A/N: Another of my attempts at Housefic. Please note that the characters don't belong to me and that I have a degree in History not in medicine. I did my best with Google but if it sounds wrong, it probably is. Will eventually be House/Cameron, because I am hopelessly attracted to mentor/student, older man/younger woman pairings. Read, enjoy, and review. Thanks!
I'm looking for attention
Not another question
Should you stay or should you go
Well, if you don't have the answer
Why you still standing here
Just walk away
"It's seven-thirty five here on 93.6, your station with the latest and greatest hits. Now let's check on the weather…"
Camille stopped the car, getting out and surveying the large house in front of her. A white picket fence enclosed the yard, with flowers poking through the slats. More flowers lined the walk up to the door. She didn't have to worry about these out here; the sprinklers were on a timer. They should be going off any min—cold water hit her in the face. She hurried up the walk, rummaging through her purse for the key Mrs. Denihan had given her as drops of water ran down her nose and dropped off the end.
Once inside, found a towel and dried off and then busied herself with what she came here to do. She let the dogs out and picked up the watering can. She wandered through the house, fingering the rich fabrics on the pristine bed in the master bedroom, the marble of the tub in the master bath. Mrs. Denihan loved plants and she had them everywhere.
She watered them all but the cacti. Eying them, she wasn't sure how much water they needed. She had watered them two days ago, and the Denihans were expected back in two more. Could they wait until then? She dipped a finger into their sandy soil to test it when a spiky spine pricked her. Camille pulled her hand back, and pulled out the pointed tip. Bringing her wrist to her mouth, she sucked at the pinprick of blood. That was it, no water for them.
She fed the dogs, hugged each of their furry necks, and then left for school. The extra money she earned from this job would pay for her prom dress this year—a pink confectionary delight of tulle and beads.
"8:00, Dr. House starts his shift."
"It's 8:15," the nurse answered. She didn't even look up from her chart. He scowled at her.
"It's 8:00," he insisted.
"8:17 and thirty three seconds." She looked up at him now, her eyes cold and unrelenting.
He hadn't seen her before, so she must be new. It looked like someone had warned her about him. Cuddy, most likely. He sized her up in a moment. Tall, black, and wearing scrubs with little pink bunnies on them. He guessed she believed in strict discipline and killing people slowly with her rich cooking. But she had a weakness. Everyone had a weakness. It was only a matter of figuring out what it was. Trying for the obvious one, he reached into his back pocket for his wallet and pulled out a bill.
"George here thinks it's closer to 8. You wouldn't want to argue with a president," he said, pushing the money across the counter. She took it with a smile. "Good," he continued. "8:00, Dr. House starts his shift."
She placed the bill in the pocket of her scrubs and said, "8:18, Dr House starts his shift. Patient in exam one." She handed him a chart.
He scowled. "I want my dollar back."
"I don't think so. It's buying me a cup of coffee this morning. A cup of coffee I am going to need to deal with you."
"Ah, Dr. House, I see you've met our new head nurse," he heard Cuddy come up behind him. He opened the file in an attempt to hide from her, but she came round and pulled it from in front of his face, pointing to the woman behind the counter.
"Yolanda, this is Dr. Gregory House. Dr. House this is Yolanda."
"A pleasure, I'm sure," the woman drawled. She was all smiles now that Cuddy was here. He forced a smile before walking away. Unfortunately, Cuddy followed him.
"I don't like her," he told her.
"I'm sorry, but your preferences don't factor in on my hiring choices," she said, sounding huffy. She always sounded huffy when she talked with him.
"Well they should."
"Actually, I did think of you on this one," she said.
House raised a questioning eyebrow. "Is that so? Are you trying to play matchmaker again? Because usually I like them younger and blonder." He leered at her in her lavender suit. She wore the usual low cut blouse underneath. Her breasts weren't as perky as Cameron's, but they came in a close second.
"I'm hoping you won't be able to intimidate her like you have the rest of the nursing staff."
"I don't know what you're talking about. They have nothing to fear from me," he said, meeting her eyes again.
"Right. As long as they don't talk to you and certainly if they don't mention that you might actually see some patients."
"Speaking of which, are we done here? I have a patient." He held up the chart in his hand to illustrate. Although on second thought…glancing at the it, he noticed pustules written in the complaint section.
"Actually I have a case for you," Cuddy said. Taking the chart from his hand and replacing it with another. He didn't protest. If she was coming to him with something it had to be something better. Perhaps not interesting per say, but anything was better than pustules.
"Who is it? Big donor to the hospital. You know if you get them to write us up in their will, it won't matter if I do a good job or not," he quipped. Cuddy just ignored him.
"Daughter of an old friend. She's been on antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection for three weeks now and hasn't gotten any better." House frowned. Definitely not interesting.
"Just take a look at her, will you?" He nodded, and shuffled off to room three, where, he looked at the file, Camille Brown, aged seventeen, waited for him.
Waiting for him in exam room three sat a tall, thin girl who looked nervous. Her mousy brown hair was tied back and she wore a pair of jeans and a sweater with a t-shirt underneath.
"I'm Dr. Greg House," he said, introducing himself. He held out his hand and she took it, barely flexing her fingers. She had dark circles under her eyes, but that didn't mean anything. She could have been up all night texting her boyfriend. He noticed the lime green cell phone that sat on the table beside her. Looked like she had an early start of it already.
"Camille," she said with a yawn.
"So are you pretending to get out of school or are you really sick?" She looked at him surprised. He loved that look. People never expected him to just come out and say what the most obvious, and usually least tactful thing.
"I'm really sick." She looked at him suspiciously.
"You can tell Uncle Greg. In fact, we could play hooky together. You like General Hospital?" She shook her head no. "Fine," he sighed. "What are your symptoms?"
"I've had a horrible headache for two weeks now. And I've been running a fever. The prom is coming up and I can't miss it."
"How high?" He rolled his chair over to the desk and pulled out the thermometer.
He pressed the button and shoved it in her mouth just as she responded with, "hawred ah too."
"102 fever, headache and chills. Sounds like the flu to me," he said, writing a prescription for an anti-viral. He exchanged the beeping thermometer for the script.
"I didn't say chills," she argued. What was with teenagers or human beings, for that matter, that they had to argue all the time?
"You didn't have to. The three layers of clothing you're wearing is fine for January, but it's the end of April."
"So that's it then?" she asked, looking at him skeptically. "Just the flu?"
"You were hoping for something a little more dramatic? Believe me, you'll get enough melodrama at the prom." He started out the door, leaving her there on the table, when he heard her gasp. Teenage girls were so sensitive. He bet Cuddy would be all over him for upsetting this girl in particular. He turned around to try and say something that insure she didn't run to mommy crying when he noticed she was still gasping. And grabbing at her throat like she couldn't breathe.
"Can't…" she rasped, struggling for air. "Breathe."
"I need a nurse in here!" he yelled, hurrying over to the cabinet where the intubation tubes were stored. "Hold on," he said, trying to sound soothing. This would be easier if she could relax a little. But getting a panicking teenager to relax when they couldn't get a breath of air was nearly impossible.
He finally got her tubed with oxygen flowing to her brain and the rest of her body. He was closer to her now than he had been during the initial examination, and he noticed a few red spots on her neck. Pulling down a bit on her shirt, he could see they extended downwards. Respiratory distress and now a rash. This case had just gotten a little more interesting.
Twenty minutes later, he strode into the small conference room attached to his office. Cameron stood at the counter, mixing sugar into her coffee quietly. She had been more and more subdued lately when not talking about work. Trying to be all business in an effort to be taken more seriously, he guessed.
Chase sat at the table, pretending to read a journal article, but House could see his eyes drooping. Must have been a late night last night. And Foreman sat at his computer, checking his email.
"Got a case," he announced, tossing the chart on the table. Chase jumped, startled awake at his sudden appearance. Cameron turned and leaned back against the counter, watching and waiting. He met her gaze, trying to decipher what it meant. She no longer looked at him with unadulterated admiration. And the irritated looks were mostly gone now too. She just looked…he didn't know. And he didn't like not knowing. This was something that would require further investigation.
"Sounds like an allergic reaction to me," Foreman said, having picked up the chart and glanced at it.
"Yes, but to what?" he asked sarcastically.
"She's been taking antibiotics. Probably that," Foreman answered. He handed the chart to Chase to see. House sensed that he wasn't that interested.
"She stopped them five days ago. You don't think she would have had the acute reaction before now?" House picked up his marker and started writing out the symptoms on the white board.
"Could be something else," Chase commented.
House turned and glared at him, "Thank you for that brilliant thought. Anybody else got something to share. Cameron?"
"He's right, could be anything. A new pet. A change in diet. Has she been out of the country recently?" She took the chart from Chase. "It doesn't say here," she said, furrowing her brow. "Where's the history?"
"Didn't get one," he said. "But now that you mention it, that would be a good place to start. Cameron, you do a history. Foreman, you run all the normal tests, and Chase, I need you in the clinic."
The Australian doctor looked at him puzzled. "In the clinic?"
"Yes. And if a large black woman asks what your name is, you tell her it's Dr. House." Chase frowned but didn't protest. "Are we clear? Great, now go forth." He waved them out. It would be about an hour or two before he heard back from any one of them. Just long enough to catch a short nap.
"Do you think this is a wild goose chase?" Foreman asked as he and Cameron walked through the hallways of the hospital. He didn't like wasting his time on easy stuff like allergic reactions. He came to this hospital to build a reputation for himself, and simple cases like this just weren't going to cut it.
"Is it ever a wild goose chase with House?" she said. "You have to admit, he does have an innate sense. If he thinks it's more then it probably is." She said it as though it was a matter of fact. He looked her up and down, trying to determine if her past crush had anything to do with her opinion. She said she was over him, but did women ever get over anything?
Foreman frowned "That's it. That's all it takes to convince you. House said so."
"No, my past experience with him says so. Why do you care?" She stopped outside the patient's room.
"I just think we could be focusing on more important cases." Her eyes narrowed at that, and he knew he had hit a nerve.
"You don't think she's important?" she asked, her voice sharp and brittle. He glanced at the girl in the room. They had taken the tube out of her throat, but she was hooked up to oxygen and the nurses had an IV in her arm. She looked pale and a little tired, but nothing drastic. Mostly, she looked bored.
Foreman sighed. "Yes, she's important," he relented, "but she's not interesting, so why are we here?"
"If you'd rather be down in the clinic examining pustules, then by all means, page Chase and tell him to get up here. Don't think I saw how fast you ran upstairs when your beeper went off."
"That's when I thought it would be something more than allergies."
"I see, nothing you could write an article on, that it?" He definitely didn't want to go down that road again. Ignoring her question, he strode past her into the patient's room.
"Camille," he said, holding out his hand. "I'm Dr. Foreman and this is Dr. Cameron." He turned around to see Cameron follow him, looking irritated. "She's going to ask you some questions while I take some blood and urine, okay?" The girl just nodded, looking nervous.
"Where are your parents?" Cameron asked, looking around the room. It registered with Foreman that it was a bit odd not to have some mother flitting around and asking what they were doing and why they were doing it.
"I left school early to come to the doctor. I didn't think that I would… They don't know where I am." Tears started streaming down her face and her voice quivered. She started to tremble to where Foreman couldn't stick her properly. He looked up at Cameron with an expectant look, waiting for her to do something.
"That's alright, we can call them. Do you have the number?" Cameron asked. She wrote it down while Foreman took a blood sample. He had to admit it, her soothing tones and cooing over the girl did work to calm her down. He got the blood and urine, then took the phone number Cameron handed him, and left her to get the history.
"Do you know if there is any history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, anything like that in your family?" Cameron pulled up the chair in the corner alongside the bed and pulled out her pen. She felt bad for the poor girl, all alone in the hospital, being poked and prodded, and having tubes shoved down her throat. She wondered if House had been any gentler with her than he was with anybody else. But that was an easy answer—no.
He had been looking at her strange this morning in the office. Her stomach had jumped, and her mind instantly betrayed her with thoughts that it might mean something. She had tamped down that though as soon as it appeared. He didn't like her, and had made it abundantly clear. Besides, she was with Neil now. Good, kind, dependable Neil.
"I—I don't know," the girl stammered in answer to her question, bringing Cameron back to the present situation. Camille sniffled some more, and Cameron handed her a tissue. "Is my mom here yet?" she asked.
"Dr. Foreman is calling her now. I'm sure she'll hurry over as soon as she gets the news. Now do you have any pets?"
Camille shook her head, "Mom's allergic." That was a start, family history of allergies. Someone who was allergic to cats didn't have to be around one, but just had to be in the same space one had been to have a reaction. She asked question after question, but she didn't seem to be getting anywhere. Camille was too distracted. She wouldn't look Cameron in the eye, and kept pulling at the neck of her hospital gown.
"Is something wrong?" Cameron asked finally, standing up so she could get a better view of Camille's chest.
"Bugs. There are bugs everywhere," Camille said, growing more frantic. She clawed at her arms and legs.
"Camille, there's nothing there. You're probably just a little itchy from the rash. I can get you some cortisone cream for that."
"Get them OFF of ME!" the girl screamed. She pulled at her hair.
"I need some help in here," Cameron yelled, grabbing Camille's arms and trying to keep her from ripping her IV out of her arm. Two nurses rushed in. One helped Cameron subdue the girl while the other pushed a syringe into her IV line. A few moments later, Camille fell back onto the bed, completely sedated.
She didn't get a history, but they had one new symptom to add to the list—hallucinations.