter scent oh-so apparent here.

It was such an odd place, so not what he'd expected. Brat teenager or professional design, either would have been allowable, predictable, but this- The walls were painted, actually painted- forests and castles and just plan swirls of colour… and that would be okay too, if it were finished. If it were finished House could assume that Chase in all his rich brat-ness had decided to have designer walls. But they're not finished, there's paints and brushes lying about the place and some walls are white with just the corners started and others have blank patches amongst mosaics of colour. It's odd and off-putting and just not right. Like the canvas's lining the walls, leaned against every available surface- it's so odd. Especially considering that Chase's furniture- what there is of it is so normal. Expensive, lavish pieces that seem picked by someone else.

House opens his eyes and realises in the fog of darkness that vines and veins of colour have started to creep across the ceiling. He has to wonder on how long before Chase starts painting the polished floorboards. Has he already?

Gregory pulls himself up stiffly and moves to the kitchen, intending on finding water and downing quite a few pills, probably more than he should… What else is new? It hits him as he steps onto the white tile that he shouldn't be here. Should've have come, should've broken in and should've stayed. The kitchen is metal and tile and glass and if it weren't for the bowl of fruit sitting in the middle of the counter House could mistake this place for some kind of surgical room. All clean and pris, again completely unrelated to the rest of the house. MPD, was the only reason for it, because Chase didn't seem to be living with anyone else physical. House downed the pills and then inspected the fridge just because. Chase cooked… or at least made it look that way. The stainless steel fridge and freezer were both full. All green vegetables and shiny fruit and frozen packages of meat. So Chase cooked..? Yet there were no dishes in the sink, short of the one he'd just used, none drying the rack. Open bottles of wine, but no misplaced cups…


House lurked into the bathroom, another sterile piece of glass and metal and tile. Chase's artwork hadn't invaded here either. White towels, who ever really had white towels? Chase apparently. House opened the linen closet just to make sure. There wasn't a colour in sight. House had to wonder about just who he'd hired. He had always known that of the three, Chase was the strangest, the most unbalanced. The one who'd been broken as a child, he'd just never realised how deep it ran.

House raided the medicine cabinet, curious if the other wasn't harbouring a few addictions. He'd be really surprised if it were empty. It wasn't.

Doxepin, 25 mg, one capsule twice a day.

Dothiepin, 150 mg, one capsule before bed.

Ergotamine, 2 mg at onset of migraine.

Clomipramine, 100 mg, one capsule three times a day.

That was just the tip of the ice burg, Chase could probably start his own pharmacy. Most perplexing was the one bottle of Bromocriptine prescribed to Lily Able. Chase wasn't the prescribing physician on any of the bottles either, rather a doctor Greene. Also with the exception of over-the-counter pain-killers everything was years old, including the bottle of infant Panadol.

House replaced the bottles and pushed the mirror back into place, pacing off into Chase's bedroom, it was unsettling like everything else. Like the door next to it that was not only locked but deadbolted! From the outside!


House ended up sprawled across Chase's neatly made bed, taking childish satisfaction from crumpling the perfection. This place! It was suffocating, like someone sitting across your chest and House wondered if Chase felt the same way about it.

House glanced across at the closet door he'd left open. Jeans and pants and Chase's horrible suits and ties and shirts and… for some reason a plastic wrapped wedding dress!

The immunologist was insane. Or moonlighting as a woman, Or something that House didn't, couldn't understand. Chase was a pit of shadows and no matter how hard you glared they would never stir any clearer.

House puffed and pulled himself up, wondering if Starling would be able to make any sense of this if she did ever decide to drop by. Would she simply step in the door and an explanation would come spilling out. Would she be able to explain the wedding dress. The obvious one was that Chase had been married, at some point. But where was the other evidence. House had, had the bitterest divorce ever and yet even he still had a few pictures…

He ambled back through the kitchen. He had been so sure he had the other pinned down, had him so figured out. A spoiled little rich brat, unhappy because daddy didn't fawn over him the way everyone else did… He didn't have a clue…

House started slightly at the sound of a key scraping in the lock of the front door. His heart kicked up just a notch as he realised he was lurking about the darkened apartment of a kidnapped colleague.

The door opened and a vague shape stepped in, short and slim and for a second House thought he might be right about Chase just popping back up.

Th living room light flicked on and House blinked at the dim light being cast into the kitchen. House turned his head away, heard bags drop then the short click of heeled steps and the kitchen light was flicked on to. Bursting before his dilated pupils. He winced and slowly forced his eyes back open.

"Hi." He frowned to the startled blue eyes of a middle-aged woman, dark, greying hair falling around an oval face.

"Hi. What the hell are you doing in my son's apartment!"

Chapter Eleven

Adelaide Ann

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams

William Butler Yeats

House's mind crashed, mother, Chase's mother. Dead ten years my ass. House's thought's raced and he shouldn't be surprised after touring Chase's apartment. Why wouldn't the blonde have lied through his teeth, at least once.

"Your Chase's mother." House frowns.

"Mother-In-Law, does it really matter, who the hell are you!" She snapped. So Chase had been married.

"I'm Chase's boss." House offers lamely. She glares at him, looks him over.

"Thomas Hilton." She half asked.

"Gregory House." He corrected.

"Oh," Her entire demeanour changed.

"I should have guessed." She breathed with sudden disinterest and went back to the lounge to retrieve her forgotten bags.

"Should have guessed what?" Its House's turn to be confused.

"That you were you." She sighed.

"Chase told me you were very fond of B and E's." It's so odd to hear a woman of her years and cultured British tones, say something like B and E.

"Actually what he said was that you were fond of making them do it." She set down a bag of cat food and went to open the kitchen window. Moving as though there was nothing off about the apartment.

"Still though a little off putting having you looming about in the dark like that." She lilted and House was starting to wonder if she knew anything at all.

"I'm surprised you didn't hit me over the head with a pot." House admitted, watching a pure white cat slink in the window as she poured food into a bowl that he hadn't noticed.

"Please if I'd hit every stranger I'd found in Chase's apartment over the years, over the head-well… I dare say there would have been couple of prison sentences by now." She breezed and House was again wondering if she knew.

"Chase is missing, you do know that right." He said slowly.

"Yes, I came by to feed the cat." She frowned, the pursed smile not coming anywhere near reaching her eyes.

"And I assume you're here to snoop." She intoned, brushing fingertips through curling strands.

"I'd just finished actually." House shifted, just slightly.

"Right." She seemed at odds, like some impromptu host who had things to be getting along with but didn't want to be rude. She moved out of the doorway, as House shuffled across the kitchen.

"Just out of curiosity though, any idea's on what's in the locked room?" House asked bluntly. An eyebrow arched.

"There's a locked room?" She said blandly and House shrugged.

"Apparently." He said and headed for the door.

Adelaide heard it snap shut behind him and took off through the kitchen, up the hall, heels clicking. She paused before the dark wood, running fingers over the surface before pulling away sharply. Stepping into Chase's bedroom and retrieving a key from behind a red teddy's loose eye. Where it always had been.

She hurried back out and jammed it into the silver lock, twisting and dreading the snap she heard as it popped open. She pushed the door inwards, handle gritty and cool beneath her fingertips.

A crib rested in the corner and there were paintings on the wall, dragons and horses and god she hadn't realised that it had gotten this bad.

"What is this?" She stiffens slightly, but to her credit gives no more, since really she should have known.

"Its nothing." She breathes and pulls the door back closed, but it means nothing, because House has already seen enough. She pushes past him.

"Seems strange to have nothing locked up." House digs and she sighs, stops.

"Weren't you leaving." She scowled.

"Chase and your daughter were married, do they have a child?" House asks, because the world is tilting on its axis and he's going to fall over if he can't grab hold of something. She sighed and tears fell…

Chapter Twelve

Silence Unending

We love because it's the only true adventure.

Nikki Giovanni


Monday, 16th October

The normalcy was terrible, she signed forms and saw patient's and scolded interns for their general acts of idiocy. Filled scripts, consulted, even ran blood work. All while the walls closed in on her and her hands shook. She choked every time she swallowed… Because she'd screwed up… The first rule of leadership, everything was her fault.

Mostly she watched the clock, watched seconds tick over, thought about the file she'd read, thought about how Chase was being… right now… as she sat and watched time trickle away. Picked at lunch and… Seconds just dripped by…

House stayed locked in his office, growling at anyone who even dared to happen by. Most only made the mistake once. Cuddy was shockingly absent considering his clinic duty was still to be done.

The conversation with Adelaide Able played and replayed in his head. Fragmented and disjoined, random sentences that skipped and scratched about.

"Yes they had a child."

"Michael… He died, along with my daughter when she planted the car into a tree."

"He was six months old and she was… an alcoholic… Chase never forgave himself."

She'd wiped tears, had steadied a shaking voice and all House had done was stare. Because he hadn't had a fucking clue. Not the slightest. Couldn't have guessed if he'd tried. Now Chase was gone and indeed it was his fault.

"How can you just sit there!" Cameron demanded and House didn't even turn from the window to look at her.

"How dare you just sit there!" She shrilled and House still said nothing.

"Everyone else is going nuts, just going completely crazy… and you can't even…" Cameron could barely speak, she was choking on anger, which bubbled hot and acidic at the back of her throat…

"They met in Europe one summer…"

She was exhausted… worn out from worry. Foreman looked half-dead, Cuddy, she looked all dead and James… James looked empty, eaten away, used up. House though, he just looked like himself and how could he… How dare he…

"This is your mess House and we're left picking up the tab." Cameron shrieked and how it must have looked from the outside!

"Married young…"

"Its your fault House… You pull us apart like blocks…" Cameron pleads.

"Lily was the reason Chase left Seminary school."

"It was the happiest I'd ever seen her…"

"Friends said the same thing about Chase."

"House when I took this job, I thought it would be the chance of a life time. I thought you'd push and my medical skills would flourish because of it…" Cameron was simmering down… getting to the real root of things.

"I like to think she was even getting better, slowly, bit by bit…"

"Then she died…"

"If she hadn't been… drinking… and the road hadn't been slippery…"

"Well you pushed and the only thing it showed me was that I don't have any medical skills. I have no knack for this profession…" Cameron has to get this out now, 'cos she'll never say it later.

"She was 21 and he was six months…"

"And Chase just fell apart…"

"We all did…"

"No love for this profession… I want out of my contract and if you refuse I unlike Chase I will go to Cuddy… Because I can't do it anymore…" House barely listens as everything comes unravelling around his ears.

"I've burnt-out… and I won't let myself be like Chase… I can't…" Still he's quiet, still he's facing the window.

"Do you care at all House…? Do you feel anything…? You don't like any of us, I know, but do you really hate him enough not to care at all?" Cameron implores, because she liked the other once, has to believe that there was indeed something to love.

"Do you honestly hate him that much House?"

He turns slightly, looks at her over his shoulder. Eyes catching hers for just a fluttering little moment and she gets it. Understands just the sad truth of it. Catches all the soft fleshiness of the situation.

"No, you didn't hate him at all…" She breathes and House turns back to the fading day, tired eyes glancing over a tattered world.

Chapter Thirteen

Phone Sex… Or Something Close

We had a lot in common.

I loved him and he loved him.

Shelley Winters

Hands… Unwanted hands, everywhere, all over touching, taking, tasting…

Cuddy sat up sharply, scrubbing her eyes, trying desperately to clear away images that she cold have gone her whole life without. She bit back a sob and held down the vomit that was rising to the back of her throat. Giving in to it after a moment and hauling herself out of bed to the toilet. Hanging her head until there was nothing left, heaving turned to dry reaching.

She went back to bed without brushing her teeth because the hot biting taste was preferable to the fresh crisp taste of mint. Mint was clean and she didn't feel clean at the moment. Cuddy bit back more tears, held down another sob and reached for the phone.

The other end was already ringing before she'd even considered the number she'd dialled. Had already been picked up before she could hang up.

"Hello?" The voice was low and husked form sleep.

"James?" Despite her best efforts tears were collecting… and falling.

"Lisa?… It's two am." He groaned.

"I'm sorry I just couldn't think of anyone else to call." She breathed and James could hear the tears in her tone.

"I wasn't really sleeping anyway."

"I hope I haven't pissed Julie off." Cuddy breathed slowly, sitting curled in the middle of her bed. The double bed seeming too big, it looked like miles to the edges in the dark. The apartment sat in silence and Cuddy could feel the terrible crush of loneliness creeping into her stomach.

"Julie's gone." James admitted blandly, still perched precariously on his side of the bed, because it feels odd to sleep in the middle. Feels odd not to have a body beside his.

"She said I was never here and even when I was I wasn't… and she's probably right." He sighs. There's long slow pauses punctuating their conversation. Minutes tickling by at a time.

"I'm sorry." Because there's nothing else to say. James shrugs even though she can't see it, is still lying down on his side in bed.

"Didn't hurt as much as I thought it would."

"Doesn't ever seem to does it?" Cuddy questions and settles back down into bed slowly piling blankets up over her shaking body.

"Lisa why did you call?" He asks.

"I don't know… I just… Don't know what I'm doing anymore." She admits painfully.

"Lisa I mean no flattery when I say that you do know what you're doing. I've seen you work and I've never seen anyone better." He mumbled and despite tattered nerves Cuddy felt sleep falling in once more.

"Speaking of clueless though lets look at my serious lack of relationship skills." He scoffed slightly, dully.

"James I mean no flattery when I say that you're a great guy, you'll find someone and get it right." Cuddy offers.

"Please I spent years of my life unwittingly in love with Gregory House." He snorted.

"Haven't we all." She said quietly.

"I hope you get it right James." Long pauses, always long pauses, then…

"It's almost three."

"I know." She clutched more desperately at the receiver not wanting to let him go.

"I have to be up in two more hours." He groaned.

"Me too." She confessed.

"We should go." Neither wanted to.

"Yeah." Which bred another long silence into being.

"So hang up." He said, listening to quite breathing.

"You." Silence once more. Quite breathing evening out into sleep.

"You first…"

Chapter Fourteen


The greatest of faults, I should say, is to conscious of none.

Carlyle, Heroes and Hero-Worship


Tuesday, 17th October

"We're just running out of time again." Will groaned head resting against the board.

"We're not out yet…" Starling reminded painfully.

"No but we will be… Just like the others… Chase is already being raped…" Will pointed out.

"And we can't do anything about it… but work at this…" She pointed back. Will kicked the board over, the bulk hitting the fall with a crash, pictures fluttering.

"That was productive." Starling breathed into the petulant air.

"Its somebody at that hospital… it has to be… The industrial cleaners that he uses on the bodies, the incisions… I know… I know, it is somebody from that hospital…" Will frowned, pacing back and forth.

"Who then?" She sat back in a chair.

"House." He blurted.

"House is an arsehole, but he's not our killer." She sighed gutturally.

"What about that neurologist… Peterson." Will frowned.

"At home with his wife and four kids." She winced.

"It's eight in the morning," He sighed falling down beside her against the wall.

"I officially having spelt in three days." Worst of all was that it had all been for nothing… It was always for nothing… A knock at the door interrupted.

"Detective's there's a Doctor Jason Messner here to see you."

"Oh, yeah I had to ask him some more questions." Starling winced.

"Doctor Messner, if the circumstances were different I'd say it's lovely to have you back." Starling flattered.

"But they aren't." He said ruefully. He was a short dark-haired man in his late thirties; wire-framed glasses perched on his nose.

"Its actually kind of rattling having a fellow doctor snatched from the Car Park like that. Makes your skin creep." He smiled. Starling shifted slightly.

"No," She frowned.

"I don't know where you heard that Doctor Messner but its not… we're pretty sure Doctor Chase was walking home when he was taken…" She pursed.

"Oh, well I just assumed… since you found the lily there that…" Suddenly there's that tight uncomfortable feeling creeping up her spine…

"I'm sorry… Lily?" She frowned.

"Yes… it was left on the hood of Chase's car."

"Yes I know… I'm just shocked that you know considering you told me you rarely went down to the parking garage and I know no newspapers printed it." She said carefully.

"No… I heard two paediatricians talking about it at lunch."

"Of course." Silence settled for a moment.

Chapter Fifteen

Sleep On It

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

Kahlil Gibran

There was just nothing else for it… They were wrecked… This was punctuated by the fact that they were just sitting there…

"So if there's blood in her vomit its…" Well House was scribbling madly at the white-board… The fact that there were no patients not stopping him from still shirking clinic duty. It was a hypothetical case. Foreman not even bothering to mention how stupid it was. It seemed too apparent.

"You know if you two have somewhere better to be…" House suddenly snarled. His mood was well passed rancid.

"It just feels weird doing this with…" Cameron didn't even both to finish. House hit the board and turned to glare.

"So what? The little blonde waif goes missing and the world suddenly stops spinning…" He snapped.

"House…" Cameron… had nothing.

"No only you two do because you two are the only two who can't seem to grasp how useless he really is…"

"Shut up… just shut up House…" This came from Foreman.

"Oh, panties in a bunch again." House dug.

"What the fuck would you know about it!" Foreman had more than had it. He had run out of rope…

"You're a lousy doctor and a fucked-up person." He spat.

"Oh, going a little ghetto are we Eric!" Foreman stood up slowly grinding his teeth. There were just no more nerves to fray.

"House I swear to god if you make one more black comment I'm just…" Eric bit trying to rub away the pain behind his eyes…

"What like asking you if you can blush?" Foreman shoved him, just barely and Cameron got between them.

"Hey, hey stop. Stop it. Look you two need to just…"

"God Cameron your always selling yourself off bit by bit… why not just give it up and become a hooker." House sneered and Allison looked like she'd been kicked in the gut.

"What did you just call her…" Eric demanded and Cameron got shoved aside… Let herself get pushed out of the way. House was leaned very calmly against the wall… or at least that was how it looked. The fact that Foreman was about to kill him didn't seem to be a major spanner in the works.

"Cameron was just upset because I called you a nigger." House smirked, punctuating the insult by tapping the top of Eric's head with his cane. Its no shock that Eric punches him, full weight of his body behind his arm… House hits the wall and drops to the floor.

"Wow…" He breathes, feeling his head pound and not much else beyond that…

Foreman looked shocked… Looked dazed like he couldn't fathom what he'd just done… He raked hands through barely there hair.

"I'm done. House I quit… I just…" He shrugged backing from the room.

Cameron stood in awkward silence, listening to the door swing shut behind the retreating doctor…

"I hope you got what you wanted House." She half-sobbed.

"Oh yeah I often want to be punched in the face…" House grumbled, wiping a bloody lip.

"How else did you expect that to end?"

Cameron bent over the bathroom sink and splashed cool water up over her face, rubbing her eyes slightly… Trying to hold back tears. She sobbed dryly, sniffing…

"Oh, dear are you okay…"

"I'm fine thanks." Cameron sighed turned to a middle-aged woman with dark hair framing a slender face…

"Well not that it's my place dear but you look under the weather." She said curtly, stepping up beside Allison.

"You don't look too together yourself." She sniffed.

"It happens when you have to deal with an entire police department…" She groaned in frustration.

"Oh you're…"

"No… a… friend of mines gone missing." She smiled wearily.

"A- friend… do you know Chase?" She frowned.

"He was my son-in-law…" She breathed.

"Sorry…" Allison said licking dry lips.

"I'm Allison Cameron… I work with Chase… usually…" She mumbled, extending a hand and it seemed so silly to do so.

"Adelaide Able." She didn't take the hand rather ran hers through slightly rumpled hair.

"Look I know this must sound a little odd and your probably very busy, but would you like to go out for coffee… I just really need to talk and I know I just met you but…" Her eyes were red-rimmed.

"No… I'd love to." Cameron nodded.

Foreman went about clearing out his locker… He didn't know why, considering he still had to resign formally. To Cuddy, because if he actually tried that with House he was pretty sure that, like Chase he would have the thing thrown at him. Then again… maybe House would want him gone… Foreman stubbornly refused to care, as he shoved more things into a gym bag.

"Eric…" The bag slipped through his fingers slightly as he started.

"Cameron?" She was standing the doorway to the men's showers, her face flushed and her eyes wide. She was hopping almost like a five-year-old on her heels.

"I need your help." She gasped, flicking her hands in panic.

Chapter Sixteen

Falling Down

Against stupidity the very gods

Themselves contend in vain.

Schiller, The Maid Of Orleans

"Why, why would you do this?" Foreman panted as they hurried threw the garage.

"I don't know…" Cameron breathed, blood deafening behind her ears.

"I just met her in the bathroom like two hours ago… She's Chase's mother-in-law… and we went out for coffee and we talked and she's so understanding and nice…" Allison half-sobbed.

"So you hit her…" Foreman frowned.

"NO!… Well yes… but, She was nice, but… we got back in her car… and we drove back here and… there was this beeping and I found Chase's pager wedged beside the seat… it was… low battery…" Cameron bit her lip trying to straighten out her head.

"Jesus Cameron, Chase could have left that in there weeks ago…" Foreman said shaking his head.

"No! He had it before he left the hospital when… She did something to him Foreman… I just know it… I do…" Cameron sighed long since passed trying to explain herself.

"I hope the cops see it that way…" Foreman grumbled. Opening the black car door and leaning in to inspect the slumped figure in the driver's side. He leaned back out a moment later brandishing keys…

"She's probably okay… you really clocked her good though." Cameron can't help the inappropriate snort that escapes her lips.

"Metal coffee flask… I just swung it and… I didn't even think." She mumbled disjointedly.

"Yeah you should probably stick to that whole not thinking thing." Foreman offered moving around to the back of the car.

"What are you doing…"

"Snooping, and after whacking the woman up side the head… I don't think you have a leg to stand on in the 'this is wrong department'." Foreman informed popping the trunk.

"I hit one person and lose all credibility." Cameron half-joked, because she was just way too tired.

"Hey Cameron, ya know that bad feeling…" Foreman frowned from buried in the boot.

"Chase's ID and a muddy shovel…" He said holding up the white tag.

"Now why would she ever drive around with that in there!" Cameron said moving behind the car with Eric.

"I have no idea… anyone else would ditch it…" He breathed, raising a brow at Cameron's odd look.

"You know way too much about this!" She sighed, pulling at messy hair.

"Don't start." He hissed between his teeth.

"So what… I mean do we…" Cameron remembered the numerous detectives' numbers she'd gotten given in the last few days. How would she ever explain this…

"Go get a wheelchair and a first-aid kit…" Foreman, said finally.

"Why?" Cameron wasn't getting it.

"Cos I need to know what happened to Chase…"

"Eric this probably isn't the best…"

"You're the one who hit her, so just go get the stuff…"

"What are you two doing?" House asked insidiously from the now open door. Both Foreman and Cameron jumped, nervousness making their hearts race.

"Nothing." Cameron said shiftily brushing stray hair behind her ear.

"All right, but if Cuddy catches the two of you tying up patients she's gonna pitch a fit." House sighed, catching sight of a wrist cuffed to the side rail of a hospital bed.

"Who is that anyway…" House frowned, leaning forward and peering between the two.

"What are you doing with Chase's mother-in-law?" He sniffed.

"Nothing." Cameron said once more.

"Well we…" She started at House sceptical look.

"She had Chase's ID and pager… We thought she might know where he is…" Foreman explained lamely… It seemed so stupid now.

"So what… You hit her over the head and were… planning on torturing her when she woke up." House smirked, stepping further into the room and closing the door behind him.

"Of course not!" Foreman scowled.

"It was Cameron who hit her…" He breathed.

"By accident… well sort of…" She winced.

"Need I remind the two of you that although this is the most initiative you've ever shown anything. Assault's still frowned upon in society and the police already have a nice serial killer pegged as having taken Chase…" House frowned.

"Well their wrong!" Cameron pushed. They all jumped as Cuddy burst in the door.

"Have any of you met Chase's mother-in-law she's… What are you doing?" She frowned looking from the three of them to the woman cuffed to the bed.

"Cuddy meet Chase's mother-in-law, Adelaide…" House smiled.

"What is she doing cuffed to a bed…" Lisa demanded, hands on hips.

"Well Cameron seems to think that she's the one who nicked Chase… So she and Foreman were considering torture." House smirked.

"She is the one who nicked Chase and… No torture in the hospital, its bad for business." Cuddy breathed.

"What?" House scowled.

"Torture its not…"

"The other part…"

"Oh, ummm I got a call from Agent Starling… Jason Messner…"

"The paediatrician…"

"Yeah, he confessed… to all of it… except for Chase… claims that Chase got into the car with her." Cuddy said licking dried lips.

"Well that explains it." Foreman choked.

"What?" Cuddy asked sucking her bottom lip.

"We found Chase's pager and ID in her car…" Cameron informed.

"And a muddy shovel…" Foreman added.

Cuddy's mouth hung open for a moment and she wobbled slightly on her feet.

"Who drives around with that!" She gasped, bracing a hand against the wall, trying to steady herself.

"Move!" She ordered moving to push Foreman out of the way, leaning against the rail of the bed. She shook the prone figure awake.

"What the hell…" The brunette muttered.

"Where is Chase…" Cuddy demanded, because god-damn-it there was so much she should have done and didn't…

"Who…" The voice is slurred and thick, a hand pulling at the cuff, trying to work out what's going on as the fog of sleep clears.

"Chase, blonde, funny, one of my staff… What did you do with him…" She demands, clutching the others chin.

"Nothing." The slap echoes around the room.

"Cuddy!" Cameron gasps, frozen in shock.

"Don't lie to me… What did you do!" A pair of rough blows and Foreman starts froward and pulls her back across the room.

"Cuddy you can't…"

"I buried him… I hit him… and I just… buried him…" Comes the soft reply from bloody lips.

"Oh god…"

Chapter Seventeen


There is no worse death-then that of hope…

They had gotten no more from her, the redheaded detective barging into the room at the most inopportune time. Mainly before House could get to the torture…

Chase… She'd taken Chase and he'd… House sighed as he scraped stray bits of grit from beneath his fingernail with his thumb. He refused to be depressed because what that meant was too complicated right at the moment. Rather he liked to look at it as morbidly thoughtful. He sat perched in a rocking chair, beside a crib, feet outstretched, picture book resting in his lap.

The room was done in ridiculous shades of blue, with bunny's and teddy's stencilled on the walls and little puffy pillows… Chase had moved and had still felt the compulsion to bring all this with him. To put all this pain right within reach… A splinter in his heart… Why… Punishment… that was the obvious answer… His wife and son… His life… It was the reason he worked himself into exhaustion… Took House's abuse, had no friends and no social life to speak of… Was basically a non-person. He was punishing himself and House can't believe he never saw this before in the downcast eyes and slumped shoulders. The way Chase seemed to swing drastically between bitterly selfish and being well… Cameron… Worse than… Soft and brittle and melty…

All these new sides were hurting his head because try as he might House can't seem to fit Chase back into that rich-boy mould… Or Wilson into that reliable-puppet one. Nobody fits anything anymore. Cuddy is no longer the ridged boss and Cameron, doesn't look at him like she use to. Nothing's what it was and House isn't so sure he likes the change. His jaw sure as hell doesn't, realistically the punch from Foreman's been a long time coming. House just never imagined it would be over Cameron… and it was. As blind as those two were, House could see what was going on…

House swallowed, toying with the book as he considered whether to down a few more pills. The Edge… That was the title written above an odd splattering of colours. House finds the paintbrush strokes soothing beneath his fingers. Finds the name delicately printed in the corner incredibly sad. Robert Chase… House isn't an idiot. The Wild. What Chase had read to Jessica, House had nicked the book after Chase had been taken, had been through it so many times. Written by Virginia Chase, illustrated by Virginia Chase and dedicated to 'my darling son Bobby'. Chase's mother had been a writer. Had published dozens of books… and had written one for her son. This being punctuated by the fact that it was only children's story she had ever had to her name. Chase had done the same… Only this one was just the original handmade copy. Dedicated to Michael and locked up, sitting in the middle of a crib, now long empty.

House didn't… couldn't understand it… Chase was this huge puzzle and that made too much sense since House loved a puzzle and was frustrated beyond belief when he couldn't solve it right away. Chase was one of those little cubes with all the coloured sides and no matter how House twisted they just never matched up… Refused to fit… and they never would… Chase was gone and House… was just left with all these little bits that didn't make sense.

Chapter Eighteen

Last Breath

Reason has little to do with anything we do.


Wednesday, 18th October

House fully expects the breakroom to be empty he next morning. Fully expects Foreman and Cameron to have cleared out. Instead they're both leaned over the table, maps and bits spread out before them.

"So its just along this ridge here." Cameron frowns marking in a section in red…

"That's still like 15 square miles Cam…" Foreman frowns rubbing the bridge of his nose.

"It's better than what we had." She sighed, resting hands on hips.

"And no offence but that red clay thing was pretty flimsy to start with." Foreman informed.

"I told you my cousin owns a nursery, the only place even close to here where you finds red clay is along this ridge." Cameron pointed.

"What are you two doing…" House winces.

"Looking for Chase…" Cameron puffed.

"Funny you don't have a badge." House dug.

"The police are currently dredging a river because she told them that's where she dumped the body."


"She told us she buried him." Cameron snapped.

"She lied big surprise." House smirked woefully.

"Yeah to them." Cameron said pinching her tongue between front teeth.

"So you two decided not to leave it to the professionals and go looking frantically for a death body." House scoffed.

"Yeah! And although you don't have to help, stop hindering and get the hell out…" House raised a brow as Cameron scribbled down a note and they both ignored him once more.

"It's not that big we could search it." Cameron pressed.

"Yeah, I suppose if we leave now we could have most of it done before dark." Foreman said sucking his lip.

"Still though why there…"

"It's a secluded area… no camping grounds, hiking trails…" She breathed.

"There are easier areas too." Foreman frowned.

"Well its either this or sit here and do nothing…"

"And we all know House has got that covered." Foreman dug.

"Well this is useless!" Foreman splattered, pushing threw undergrowth.

"It's not that bad…" Cameron said, the slow trickle of rain soaking through her shirt and spilling into her shoe's. Her jacket was already dripping, yet she hugged it closer to her chest.

"No I'm not talking about the fact that it's pouring and fucking freezing… It's that we haven't got a hope in hell of finding anything in the dark. Disturbed looking dirt isn't exactly that noticeable…" Foreman sniffled.

"I know… maybe we should just… Call it a day…" They been trudging around thinned bushland for the better part of six hours, the last three of which it had been raining, turning the ground to sludge. Now for the last half an hour they'd been stumbling blindly in the dark, the torches they were using virtually no help at all. After all what help was a little circle of light that at best showed a tiny patch of ground, a bit of tree or a face in the dark. Cameron yelped and dropped the cylinder as a pale face flicker in the light.

"Get that thing off my face!" Foreman's torch going to rest right where Cameron's had just disappeared from.

"House! What the hell are you doing!" Cameron shrieked.

"Going blind." He winced, light still bright on his face. Cameron hit Foreman's hands as she groped for her own light.

"Why are you lurking in the dark?" Foreman snapped.

"I wasn't, you two idiot's didn't exactly make it a secret of where you were going and the roads just down that hill…" House said, gesturing to the sharp drop off on the left.

"I could hear you from my car. I've been parked behind yours for about an hour." House spat.

"So what the hell are you doing out here?" Foreman said, still fighting the overwhelming urge to shine his light back in House's eyes.

"I came out to make sure you two hadn't fallen into a well." House snapped.

"House this is not the time. I can kill you and hide the body quite easily out here…" Foreman snapped. He was tired and wet and had a million cuts and scrapes up and down his arms and legs… He really wasn't in the mood. Plus the small alleviation of guilt that had come with being able to at least find Chase's body had been stamped on… A cold lump settling back into his throat.

"Nagh the cops would work it out. The black guy always gets pinned with it…" House smirked.

"Would you cut that black shit out." Foreman flared, striding forward, light once again poised on his eyes.

"Oh, stay out of my face with that!" House scoffed and shoved the other back. Usually House won't have been able to move him, but the ground was slick and uneven, Foreman stumbling back as he tilted off-balance. His back hit a tree as his foot hit something vaguely solid, something that collapsed with a quick snap.

The flashlight hit the ground as Foreman gave a startled yelp and went down on his knees.

"Jesus." Cameron dropped the shovel and surged forward, House hanging back with vague concern.

"Are you okay?" She gasped, kneeling down in the mud and wet.

"I don't know… What the fuck is this." Eric gasped, gritting his teeth as icy jolts of pain ran up his leg.

"I don't know." Cameron said, light glancing over thin slats of wood cutting through the dirt. One of was gorging a bloody hole in Foreman's ankle, pants rigged up over bare skin.

"Lean back against the tree." Cameron instructed, pulling his foot free and wrenching a hiss from dark lips. She felt gently along the joint, carefully to avoid the wound itself.

"House does this look broken to you." Cameron asked as he moved to linger over her shoulder. God only knew how he kept his balance…

"Hmmm…" Cameron huffed at House lack of actual response.

"Well what do you see?" She said in frustration.

"Blonde hair…" House said running tongue over teeth… Cameron looked down, hers and Foreman's cast aside flash lights catching in the gap, muddy blonde hair sat at bottom on more dirty board. Cameron pulled her knees back and ripped up more rotten board, the fragile snaps and pops like bones breaking.

"Chase…" Foreman clutched more desperately at the tree, trying vainly to stave off the sinking feeling in his stomach. Cameron sobbed, a hot dry sound, though with the falling rain, it was impossible to tell whether she was actually crying or not. She brushed dirty hunks of hair from a gritty face, the skin obscenely pale looking, lips blue and cracked.

House moved back, lingering desperately at the edge of the torchlight… he pulled at his shirt collar, the material stretching easily in his fingertips. It didn't matter though, there was no air left in the world to breathe, everything felt so incredibly hot and the rain had all but disappeared suddenly, leaving an awful silence behind.

Cameron bit her lip as tears built behind her eyes… crying didn't ever fucking help anything… Why was it the only thing she could do. Cameron squeezed her eyes shut and pushed the palm of her hand onto the splintered wood end. Hissing as they pricked and cut, blood pooling slowly. She pulled the appendage back slowly, a small drop of blood slipping and hitting Chase's cheek. Cameron gaped when his eyelashes fluttered, just slightly. She leaned forward, watching the still dead-looking face… She's going off the deep end… Utterly and completely…

"Cam?" She looked… Foreman didn't have the words for how she looked.

"I thought…" Particles swirled and danced in the yellow beams, kicked up by… Cameron reached in and pressed trembling half-numb fingers to a cold throat. A flutter… Or was that just the tingle always present in her hands…

"House I think…" Cameron pulled at Chase's shirt placing a hand against his chest, pushing down hard.

"What are you doing." House snapped as he watched Cameron completely lose it.

"I can feel…"

Chapter Nineteen


They came after the Jews- and I was not a Jew, so I did not object.

They came after the Catholics- and I was not a Catholic, so I did not object.

Then they came after the Trade Unionists-and I was not a Trade Unionist so I did not object.

Finally they came after me…

And there was no one left to object.


Thursday, 19th October

"No you may certainly not interview him…" Cuddy snapped into the phone hands on hips.

"Maybe in a week or two when he's in a more stable condition…" She growled, James couldn't help but lean in the door and smirk.

"Well you get a court order then!" She flared and then slammed the piece of black plastic black into the cradle.

"Trying to tell me how to run my hospital, ridiculous gits… and if it isn't someone in uniform it's someone with a damn camera… I've had to have three removed already and its not even lunch yet." She cried and James's smirk widened.

"Police or reporters?" He said coyly.

"Reporters… Though did you see all the uniforms standing around last night when Chase was brought in… not doing anything!" She brushed stray hair behind her ear.

"Idiots!" She puffed. She looked good for someone who'd been in the same clothes for over twenty-four hours. She also hadn't slept in two and she hadn't slept well for over a week.

"You know Chase isn't that worse for wear considering… he should be up pretty soon." Wilson offered venturing further into the office. Actually Chase was extremely lucky, he'd completely missed a run-in with his very psychotic stalker and had survived being buried alive for over a day. Well partially buried thanks to the fact that Chase's mother-in-law, who clearly had something loose upstairs. She'd buried him a few hours before going out for coffee with Cameron, just barely covering the coffin with dirt… the heavy rain completely uncovering one end… It was still all a little shady and sketchy, Chase still out of it and Adelaide just flat-out refusing to talk…

"Well they can still wait two or three weeks…" Cuddy scoffed. Winning another grin. It was so easy to smile now, now that there was air to breathe… a huge weight lifted from everyone's chest. Chase had escaped with minor injuries. Well almost. Severe dehydration, a rather nasty blow to the back of his head and a shit load of cuts and bruises. Considering the circumstances though they should probably all be counting their blessings. Even with the over-abundance of cops and tabloid writers.

Chapter Twenty

Drawing To A Close

A feeling of sadness and longing,

That is not akin to pain,

And resembles sorrow only

As Mist resembles rain.

H.W. Longfellow



Saturday, 21st October

God protects idiot's and small children. Chase had at least one of the above in spades. House leaned forward and took the other's hands in his own and then let go and leaned back… all in a split second. He didn't have the right. Allison was quite shockingly accurate, everyone else had footed the bill for his mistakes… as always.

"Detective you just don't understand…" House looked back up the TV screen.

"I could never hurt Chase…" Watches the recently purchased interview of Chase's rather unconventional admirer. A doctor that he'd worked with in the same hospital for… almost 10 years…

"You murdered 12 other people, I think you can understand why we are having trouble believing that!" The interviewer offered a tall guy whose blonde hair fell into his eyes.

"And they all look a lot like Doctor Chase…"

"But they're not… they're cheap little whore's…" Messner sighed, trying desperately to make the other understand.

"Robert… is perfect…and they were just jokes… and I just couldn't let them… do that to him…"

"Do what?" House flicked the TV off and ejected the tape, unsure of why he would ever have wanted it in the first place.

The clock ticked close to eleven and House watched the seconds slip away. his leg ached, itching the skin off his back… But House didn't have the desire to take another pill. It would've been his third for the day… half of what he normally took, most days…

House puffed out a hot breath and pulled himself up out of the rather irritating plastic hospital chair. He placed Chase's handmade book on the bedside table. The Edge… So appropriate. He hadn't read it… House had sat just moments before had pulled open the front cover, eyes glancing over the inscription… Michael… House had snapped the book shut… He wouldn't. He wouldn't read it. He refused to be the sap sitting sulking in the dark… wallowing in past mistakes… Stacey, Cuddy, Wilson, Chase… So many painful jagged little bits.

House snatched the tape and moved out of the room, closing the door behind him, then after dropping a note and the black bit of plastic off on Cuddy's desk. He signed out and stepped out into the cold night air… feeling his head clear for the first time in weeks… Stacey, Cuddy, Wilson and Chase… So many droplets off water slipping through his fingers… and for once he let them. Opened his hands and just let it all go…


The Edge Of Reason

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible

Thomas a Kempis


Sunday, 22nd October

Cameron decide to look in on Chase before she left… She felt a small streak of guilt at walking out on him… But squashed it. She wasn't neglecting anyone. House was right, she took everything took close to heart. Let every little thing cut too deep. Beside's he was fine… Cameron clutched his hand, marvelling at the warmth beneath her skin. It was so strange to see Chase before her, alive… When she'd spent so much time preparing for a body…

"Allison…" She smiled as Foreman brushed inside the door.


"Hey… Leaving?" He questioned.

"Yeah." She breathed.

"You…?" Cameron pursed after a second.

"Well House is still an arsehole so…" Foreman cut himself off… Why was it that everything always boiled down to House… Why was the other always at the centre of everything. It was so damned frustrating. You let him be at the centre of everything. Because as much as you'll never admit it, him being there justifies you not taking responsibility. A voice lingering in the back of his head taunted.

"Actually I really need a change… new place, new people… House for once doesn't have much to do with it." Eric sighed. Finally getting right down to the truth. There's just so much baggage here weighing on his shoulders…

"So anxious to be rid of us." Cameron joked.

"Actually I was thinking about that." Foreman said seriously, because Chase's near-death experience has made him reconsider a lot of the things he's done… and hasn't…

"Actually I was wondering if you'd wanna come out for drinks sometime." Foreman breathed and it sounded incredibly lame.

"That'd be great I don't really have a lot of friends in town so…" The cowardly part of him wants to just let the assumption lie. For once the cowardly part doesn't win out.

"I don't wanna go out as friends Cameron… I mean, I don't really know you that well… because I really just didn't try. But these last couple of days, your just not what I thought you were… and I was hoping that…"

"Oh… Foreman I…"

"You can't go…" Cuddy interrupts as she comes bursting through the door.

"What?" It leaves both mouths.

"I can't loose my entire diagnostic department!" Cuddy snaps and Foreman stares, wondering, since it was Cuddy who signed the resignations.

"You still have House if that's a consolation." Cameron offers.

"No I don't!" Cuddy flumes, brandishing a single bit of card.

"Not missing, just gone.-House… What kind of a note is that!" Cameron frowned after taking the scrap, reading aloud the single sentence and then inspecting the back for more…

"Oh-fu-rigging I don't know!" Cuddy puffed looking at the note dismally.

"So what he's just gone… Just like that!" Foreman blinked.

"I've tried his pager, his mobile… I even went over to his house… he's gone and no one knows where to or when he'll be back." Cuddy fumed.

"What are you all arguing about…" They all jump at the rasping voice and look over to find Chase stirring properly for the first time.

"Chase… stay down…" Cameron ordered placing a palm in the middle of his chest. Chase stilled but started to rub his eyes furiously. Blinking in quick little flutters.

"What's over my eyes?" He muttered, continuing to rub.

"Nothing?" Cameron frowned, feeling a small trickle of dread. His hand gave one final swipe then slid to his cheek, Chase frowning, eyes parted slightly.

"I… can't see anything…" He rasped.

Foreman crowed to the other side of the bed and pulled a penlight from off the table. He lifted the blonde's eyelid, Chase flinching slightly at the contact.

"Stay cool man…" He offered, shining in the yellow circle of light and then licking dry lips when Chase's pupil stayed immobile, the iris around glassy and clouded.

A/N: Okay as I said before this just really pissed me off for the longest time. I'm really sorry if it didn't live up to expectation. I know a lot has been only touched on very breifly, but there will be another part... The last. Where hopefully I'll be able to go more in-depth. Sorry to anyone who thought this was going to be something different. But it was never supposed to be about the killer or the cops or even Chase really, it was supposed to be about everyone else squaring off. I hope that at the very least you all aren't sad you took the time to read it. The nextpart will be very heavy on slash, so forewarned are you all. Sorry that its taken this long for all how've been wating for it. Sorry for any disappointments, reviews are always good and I hope everyone will at least come back for the next bit. I make no promises on when that will be up. Mainly because it took me two weeks to write In Tatters and four months + to write Ten Days Away... God it's hard when you haven't got something to copy off... Ooops sorry, bad joke, probably stepped over the line of comedy with that one. Alright peace, stay black.