I was getting very bored with "Pale Words" and I was tired about not writing Cameron into a story as a living person. I miss when she was still alive in my twisted world of House fanfiction... Ah, the days of "Music" and "Just Once" come flooding back... Anyway, I just wanted to write a short little story about Cam and House and the rest of the group, mostly because the title just sprung into my head and I couldn't just ignore that. My ideas usually like to smack me around a little if I don't let them out, so here we are!

Dark Heart, Bright Soul

"He just needs some time off," Cameron said, tapping her pen on the glass tabletop. "When was the last time House took a day to himself without being sick or trying to avoid something?"

"See, that's just not House," Foreman replied, leaning back in his chair. "House wouldn't be himself if he wasn't either sick or trying to avoid something. What would he do on a personal day? Honestly, the man has no life outside the hospital."

"Who says you can't love your work?" Chase asked, slumping against the counter where the coffee was brewing, filling the room with it's rich scent. "Cam, can you stop tapping your pen?"

"No one said he loved it," she replied, staring him down. "And no, I can't stop it."

"Either way, Cuddy is going to force him to take a few days off. No one can keep going without getting burned out once in a while, right?"

Foreman seemed to make the most sense out of the group and the ducklings nodded. Cameron put her pen down as Chase brought her a cup of coffee and the three doctors sat around the table in silence, each lost in their own thoughts.

House had been stressing lately; more than usual, that is. Instead of being his usual psychotic self, he had taken on a bitter personality that was worse than how he usually acted. Instead of being sarcastic, he was cruel. Instead of being clever, he was being venomous. The definitions of these words vary from person to person, so who was to say how House was exactly acting? No matter what words the three doctors tried to come up with to describe the change that had come over House, there was no describing how different the doctor was acting. He had sunk deeper and deeper into his self induced depression, making life miserable whereas life had been livable before this change.

"Why must we all gather here?" House asked bitterly, slamming the door open with his cane, the sharp smack of metal on glass causing Chase to spill his coffee. "Really, there must be better things for you to do than babble like a group of beauty parlor hags."

"House, we need to go over the file that-"

"Foreman, are you ever off task?" House snapped, interrupting the doctor. "Honestly, the other doctors are becoming depressed that they just can't live up to your level."

"This has gone on long enough," Cameron said, standing up and facing House. "You've been like this all week. We didn't say anything Monday, we ignored it on Tuesday, and we've been dealing with until now. It's Friday and you need to tell us what's wrong."

"Are you saying that, because it's Friday, I need to tell you, or because I need to tell you, it must be Friday?"

"Did that make any sense to you?" Foreman asked Chase, who was standing by the sink, trying to mop the coffee off his jacket before it left a stain. Chase ignored Foreman, knowing that the moment he said anything, House would pounce on him, too.

"House, sit down," Cameron said softly, but House shook his head and pushed her down into the chair. Cameron tried to stand back up, but House pushed her back down.

"I can do this all day," he snapped, and Cameron finally stayed sitting on the chair, furious.

"Listen, House, we have a problem here. We have to work with you and we never say anything when you are acting miserable, but this really is too much," Foreman said, leaning forward and resting his elbows on the tabletop. "Cuddy came in here and told us that you have until your shift is over today to schedule vacation time. If you don't pick at least one day next week to be gone, she is going to pick one for you."

House was silent as he rested against the white board, frowning.

"So, you mean to tell me," House said finally, "That I have until lunchtime to pick a day off. In the middle of all the chaos, Dr. House has to leave?"

"More like when you leave," Chase muttered, "You bring the chaos with you."

House shot him a dirty look and Chase ignored it, nearly done cleaning his coffee mess.

"Fine," House snapped. "I'm going to take Monday off and, when I come back on Tuesday, I guarantee I am just going to be the same. There is no way that a day off of work is going to cure all ills."

House hobbled out of the room, leaving three very disgruntled doctors in his wake.

Cameron sighed as she organized the files on House's desk. Since he was gone, she was going to take this opportunity to clean. If she had to sit in the room, she was going to fix it up to her standards, which meant no patient files laying in heaps under the desk. House had indeed taken that day off, and it felt strange to her that he would not be there. Usually, if he was gone, she was either calling his house and asking him if he needed anything to feel better, or she was calling Cuddy to inquire about what House had done. She didn't think she could ever get used to having House gone.

Life seemed pretty strange without House in the office, and it was hardly noon.

"Dr. Cameron, you are needed in the main lobby. Dr. Cameron, to the main lobby."

Sighing, she stood and took the elevator down to the main floor, wondering how many more records she was going to have to put away that day on top of her usual work. Instead, she saw House leaning against the front desk, something large, round, and black in his hand. He threw it to her and Cameron caught it, hardly knowing what he had thrown at her until she turned it over in her hand. It was a motorcycle helmet.

"Come on," he said, turning around and walking out the front doors to where his bike waited, the motor humming. "I already punched you out."

"Where are we going?" Cameron asked, following him outside.

"Out to lunch," House said, climbing on the bike and revving the motor, waiting for her to join him.

As Cameron got on the motorcycle and clumsily placed her arms around his waist, she decided that she could get used to this.

There we are! Thanks so much for reading and please leave me a review! Thanks again!