House, Wilson, and Cameron slowly rolled into House's office. They were completely spent, yet still feeling intense relief.
"Is there no way out of the mind?" House quoted. "Sylvia Plath was crazy as a loon when she wrote that. I guess insanity isn't all that bad. Do you think we can change Chase back? Nah, he doesn't seem like the poetic type to me."
"How are we going to address the last two phases, closure and reevaluation?" asked Cameron.
"I have a friend that specializes in alternative therapies." said Wilson. "She isn't well practiced in EMDR, but she is willing to help finish what we started. She is also very skilled with meditation and other relaxation techniques. With her type of practice she can easily protect the identity of her clients."
Cameron sat down with utter exhaustion. "That has to be one of the most intense experiences of my life. In the end, we will never know what really happened."
"He responded to our treatment, that is what happened." replied House.
"I read the case studies too." Cameron continued. "EMDR works better in an empathic environment. You think it is a coincidence that Althea played a role?"
"How did she play a role? She is dead. Chase was able to trigger a self soothing memory. The exercises probably helped him do that."
"Many empaths and psychics believe that people leave traces of their spirit behind when they are gone. It allows people to continue feeling their energy. For whatever reason, she played her part in healing him emotionally. Come on even you don't know why EMDR works. It is one of those mysteries with the mind that cannot be explained."
"You are putting too much stock into emotional healing. What EMDR likely does is trick the mind. The touchy feely stuff is all the crap that usually gets in the way of fixing the real problem."
"Too bad Chase isn't here. He could really confuse this discussion next by throwing in his God and faith stuff. You know the simple minded crap that really pisses you off."
"Yeah, well luckily we have been spared of that. Now, go see Cuddy and let her know your VIP will be discharged late this evening." House ordered Cameron. "That is the best time for him to leave undetected."
Cameron smiled while leaving, knowing that when House ends a debate, he doesn't have anything to come back with.
Wilson sat down where Cameron was sitting. He flashed a smirk like he caught House doing one of his little tricks.
"What, are you going to start now?" House asked.
"Nice bluff there. How brilliant to use my professional connection with Chase's father to trick Chase into admitting his mother's suicide. Since we both know that Rowan told me no such family secret, how did you figure it out?" Wilson asked.
"What it wasn't obvious to you?" House replied.
"Chase has always been a huge mystery to you, which is why you likely hired him. You have never been able to figure him out until now. I should be surprised it was obvious to you but then again nothing you do surprises me."
"As usual, it was a hunch. What's wrong with letting Chase think his father actually cared? His father did care anyway. They just share the same pathological dysfunction for secrecy."
"I know how you are thinking that you have fixed a huge rift in the Chase family dynamic, but you are glossing over one very important fact. Chase and his parents had a very screwed up relationship and now he is scarred for life. Try curing that. Being scarred for life is something you should know about."
House sat silently to ponder that comment as Wilson left.
Cameron hadn't seen Chase in a few days. It had been over a week since he had left the hospital and she had been checking in daily, but he had an important preoccupation over the last few days. She knocked on his door.
Chase opened the door and flashed a beautiful smile. "Wow, you look great." he said as he let her in.
"I should say the same." Cameron replied with a complimentary smile. Boy, he did look great. His eyes sparkled so brightly and the glow on his face reminded Cameron of when she first saw him with a patient. He always saved his warm and gentle demeanor for the patients. That look had been gone for so long and Cameron didn't realize for how long until now. It wasn't just his expression though. He was dressed in a traditional black suit with a clear crisp white shirt and a lovely but simple dark black tie. She had to admit, he looked amazing in black.
Cameron didn't look like a slouch either. She wore a lovely long sleeveless black dress that accented her thin frame perfectly. Her hair was tied back in a elegant black bow and she wore a delicate old-fashioned pendant that she had since she was a child. Chase couldn't keep his eyes off of her.
"So, you managed to throw all he arrangements together in just two days?" Cameron asked.
"Yes, lucky for me everything came together." replied Chase. "It will be a very simple service, just the Rite of Committal at the cemetery. I didn't have to do too much."
"How did you manage to get the sisters at St. Mary's to do this?"
"Part of my usual donation goes toward their fund for proper burials of those abandoned. They couldn't refuse my request."
"No, what I meant was on Althea's chart nothing was checked for religious affiliation."
"Really? When I checked the chart I could have sworn she marked Catholic." Chase said as he flashed a deceptive smile.
"I don't think I did hear the entire story about Althea's sister." Cameron inquired.
"She is in a nursing home and hadn't seen Althea in years. Nobody knew what happened to her. Anyway, she wasn't about to come and claim her. She didn't have the money and decided the State should have her."
"Did you ask her about her sister's abilities?"
"She did tell me that Althea was different. No one in her family though believed her empath mumbo jumbo. Before they lost touch, Althea told her sister that she spent her time isolated from others because she was too emotionally connected. It drained her. Her sister seemed to think she was just a weird recluse and not quite right."
"So she willingly let you have Althea's body?"
"All it took was a signature. Are you ready to go?"
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Chase read those words from Psalm 23 from an old worn bible that has been his comfort and salvation for years. It was his private bible, but he knew it was worthy of words for someone who saved him. His audience at the grave site was Cameron, the priest, and a dozen nuns.
Almighty God, through the death of your Son on the cross, you have overcome death for us. Through his burial and resurrection from the dead you have made the grave a holy place and restored us to eternal life. We pray for those who died believing in Jesus and are buried with him in the hope of rising again. God of the living and the dead, may those who faithfully believed in you on earth praise you for ever in the joy of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
As the priest delivered the prayer to conclude the Rite of Committal, Chase got very emotional and let a few small tears slide down his face. Cameron grabbed his hand in support, and he smiled at her in appreciation. A few nuns offered a "God Bless You, Robert" after the service concluded. Chase and Cameron then walked away together hand in hand in silence.
Chase took a couple deep breaths to gain his composure after the touching service. He was pleased that Althea was laid to rest with proper blessings and that he could be there to commemorate her passage to the beyond.
"Are you okay?" Cameron asked. Chase had been through so much lately, a funeral couldn't be doing much good for him.
"Believe it or not, I'm actually great." Chase replied. "I'm sad, but not overwhelmed with guilt and remorse. This is the first time I have ever felt this way. I'm just feeling the sadness of the moment and I'm not afraid."
Cameron was rather touched. "Want to get some lunch?" she asked.
"That would be great." Chase replied with a smile.
"Althea would have been so pleased to see you come this far so quickly. I got the impression she was really scared for you." Cameron said as they enjoyed a quiet lunch in a nearby cozy café.
"She was the first person to ever notice and care. Lucky for me, she wasn't the last." He squeezed Cameron's hand and gave her a sincere look of "thank you".
"Chase thanks, but it wasn't just me. You may not see this but House really does care. I know he is insulting and is really hard on you, but he got very scared when you had your breakdown. His true intentions were to save you and not try something reckless because he could."
"What House did was amazing and I will always be grateful. I don't have to tell him my gratitude though because he doesn't need to hear it. He wasn't there holding my hand or giving me emotional support when I most needed it. You were. That means more than you will ever know."
Chase looked deeply into Cameron's eyes with a look of intense sincerity. She had never seen that look before. For the first time, she felt like she was seeing the real Robert Chase.
"You even cared enough to drag me out of my apartment in an ambulance." Chase continued with a pleased smile. "That took some guts."
"House told me to do that."
"You never blindly do what House wants you to do. You did it because you cared."
Cameron looked deeply into his eyes. "Yes." she replied.
Chase shyly smiled back at her reply. He felt her could trust her now more than ever. "As you can imagine, I have been doing quite a bit of soul searching this week. I'm having trouble accepting everything that happened."
"Why are you having trouble?" Cameron asked rather surprised.
"I have been convinced for years that God had given up on me. Each day I see signs that remind me of his existence but he never seemed to be there when I needed him. That is the main reason why I left the seminary. I have never been able to understand why he helped others but turned his back on me. I was someone who wanted to serve him.
Anyway, I'm still trying to make sense as to why he sent Althea to me now instead of years ago. Maybe she had to be here at a point where all the right circumstances came together. No matter what, she was a gift from God. I so want to give thanks, but I still have to question why now?"
"You know I'm no expert when it comes to God." Cameron replied.
"There isn't much difference between you and me when you think of it. We both have been rather agnostic since we have been working together. The difference is in our core beliefs. You aren't sure of God's existence, where I question God's motives. Either way, we have doubts."
"Come on, you are so much stronger in your faith."
"No, I haven't been. I am well educated with Christianity, but I have had trouble for a long time actually believing what I have been taught. This experience has given me a long needed sign, but I'm still looking for answers. God and I aren't completely okay, but we are getting better."
In the matters of religion, Cameron actually didn't have much to add. However, Chase was opening up to her, and that was a first for both of them. "God and I aren't okay either if it is any consolation. I'm pleased that you feel you can share this with me." she said.
"Allison," he said as he grabbed her hand, "I'm not going to be able to change my ways very easily. I'm still going to be bad at asking for help and actually sharing myself with someone, but for the first time in my life I'm willing to try. I hope that you don't mind me trying with you."
Cameron was very moved by his words. Her eyes started to well up a bit. "Yes, Robert, I don't mind. Just remember I'm not very open either."
"I know. It is like I said earlier you and I are more alike than you think."
Cameron paused for a minute with a soft sweet smile on her face. She wasn't sure exactly what was happening here, but she liked it. She continued to swoon as Chase looked at her with those gorgeous blue eyes. "You left the seminary because you questioned God? House, Foreman and I always thought it was because you liked women."
Chase laughed at her comment. "Yes, I guess there was that reason too. When a few of the nuns started looking pretty hot, I knew I was in trouble."
They both paused to share a big laugh. "Yeah, well lucky for us that did happen. You are a very gifted doctor. Don't let anyone, especially House, tell you otherwise." Cameron said.
"There is one thing I have definitely learned about myself and my life this week."
"What is that?" asked Cameron.
Chase squeezed her hand. "God does want this for me."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I want to thank everyone who has followed me through this long process of what started out to be a simple story about Chase treating an empath. It evolved in ways I never imagined when I first started this. The response has been amazing and I'm floored that this story has been so well received.
I have had the idea for months but wanted to want until the season ended to make sure I had my continuity down.
Thank you everyone for your comments and taking your precious time to read this story. I'm sad, yet very relieved that I'm finally finished. I can now get back to my life. If you haven't posted any reviews yet, I would appreciate to know any comments you might have. Thanks!