A/N: Yeah. This is my first House fanfic ever, so sorry if it seems a little off, or whatever. I watch the show religiously yet I still can't figure the characters out totally, but I'll try to keep them as close as possible. I'm going to begin my House fanfic-writing career with a little fluff, 'cause who doesn't like fluff? Feel free to criticize as harshly or kindly as you want and enjoy.
That morning the hospital was dreary and dull, and for the first time in months two of House's ducklings had absolutely nothing to do. The morning had been blessed with a rare serenity, yet thanks to the law of compensation the curse of boredom lagged along, not far behind the calmness. The room was filled with typical morning sounds: coffee brewing, papers shuffling tiredly, and the occasional yawn. Cameron sat hunched over at the table, her eyes locked intently on the crossword puzzle grasped in her hands. Chase was pouring his third cup of coffee when Cameron's voice broke the silence, making him jump and spill some burning liquid on his hand.
"Eight letter word for a tendon or ligament inflammation," Cameron said, talking right over Chase's exclamation of pain and the cursing that followed.
Still wincing, Chase picked up his mug and brought it over carefully to where Cameron was sitting. "Hmm," he pondered out loud before hiccupping, jolting the cup and causing some more coffee to leak out onto his hand and the floor. "Dammit!" he yelped, placing the mug on the table and running to get some paper towels.
Cameron, too engrossed in the crossword to acknowledge Chase's plight let alone offer to help him clean the mess, groaned in exasperation. "It's on the tip of my tongue," she insisted, turning to watch as Chase knelt down and mopped up the coffee, hiccupping again. "Got the hiccups?" Cameron asked.
Chase spared a few seconds to stare blankly in Cameron's direction before returning bitterly to his job. Cameron felt a small smile seize her lips as the Aussie scooped up the mass of paper towels he had accumulated for the job. "You didn't need to use that many, you know," Cameron pointed out as Chase disposed of the towels in the garbage bin.
"Six letter word for what now?" Chase asked, disregarding Cameron's comment as he walked back over.
"Roight." Hiccup. Irritated growl.
"Want some water?"
Chase held up his mug of coffee. "Better than water," he said before downing it.
By now Cameron had pretty much abandoned her puzzle and was waiting expectantly for any sign that the hiccups were still present. After a few seconds of silence Chase breathed a sigh of relief. With a smile he twirled his finger around the handle of the coffee mug, his eyes dropping from Cameron's face to the crossword puzzle between them. "So, about that puzzle?"
"Oh, right." Cameron's gaze returned to the puzzle once more. "Eight letter word for a tendon or ligament inflammation."
Chase contorted his face with thought. "Let's see… would it be an-"
Chase's sentence was punctuated by another hiccup. At the sound Cameron drew her attention back to her fellow duckling. "Try holding your breath," she commanded, and Chase did just that, desperate to listen to anything Cameron said as long as it held the slightest promise that it would make his hiccups go away.
Cheeks puffed up with air, Chase stared at Cameron as he held his breath, awaiting further instructions. His brow was furrowed with dogged determination and Cameron couldn't help but think it was one of the cutest things she'd ever seen. She laughed as his eyes flickered over her, silently pleading for her to give the word to breathe again. After a few more seconds of waiting, just to see if he'd turn blue, Cameron grinned. "You can breathe now," she said, and Chase gradually let out a stream of air like a deflating balloon.
The seconds ticked by on the clock as Chase and Cameron stared at each other, waiting for a hiccup to shatter the still atmosphere. But the silence in the room remained undisturbed, and with contented sigh Chase smiled and reached across the table to pull the crossword closer to him. "Eight words," he said before picking up the nearest pen and filling in the letters as he said them out loud. "E-N-T-H-E-S-I-"
Suddenly the door to the room flew open, slamming against the glass walls and causing them to reverberate with the impact. Like a madman House came swooping in, limping frantically and brandishing his cane as he roared. "BOOOO!" he hollered, causing Chase, who had his back to the door, to leap from his chair in fright and scurry like a mouse across the room.
At the sight of Chase panting in the corner of the room, Cameron exploded into laughter. House leaned against his cane, smirking triumphantly as Chase's face went red with anger and humiliation. "You ratbag bastard!" Chase shouted, his voice cracking, still tense from having been startled.
The peculiar insult only caused House's grin to widen until he resembled the Grinch about to snatch Christmas away from Whoville. "I thought I'd help you cure those annoying hiccups," House said, producing a bottle of Vicodin from his pocket and popping a few. "I could hear you from down the hall."
"Thank you, but I don't need any cur-" Hiccup. "-ing…"
House's eyebrows rose in self-satisfaction. "Really?" he asked, limping in Chase's direction. "Well, that sounded very much like a hiccup to me."
Chase pouted. "They were gone until you scared me," he whined, frowning as he made his way back to his chair.
But House saw Chase's destination and intervened, plopping himself down in Chase's chair before the intensivist even took more than three steps. He glanced down at the crossword before him and picked up the pen beside it, filling in the last letter in the blank space. "S," he chirped, eyeing the full word, then each individual letter. "Chase, you have very feminine handwriting. Look at my 'S'," he said, turning his attention to Cameron and pointing at the square in which his 'S' was residing. "See how it's so much manlier than Chase's?"
With another series of squeaking hiccups, Chase narrowed his eyes and left the room in a huff. House leaned back in his chair and grinned demonically at the closing door, then got up to help himself to some coffee. "It's a good thing hiccups aren't contagious. They're just as annoying to have as to listen to."
Cameron now had her full attention devoted to the crossword when suddenly House hiccupped, sputtering his coffee and choking slightly. Slamming his mug into the counter, he spun on his heel and limped towards the door without any explanation. "Where are you going?" Cameron asked, trying to stifle a laugh as karma carried out its long-due punishment.
"Cuddy's office," he said simply, the eerie smile never leaving his face despite the plaguing hiccups. "I need to give myself a good scare to get rid of these."