Author: Milady Dragon
Disclaimer: I own neither the Tomorrow People nor House, M.D. Shame, really…
Author's notes: I am a fan of the TP audios, so this story takes place sometime during those, although Robert hasn't made his appearance yet (not sure how to write him, plus he'd put a big monkey-wrench in the plot). I'm not sure where I want this to be in regards to House, but it doesn't have either Vogler or Stacy in it, so those familiar with the series can draw their own conclusions…
Dr. Allison Cameron had been in the clinic when her pager had gone off, summoning her to the E.R.
That in itself was unusual. Cameron usually wasn't tapped for E.R. duty, even though she'd done her fair share of it as a student. Something must have happened, for her to be interrupted while on clinic duty.
When she arrived, there were already more doctors there than she's seen all day. She wasn't the only one there who was out of place: her boss, Dr. Greg House, and her fellow "ducklings," Dr. Eric Foreman and Dr. Robert Chase, were grouped together, along with Dr. James Wilson. Seeing those four in the E.R. made her realize that something serious was going on.
"There was an explosion at some industrial complex," Wilson answered her query. "They're bringing some of the injured here."
Cameron prayed that it wasn't as bad as they were preparing for, even as she was pulling on what she knew would be only her first pair of sterile gloves for the day…
"Yeah, and my soap was just getting interesting," House drawled, leaning heavily on his cane.
She sighed. Leave it to Greg House…sometimes she just didn't understand him.
The first ambulance arrived, and things went to hell from there…
Cameron found herself in a room with Wilson, working on a young woman who had been literally peppered with shrapnel. The only words they spoke were to ask the other for specific instruments.
Time seemed to lose meaning. Once they had done all they could for the woman, Wilson called for the next patient. Orderlies rolled her out, then in came another gurney.
The noise of the E.R. roared in Cameron's ears as she began cutting off the man's clothing. She started with his pants, and that was when she noticed the first injuries: his legs were broken. She called for splints even as she got the blood-soaked trousers off, careful not to prod the piece of tibia poking out of his calf.
"Damn," she heard Wilson curse. "I need Foreman, now!" he then bellowed.
Foreman was a neurologist; if Wilson was calling for him, then Cameron knew there was head trauma. She concentrated on getting the man's shirt off, having a difficult time pulling the collar out from inside the cervical brace that had been put on his neck. His left arm appeared to broken, as well, judging from the swelling along his forearm.
"This guy's a mess! Whatever happened to prioritizing these victims?" Wilson murmured. "Damnit, where's Foreman?"
"I'm here," came the reply. Cameron didn't look up from her examination of the bared torso, concerned by the bloating in the abdomen.
"We've got internal bleeding," she announced.
"We need an O.R.!" Wilson yelled again. It was amazing; the oncologist was usually so soft-spoken, it surprised Cameron to hear him shouting like that.
Dr. Lisa Cuddy stuck her head into the room. "I'll handle it, Dr. Wilson."
"We've got a skull fracture," Foreman added, "and there's blood coming from his ear. Could be brain injury. We're going to need an MRI too."
"I heard that," Cuddy replied, from where she was on the phone with the O.R. "Got it, too."
"And x-rays," Cameron put in.
Cameron glanced up at her associate, as Foreman probed with delicate fingers along the man's blood-soaked dark hair. She got her first good look at his face; it surprisingly untouched, with just a gash on his cheek that had been butterfly-bandaged. He was handsome, perhaps in his late forties or early fifties. If he survived, a plastic surgeon would be able to handle the scar that cut would leave.
Then she did a double-take in shock. She knew him.
Something must have shown in her face, because Wilson asked, "What's wrong, Cameron?"
"John," was all she could choke out.
"Oh my God," he swore. "You know him?"
She could only nod. What had brought John here? And why couldn't he escape the explosion?
What was the most senior of the Tomorrow People doing there?
"I need someone in here now!" Wilson shouted.
"What do you need?" came House's sharp voice. "Don't you have enough people in here already, Jimmy?"
"Take Cameron's place," he directed. "She knows the patient."
"Shit." House limped around her, gently pushing her out of the way.
"Come on, Cameron," Cuddy called.
Cameron couldn't leave. Seeing John there, looking so vulnerable…
Her head snapped up, the surprise of hearing House using her first name breaking through her shock.
House had a look on his face that she'd never really seen there: sympathy. "We'll take care of him, Allison. I promise." He jerked his head toward the overloaded E.R. "They need you out there."
She nodded, letting Cuddy take her out of the room. Cameron glanced once more at the man who had taught her what it was like to be special…what it had meant to be a Tomorrow Person.
The man she'd alienated, ordered out of her life all those years ago.
Then she shoved all that to the back of her mind, needing to concentrate on the other patients who needed her. Absently she stripped the bloody gloves from her hands –John's blood, crept unbidden into her thoughts – and donned a new pair as she moved on to the next victim.
Cameron had no idea how long she'd been working; all she knew was that she was bone tired by the time the explosion victims had finally stopped coming in. She found the nearest chair and slumped into it, resting her elbows on her knees and her forehead in her hands. A part of her didn't want to relax, because that would mean she would have to start thinking about John again, and her mind shied away from the truth of his presence in her hospital.
She looked up. Cuddy stood there, looking as exhausted as Cameron felt. "Hey."
"How are you holding up?"
"I'm not sure. Can I get back to you about that?"
Cuddy smiled slightly. "Sure." She took the chair next to Cameron. "I wanted to let you know about your friend."
Cameron's heart lurched. "How is he?"
"I thought you might want to see for yourself." She handed the younger woman a chart. "He's in recovery now, but it's going to be touch and go for a while."
"Thanks." Cameron held the file, not sure she wanted to read it.
"Do you know his family?"
There was a time when I was family, she thought darkly. "I can contact them."
"Are you sure? I can, if you want –"
"That's all right. I can do it." She stood up slowly.
"You can use my office it you want."
"I appreciate that." Cameron sighed. "This isn't going to be easy…" In more ways than the obvious one, she added silently.
"If you need anything…"
"I know who to ask." She dredged up a half-hearted smile for her superior. It must have looked really bad, because it was obvious Cuddy didn't buy it for a second…
Cameron sat at Dr. Cuddy's desk, the chart now closed in front of her. She had all the current information on John's condition, and it didn't make for enjoyable reading. Just what had he gotten involved in, anyway? What had brought him to New Jersey, to an industrial complex that had destroyed itself in a sudden burst of fire and fury?
This next part made her more nervous than she'd been in a long time. Cameron had been so stubborn, forcing her own special abilities so far deep she'd almost completely forgotten she had them. She'd been sixteen the last time she'd even acknowledged her true self; seeing John, lying there on that gurney, had brought it all storming back.
There'd been a time when she'd actually wanted what John had offered, and she'd believed those days long gone. But, in the end, she'd had no real place to hide…
Cameron picked up the phone, wanting to look as if she were using it, if anyone thought to check on her. Then she took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and tried her best to calm her thoughts.
There was only one person she could call…
"Tim…" She let the name fly free from her mind, knowing his curiosity would make him answer. "Tim…"
"Yes? I am Tim," came the still-familiar voice. "Who is this please? How do you know my name?" He echoed in her mind like he'd never left it.
"I'm Allison Cameron," she answered.
"Allison?" There was such warmth in his calm mental voice it made Cameron want to cry. "It's so very good to hear from you! How have you been?"
"I've been fine. But I have some bad news…" She couldn't keep the pain from her telepathic sending.
Instantly, Tim's voice went grave. "What is it? You know I will help in any way I can, and so will the other Tomorrow People…"
Even after all these years, and the words she'd said in her parting, Cameron was still considered one of them. She felt the tears sliding down her cheeks. "Tim, John's here."
Tim paused for a moment, then said, "Of course, I knew he was in your area, Allison. As a matter of fact, he was going to contact you after his business was completed –"
"No, Tim," she interrupted, "I mean he's here, in my hospital." She pushed aside the thought that John had been meaning to get in touch with her; she couldn't deal with that now. That he'd actually known where she was…he'd cared enough to keep up with her whereabouts…
"What has happened?" Now Tim sounded frantic.
"There was an explosion nearby. When they brought the injured in, John was among them. It…it's bad, Tim. Really bad…"
"Tell me, please."
She'd been dreading this. Tim was so much more than just a computer…he was family, too. "Both his legs are broken, as well as his left arm. There were internal injuries…they had to remove his spleen. But, that's not the worst of it…" She stopped. This was so hard…
"Be honest with me, Allison.""Tim, he…his skull was fractured. There was intercranial bleeding; they had to insert a shunt to help release the pressure. It's possible there's brain damage… he's in a coma, and we won't know anything until he wakes up."
"You mean, if he wakes up." Tim's voice was so quiet Cameron wasn't certain at first that she'd heard it at all.
It was her fear, as well…"Please, don't think that way. John's under the best medical care possible."
"We should send him to the Trig –"
"We can't do that, Tim. He's in critical condition. The stress of the jaunt might possibly kill him. Besides, I admitted that I know him. How would it look if he suddenly disappeared from the hospital?"
"You are right, of course, Allison." He sounded defeated. "Who is caring for him?"
"My boss. Dr. Gregory House."
There was a pause. "I have searched the computer records and you are correct in your assessment of Dr. House's capabilities. John is, indeed, in the best possible hands."
Cameron actually smiled at that. "I'll keep you up to date, I promise. They won't allow me to be an attending, since I'm…emotionally attached…to him, but they'll keep me in the loop. I…really gave myself away. I was so shocked, I couldn't help it. It's been so long since…well, since the last time I'd spoken to him. To see him, lying there…it was really hard, Tim. We might not have parted under the best of terms, but I still…" Her mental voice faded.
"I understand, Allison. We have missed you."
"Was…was John really going to contact me?"
"Yes, he was. John felt it was past time to make amends."
Cameron's chest warmed. "What was he doing here anyway, Tim?"
"We had received intelligence that a company called Intellex had gained access to possible alien technology. John went to investigate."
"It says in his records that he was a reporter."
"That was his cover, yes. Intellex was holding a press conference on a new technological application, although they would not release any further information beforehand."
"I'm thinking that whatever it was they were up to caused the explosion."
"That would be a viable hypothesis. It would also explain John's presence…and the fact that he was a victim of the explosion itself. He was caught unaware."
"And couldn't jaunt out in time."
"Doesn't he understand the term 'back-up'?"
"I have often asked him the same thing."
"Tim…there are other Tomorrow People on earth right now, aren't there?" The idea that John was alone with just Tim…
"Yes, Elena is here. Paul is away at the moment."
Cameron was glad, although both names were completely unknown to her. "She should be here, as next of kin."
"I shall call her immediately."
"Whatever you do, don't let her jaunt over right away. If John was a normal person, then he would have had to fly here, and his passport lists him as being from London…unless Elena doesn't have an accent?"
"I am afraid that she, too, is from England."
"Then you'd better time it to look like she flew here. Remember the time difference, too…"
"I shall take that into consideration. Allison. You will keep me informed?"
"Do you even have to ask?"
"Of course not. I apologize."
"There's no need. And Tim?"
"It was good to talk to you again. I just wish it had been under better circumstances."
"As do I. We have truly missed you, Allison."
"I missed you, too. Although I didn't realize it until now. I'll talk to you soon."
"I understand." Tim's comforting mental presence was gone.
Cameron missed it instantly.