The lights were off and the blinds were shut. House was immersed in total darkness. Even the street light couldn't find it's way in due to the amount of snow piled up on the window sill.

He pounded his cane on the floor to the beat of whatever random song was blaring in his ears right now. He didn't notice, though. He wasn't paying attention. He only listened to the music beacue it made it easier for him to think.

He still didn't understand it. He and Mark were polar opposites. How did Stacey marry him? Maybe she hated him that much. So much that she had to leave behind all familiarity and travel into uncharted territory. Or maybe she missed him that much. What would she do now, he wondered, that her husband is crippled as well. Of course, his is only temporary. House could changed that if he wanted to, but too many people would suspect him.

House brought his eyes up off the floor and they landed on bright neon digits that read 10:32 PM. He raised them higher to look into the hallway, but then remembered that he closed the blinds. But from the looks of it, it was even semi-dark in the hospital wing. He shut off his iPod and popped the headphones from his ears.

He lifted his cane off the floor and settled it standing up-right on his chair between his legs. He contemplated it for a minute. There was no harm in trying again. He hung the cane off the side of his desk and took the Vicodin bottle out of his pocket, which he put on the desk as well.

He spun his chair out into the open, and leaned forward with his hands on his knees. He sat there for a minute judging how much it would hurt. Then, his hands moved to the seat beneath him, one hand on each side. He gripped the edges tightly, clenched his teeth and pushed himself up onto his feet. All of his weight was instantly transfered from his upper body to his lower body. He almost winced in pain, but settled on gasping. He tightened his hands into fists at his sides and let his fingernails dig ito his palms to distract him from the pain in his leg. His breathing was coming through tightly clenched teeth as he lifted his bad leg. He slowly brought it down again, about six inches from it's original position and shifted his weight foreward. His hands instantly went to his leg as pain shot from just beneath his knee all the way to the small of this back. He couldn't catch himself as he fell because his hands were still down at his knee, and they stayed there as he lay on the ground , abandoned from his vicodin. He looked up. He could reach his cane from here if he really tried. He lifted his right hand from his knee and stretched towards the cane. He couldn't quite get ahold of it, but if he shifted and stretched more, he might bable to knock it to the ground where he could reach it. His finertips bumped it. A bit further... a bit further... but then it was gone. He turned his head to the right to find Cameron standing there, holding his cane ad looking him dead in the eye. He looked past her to learn that she must have been in the conference room catching up on paperwork. His eyes traveled back to her feet, then up to her face. Her jaw was set tight and her eyes were hard.

Her lips parted, "Get up". The command was quieter then a whisper, laced with something like loathing.

The sound of her voice shocked him more than anything. It was so un-Cameron like. "You're rather demanding" he said, wincing as another bolt of pain shot up his leg.

Her chest rose as she took a deep breath, "If you really want to learn to walk for Stacey, then get up."

He sighed in disbelief. His eyes went back to hers, and he knew that she would take no pity on him.

He moved his hands from his knees and pressed his palms to the floor beneath his torso, and slowly pushed up. His arms were soon completely stretched out. Now was the tricky part. He backed his hands up closer to his legs and rose up until he was totally kneeling. He lifted his bad leg so that it made a 90 degree angle to the floor. He pushed up, and fell down again. The pain was 10 times worse this going. He gasped and curled up and felt his eyes water against the pain.

"Damn it" he whispered, feeling totally vulnerable at letting Cameron see him at his worst.

"Get up" she said, louder this time. Her face was still hard, but her voice had changed ever so slightly. There was something like pleading in there.

He blinked to clear his vision, "I like it down here" he said, out of breath.

"Do you love Stacey!" she seemed almost hysterical.

He gasped through another shot through his leg, "Yes"

"Then get up!"

His face red, his eyes set and determined, he moved his hands to push himself up again, but it was pointless. The way he had fallen this time had put pressure on his leg. He cried out when they pain came so quickly, and collapsed closer to his leg.

"Get up!"

"No!" he didn't bother looking at her. Right now he hated her for seeing him this way.


"I CAN'T!"

Silence fell over them except for House's occasional gasps of pain. He didn't look at her or make any attempt to get his cane back.

Her face softened. She stood for a minute, then bent down near him. She worked her arm beneath his, and he didn't protest. She put the cane down and used her other hand to bring up his other side and take the pressure off of his leg.

When he was finally standing upright, she took his cane and examined.

He outstretched his hand for it and was still breathing heavy.

She looked at him and held his cane just far enough away for him to get frustrated for not being able to reach it. "It's why Stacey left, isn't it?"

"I don't belive it to be any of your business."

"That's never stopped you."

"That's part of it, don't you have somewhere to be, like screwing Chase?"

She ignored the last comment, "That's understandable." She gave him his cane back and looked him in the eye, "but I fell in love with the cane."