Disclaimer: I definitely don't own them or make any money off of them. It's sad, I know... But I don't.
Author's Notes: I owe a HUGE thanks to my beta, Tasha. She rocks socks off. This is my first attempt at Chase/Cameron, and I'm doing it as a response to a challenge from (ironically enough) Tasha. I hope everyone enjoys it. I've worked very hard on it!
Chase hated seeing Cameron like this: pining away for a man that would never love her. It was ridiculous how she fawned over him. She went through his mail for him, did his charting for him, got him his fucking coffee in the morning. Could she be any more obvious? It was almost disturbing. He wondered if she had some sort of Electra complex: do your daddy-figure. As he watched her, he chewed on a pencil.
Why did she want House so badly? Maybe she thought that she could heal him or something. Seemed like a Cameron thing to think, anyway. That or she'd had one supremely messed-up childhood and was paying for it now. He'd paid enough attention in his psych rotations to know that it was more than likely one of the two.
House limped into his office and turned on his television, and Chase turned to Cameron. "What is it with him?" he finally asked.
"Chase, I think you've been working here long enough to know how he thinks," Cameron joked with a smile, going through the patient file to look for more history.
"I meant you," he replied, sitting back and gnawing on his pencil. "You're all over him."
"If by 'all over him,' you mean that I sort his mail," she grinned, sitting back in her own chair at studying him. "Jealous?"
"What? No!" Maybe. Okay, a little. "Look, I just think it's a little … disquieting that you're so attracted to a man that does nothing but insult you all day long."
"It could be worse," she pointed out, standing and snatching up the patient file. "I could be attracted to a nine-year-old."
"I wasn't attracted to her!" Chase exclaimed, laughing slightly. "She wanted a kiss before she died."
"Isn't that what the Make-A-Wish Foundation is for?" she continued to tease. "And I don't think I need to remind you that she didn't die." She gave him a smile and left the room with the patient's file in her hand, going to take a more detailed history.
Chase watched as Cameron left, and kept his eyes on her until she was completely out of sight. Ever since they'd had that one night of sex … great sex … he'd wanted more. He'd been good about hiding it; about keeping himself under control. And it wasn't just sex he wanted. He wondered what she was like to date. What would it be like to take her out to dinner? Romance her a bit? Fly her home with him to Australia for a week or two?
Who the hell was he kidding? Cameron was obviously in love with House. That or in extreme lust with him. It was stupid of Chase to even consider the fact that she'd date someone like himself. He took a sip of coffee, eyes narrowed, and looked at the dry-erase board. He wasn't meant for Cameron and she wasn't meant for him. There were many times that he didn't think he was meant for anybody… Cameron had been the first person he'd slept with in a long time. And maybe that really had been a horrible mistake to make.
House entered the room and went straight to the board, writing a new symptom. "Where's Cameron?" he asked distractedly.
"I think she went to take a more detailed patient history," Chase answered, just as distracted as he attempted to figure out the symptoms.
"Wrong. She wasn't with the patient when I went to check on him."
"…You checked on a patient?"
"Don't get used to it," he murmured as he set the marker down. "Where's Foreman?"
"How the hell should I know?" Chase replied irritably, tapping his fingers on his coffee mug. "I'm not their secretary. Page them."
House quirked an eyebrow and studied his intensivist. "Someone's got their knickers in a twist. What's wrong, Chase? Cameron call someone else for the drug fun this time?"
"Go to hell."
"Aw, the love." He watched as Chase stood and ran a hand through his hair, blowing out a slow breath. "What are you thinking?"
Chase frowned and looked at House a long while before answering. "I'm thinking of returning to the seminary."
"As long as you come back, I don't really care," House answered after a long, silent pause.
"If I study to be a priest, I'm not going to stay a doctor," he said sternly. "The two contradict each other, in case you haven't noticed."
"Oh, I've noticed…" House let his cane fall on the floor rhythmically as he stared down Chase. "I've also noticed the puppy-dog eyes you've been making at Cameron for the past month and a half. So your reason for getting your vestments has more to do with rejection than it does with God."
"Nothing gets past you," Chase retorted in a sarcastic mumble, turning away to put his empty cup in the sink.
"Why would you return to the seminary?"
"It's not really any of your business. All you need to know is that I'm considering it and if I decide to do it, you'll have a letter of resignation on your desk."
"What I do need to know is why you'd resign from healing people to take up a far lower-paying job to listen to people bitch about their problems. One would think that you'd be serving God more by healing His children than you ever would be by preaching to them."
Chase stared at House for a long moment, debating between leaving and staying here to listen to his boss bitch some more. "There's a difference," he said simply. "It isn't just preaching."
Foreman came in with some test results and noticed the tension in the room. "What's up?"
"Chase wants to molest little boys for a living." He turned to Chase. "That is what Catholic priests do, right?"
"House…" Chase shook his head and gave up. He wasn't going to stand here and take House's abuse. It was stupid. It was ridiculously stupid. "I'm going to do my clinic hours," he grumbled, grabbing up his pristine white lab coat and heading for the clinic.
Why had he bothered to tell House what he'd really been thinking? He'd known he'd get scorned for it; but a part of him wanted to believe that people actually thought becoming a priest was a noble idea. Then again, was it possible for House to believe that anything was noble? Probably not.
As Chase turned the corner, he found Cameron. He nodded to her and she smiled back. "House is looking for you. He checked on the patient."
Cameron's smile turned to a frown. "I just got a more detailed history from Max," she told Chase honestly. "House wasn't in there."
"Maybe he was there after you left," Chase suggested. "What are you doing down here near the clinic, anyway?"
"Max said his wife would be down here, so I came to get some information from her, too."
"So thorough." He glanced at the clinic doors and debated for a while before manning up and asking Cameron what he'd wanted to. "Look… What are you doing Saturday night?"
"Um… Nothing, really. I'm having a late lunch with one of my friends from med school around four."
Chase suddenly felt extremely awkward. Probably because Cameron made him that way ever since he'd made the mistake of sleeping with her when she was high. "I have tickets to Aida at the Mainstage Center for the Arts. A woman from back home was going to come with me… She's visiting the states for a month or so. But she had to catch a later flight because of her job. Do … do you want to come?"
Cameron studied Chase warily. Did she want to go with him? They were going as friends, so it shouldn't be too horribly uncomfortable, right? And it wasn't like she was going to jump him again, even if he was an attractive man. "Sure," she answered slowly, giving him a small smile. "What time?"
"The show starts at eight. I'll pick you up around seven?"
"Sounds great. Thanks, Chase."
"No problem." He smiled at her and headed for the clinic doors. "And if you want to grab a late dinner afterward, there's a nice café near the theatre."
"We'll see how hungry I am after the show," she replied with a friendly smile. "See you when you're done serving the people." She nodded to the clinic.
"I'm sure I'll have a smashing time diagnosing headaches," he said with a grin, and slipped into the clinic to grab up a patient file.
It wasn't until after he'd finished up his clinic hours that Chase had time to reflect on the fact that he had essentially just asked Cameron out on a date. Granted, she hadn't taken it as such… But dinner and a play? Didn't that count as a date? At least a little bit?
He rolled his eyes at his own behavior and checked out of the clinic, making his way back up to diagnostics. The curiosity that he had for Cameron was unsettling, to say the least, and he had a feeling that it could get him into some serious trouble if he attempted any sort of advances. He shook his head to clear it as he opened the door to diagnostics, where Cameron, House, and Foreman were arguing about the patient.
"We know that he has gout, but we don't know why," House snapped at Cameron and Foreman. His eyes wandered to the door when Chase walked in. "Hey, Priest. Got any ideas?"
Chase rolled his eyes. "The patient is sixty five years old," he pointed out. "Gout is common, especially if he didn't take care of himself when he was younger. His wife claims that he didn't, so the gout isn't suspicious."
"Everyone has times when they tell the truth, too," Foreman argued. "Look, the guy admits that he wasn't all that healthy in his youth and his wife backs him up. They've been married for forty five years. There's no reason for them to lie about his health."
"What about arthritis?" Cameron offered. "It can have the same symptoms as gout. Maybe he was misdiagnosed. He did say that the pain in his joints has been going on for over fifteen years. Most doctors don't look for gout before they look for arthritis… I think we should retest."
House studied Cameron silently before nodding. "Go do an arthritis scan. Chase, you prep the gout test. And Foreman…" He reached into his back pocket and tossed a set of keys at the neurologist. "Go play detective. I want you to look for any prescription drugs, his or hers. Bring them in and let's see who's taking what. Or who's poisoning whom."
"Wait a minute…" Cameron said hesitantly, clipboard tucked under her arm. "You think one of them is poisoning the other?"
"They've been married for forty five years. Someone's got to be getting sick of someone else."
"That's completely outlandish," she snapped. "Just because you can't stick by someone for years without hating them doesn't mean that someone else can't."
"Feisty, Cameron. Trying to psychoanalyze me in front of the other ducklings. Cute," House replied, waggling his eyebrows. "Go get the tests done. I'll see you all when you get back, and you'll hopefully all have new and improved ideas."
Cameron stormed out of the room, Chase following close behind her. "Cameron, are you…?"
"I'm fine," she snapped. "I am perfectly all right." She stopped and spun to face Chase. "Why does he do that?" she asked desperately. "Why does he have to do that?"
"It's House," Chase said with a shrug. "He lives to spite us." When she turned to storm off again, he took hold of her wrist. "Cameron… Don't let him get to you like that," he said quietly. "He does it because he knows how much it upsets you. He tries to make you hate him. He tries really hard."
"I hate that he tries to make me hate him," Cameron responded in frustration. "He doesn't realize that I won't. I can't."
"Cameron…" Chase frowned, upset to see Cameron so perturbed about the whole thing. "He's not good enough for you to throw away your hopes on. He's heartless."
"He's not," Cameron defended. "He's just… He's damaged. He needs someone who will-"
"Cameron, you don't know what he needs," Chase argued gently. "He doesn't even know what he needs. Let him have his booze and his pills and his prostitutes. You deserve better than that."
"Chase…" She looked at the floor and frowned slightly. "Thank you. For thinking that, I mean. I appreciate it." She tapped the folder nervously against her leg before glancing up at the clock. "We need to run those tests," she reminded him quietly.
"Yeah… Let's do that, then." And just like that, he knew that she wouldn't listen to a word he'd just said.