A/N: Thank you, spring break. It's the only reason I have time to write things at the moment.
And come on, this had to be written. It was begging! ;P And if anyone out there reading this hasn't seen Firefly/Serenity, stop reading this right now and do everything in your power to obtain it, legally or illegally, I don't care. Seriously—now. Go now. You will not be disappointed.
Feedback: Is read over and over again and gives me warm fuzzies. Please review!
Cameron looked up from the patient file she was carrying to see House, in his office, staring intently at his newest toy—a personal DVD player. It was a miracle the man got anything done anymore. As she pushed open the glass door, he quickly paused whatever he was watching and looked up at her, irritated. "Is the patient dying?"
"No," she said, throwing him a similarly irritated look. "Just thought you might want to hear the latest test results."
"You thought wrong." House waved his hand over an empty space on his desk. "Just leave them here—I'll look at them later. Movie's just starting."
Cameron rolled her eyes but did as she was told, then turned to leave the room. Her hand was on the door when House started the movie again, and she froze when a familiar voice reached her ears.
"This is the captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence so we may experience some slight turbulence and then, explode."
She whipped around to face her boss, and incredulous look on her face. "You're a Browncoat!"
House paused the movie again and glanced at her curiously. "And you are?"
"An old college friend got me hooked by showing me the series over a weekend; saw the movie opening night." She wandered back to his desk as if magnetically drawn to the images on the screen. "Have all the DVD's."
House looked at his immunologist with newfound respect and admiration. "I actually caught most of it when it was on TV."
"I wish I'd been on the bandwagon from the beginning, but I'm actually kind of glad that I didn't see it then, with FOX showing it out of order and pre-empting it with sports." Cameron made a face. "Stupid show-killing network."
House nodded in agreement. "And what drek are they showing now—Ice Skating with the Stars? Wouldn't know an intelligent show if slapped them in the face."
"Yeah." Cameron stared at the still image of Mal and Wash for a few more moments, then sighed and straightened. "Well, I guess I better get back to work," she said, glancing longingly at the electronic device on the desk.
"What else do you have to do?" House asked.
"I was going to answer some mail, then check in with Chase—he's staying with the patient tonight…" she trailed off.
House shook his head and scoffed. "In other words, nothing." He looked around and hooked the nearest chair with his cane, drawing it over to his side of the desk. "Come on—I'll even start it over so you can watch Simon lay the smack-down on the idiot Alliance scientist and the insane Operative dude kill everyone."
Cameron didn't have to be asked twice. She quickly sat down, got comfortable, and focused her attention on the small screen. "Best. Movie. Ever."
The next day found the diagnostics department working a new case. House, at the moment, was looking at a picture of the patient's injury Cameron had brought him. He tilted his head to the side. "And he got this…during a sexual encounter?"
"Yep," Cameron replied.
"Hmm," House murmured absently. "Looks uncomfortable."
"That it does."
"So then why…" He looked up just in time to see the gleam in Cameron's eyes as she shrugged.
"Who knows? Some people juggle geese." She smiled cheekily at him and flounced out of his office before he could say a word.
It took House a few moments to recover from his shock. "Oh, it's on now."
Cameron entered the clinic room to see House twirling his cane and a man with an angry looking cut on his neck. She looked back to her boss. "You called me down here to consult on an infection?"
"Oh, I think you'll appreciate this one." He flipped open the folder. "Jason Palmer, 40. Shaved off his beard for the woman of his dreams, only to find out she was only after his money when her husband shows up. And Jason here gets an infected shaving cut for his trouble."
Cameron smiled, instantly understanding what House was alluding to. She turned to the patient. "So, Mr. Palmer, what was the name of this 'devil woman'?"
Mr. Palmer looked at the two doctors in front of him, not understanding why any of this was relevant. "Don't know if it was even her real name, but she said it was Bridget."
House's cheek twitched as he looked at Cameron. "Excuse me," they said simultaneously, rushing out of the room in an attempt to compose themselves, leaving a very confused clinic patient in their wake.
Chase and Forman looked warily at House and Cameron as they argued over the treatment of their patient.
"And why don't you want to do a lumbar puncture, House?"
"Because it's not necessary! An MRI is all we need."
"Not necessary? Like that's ever stopped you before!"
"Well, there's a first time for everything, isn't there? Besides, it doesn't matter what you think—I'm the one in command. Do you know what the chain of command is here? It's the chain I go get and beat you with to show you who's in command. Do you have a problem with that?" House's smug expression showed how proud of himself he was.
Cameron was not to be deterred. "Me, have a problem? I think you have a problem—with your brain being missing."
They stared at each other for a bit before House grinned at Cameron—disturbing the other two doctors in the room even more than they already were, if that was possible. "Fine. Go do your unnecessary lumbar puncture."
Cameron grinned back at him as she left the room. "Thank you," she threw over her shoulder. "I'll do the MRI first, just for you."
After the immunologist left the room, House turned his attention to the gaping doctors sitting at the conference table. "Yes, Mommy and Daddy had a fight, but we've made up now. Get back to work."
By Friday, the members of the diagnostics team were all feeling quite proud of themselves—they'd cured all of their patients that week in record time.
House leaned back in his chair at the conference table and stretched. "Three patients diagnosed and out of here in a week!" he crowed, then looked to his left. "What's that make us, Cameron?"
She smiled as she caught on. "Big. Damn. Heroes. Sir."
House nodded happily. "Ain't we just."
Chase and Foreman couldn't take it anymore. "Okay, what the hell is going on?" the neurologist exclaimed. "You two have been doing that all week, and it's seriously starting to scare us."
Cameron tried to explain the awesomeness of their dearly-departed space western, but it soon became clear that neither Chase nor Foreman had ever heard of the show before. Affronted, Cameron decreed the coming weekend "Firefly Weekend" and ordered the boys to be at her house early Saturday morning. Surprising everyone House showed up as well, muttering something about "wanting to be a part of the conversion process." She had planned to spread things out over Saturday and Sunday, but they ended up watching all fourteen episodes and the movie the first day, with Chase becoming hooked when Mal stabbed Atherton a few too many times, and Foreman when Jayne went crazy and fell asleep. When the guys finally left her apartment late that night, both were intent on procuring their own copies of the addictive show.
Cameron looked at House. "I love converting people."
Her boss agreed. "With a show like Firefly, it's really not that hard."
Monday rolled around, and this time Foreman and Chase were the ones arguing over the diagnosis and treatment of their latest patient as House and Cameron watched amusedly. When Chase made a connection between one of their patient's symptoms and a rare disease that Foreman found particularly idiotic, the moment could not have presented itself better. Foreman threw his hands in the air and exclaimed, "Chase, my days of not taking you seriously are coming to a middle."
Chase narrowed his eyes at the other man. "I will end you!"
Cameron sniggered. House just looked at them in awe. "I have never been prouder of the two of you than I am at this moment."
The four doctors were looking through the glass at their latest patient, sleeping through another round of medication. House noticed the pot-bellied figurine in her hands and smiled. "Buddha, please bring me a pony and a plastic rocket…"
His protégées snorted, and Chase replied, "You know, you'll probably go to hell for that."
Foreman nodded. "The special hell."
Cameron smirked. "Reserved for child molesters and people who talk in the theater."
House grinned, something that before had been exceedingly rare and was now becoming quite commonplace while he was amongst his team. "And I'll enjoy every minute of it," he replied, turning on his heel. "Now c'mon—we have tests to run."
As they disappeared down the hallway, the confused nurses at the desk just looked at each other and shrugged. When it came to House and his team, silence was usually the best option.
The three fellows were sitting around the conference table, extremely frustrated. Foreman tossed the file he was holding onto the table. "Nothing's working!" he exclaimed. "Mrs. Loeb is just getting sicker, and we can't figure it out. She's going to die, and there's not a gorram thing we can do about it."
Chase and Cameron's heads shot up from their respective files. Foreman paused, then buried his head in his hands. "Oh, God. I just used 'gorram' in a sentence. In public."
Cameron looked at the two men out of the corner of her eye. "I've let 'dong ma' slip once or twice."
Chase smiled sheepishly at the table, unable to meet the others' eyes. "I've said 'ruttin'' before."
It was his accent while saying the word that did them in. When House entered the room he discovered his entire team having a completely undignified giggle fit. Confused, he looked to Cameron for explanation.
"Firefly," she managed to gasp out. "Ahh." House nodded in understanding, then made his way to his office, leaving his underlings to try to compose themselves.
When Cuddy entered the diagnostics conference room House, Foreman, and Chase were sitting around the table while Cameron was at the board, writing down the symptoms of their newest patient as House fired them off to her. They all looked up at the sound of the door opening.
"Your clinic hours started twenty minutes ago, House," Cuddy sighed. "Get down there."
House rolled his eyes. "Okay," he muttered, leaning forward to leverage himself out of the seat.
Cuddy's voice stopped him. "Okay? That's it, no complaining? What's going on, House?"
He wasn't complaining about the clinic because they'd all discovered that it was the best place to throw out a Firefly quote or two. Cuddy couldn't know that, however, and his mind raced for an excuse.
"Just thought I might find an interesting case—this one looks like it's going to be easy," he replied somewhat lamely.
Cuddy crossed her arms and stared him down. "Define interesting."
The marker squeaked against the white board as Cameron jerked, startled. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Chase and Foreman freeze. He knew what they were waiting for. He shouldn't, but the urge was too great.
"Oh God, oh God, we're all going to die?"
His underlings struggled to contain themselves as Cuddy stared at them all, wide-eyed. "I don't know what's going on around here anymore. For the past month all four of you have been going around this hospital spouting nonsense, you're all getting along better, House, you've smiled more than in the entire time I've known you, and now you're willingly going to the clinic?" She squeezed the bridge of her nose, then rubbed her temple. "This must be what going mad feels like."
All four doctors in front of her froze. House gripped his cane so hard his hand was shaking, Cameron was turning an interesting shade of purplish-red, and Foreman's shoulders were shaking. They were all silent, valiantly trying to hold in their reaction to whatever it was she said that was so funny.
And then Chase snorted.
That proved to be the breaking point. They all started laughing hysterically, Foreman and Chase resting their heads against the glass table, Foreman pounding his fist against it for emphasis. House was leaning back in his chair, tears running down his face, and Cameron was leaning over and holding on to House's chair for dear life, forehead against his shoulder, as if her legs weren't strong enough to hold her up anymore.
Cuddy looked at them in complete and utter bewilderment. "No, this must be what going mad feels like."
The shrieking increased in volume, if that was possible. She threw her hands up in exasperation. "Good God! I'm leaving. House, you better compose yourself and be in the clinic in half an hour, or I'll double the amount of hours you have to do today." She turned and left the room, the clicking of her heels combining with their peals of laughter as she walked down the hallway.