Disclaimer: They are not mine. Ever. Which is sad, because I could love them! I COULD!
Author's Notes: I'm back again! This fic is quite a bit different than the other ones I've written, and it's considerably darker. But I hope you guys enjoy it. Per usual, thanks to my beta, Tasha. Enjoy.
As she sat across the table from him, she was his enemy, his adversary. How she'd made it to the board of directors was beyond him, and all he cared about right now was that she was the only one keeping him in his job. She was abstaining from the vote.
The other doctors on the room came down on her, requesting respectfully that she at least put in some form of an opinion; she'd been completely quiet for the entire mock of a trial that he'd been in front of them. And while they encouraged her to vote, she continued to remain quiet.
She stared him down, hands crossed calmly in front of her on the cold, metal table. It appeared as though she was the only one who could understand why he'd made the decision that he had. Finally, she held up her hand for silence. He was surprised when her fellow doctors all fell silent.
She stood slowly, hands pressed firmly on the table. "I would like to remind you all that Dr. House is one of the best doctors on staff here," she spoke sternly. "I would also like to remind everyone that he has constantly proven to be quite good at his job, albeit unprofessional. I hereby suggest that Dr. House remains in employment here at Princeton-Plainsboro, returning to us after a two week suspension for his crass comments to the patient in question."
The other doctors on the board of directors starting muttering amongst themselves, and she held up her hand for silence once again.
"I also propose that Dr. House should work under an advisor, to be assigned by the board of directors."
"Again?" one of the directors asked. "He didn't do so well last time."
"Should Dr. House continue to practice in his severely unprofessional manner, the advisor will remain intact and Dr. House will lose his position as head of Diagnostics. Sound fair, gentlemen?"
The doctors muttered amongst themselves before giving affirmative nods. She turned back to House with a sternly set face. "That's it, then. You'll have your advisor Monday, two weeks from now, Dr. House. You're free to go."
House stood, gripping his cane angrily. "Thank you, Dr. Cameron."
Monday, House entered his office five minutes early. Sure, he hated his job sometimes, but he didn't actually want to lose it. So he arrived early to ensure that he was there before his "advisor" set down by the board of directors. They were probably going to throw some new idiot at him to crush.
His brow furrowed when Cameron walked in, wearing a pantsuit. Her hair was pulled back into some severe style that really didn't suit her, and she wore her glasses as she was carrying a file and reading its contents.
"I didn't order a stripper to be sent to me, but if you need a pole, my cane might suffice."
Cameron rolled her eyes and plopped a copy of the file down on his desk. "The board elected that I be your supervisor. They claim that I'm the only one who can take you."
House smirked. "Well, this is going to be fun. I get to walk all over my advisor."
"Dr. House, I'll have you know-"
"Oh, cut the crap, Cameron," House snapped. "You're going to let me practice the way I've been practicing."
Cameron frowned. "No, I won't. Your charting is three months behind, and you'll do that before you accept any new cases."
"What's this, then?" he asked, picking up the file copy.
"Your most recent chart. You can start with that one and work backwards."
"Oh, come on-"
"Dr. House," Cameron interrupted sternly, snapping her glasses off of her face and folding them, placing them in the inner breast pocket of her suit. "I'd suggest you don't do anything that might make me report you to the board. I'd hate to have to fire you."
He glowered at her and opened the chart. "Fine," he snapped. "To think that only ten years ago, you were my underling."
"Reminiscing isn't going to get you anywhere," she replied coolly. "Do your charting. I'll be taking your fellows to a differentials session in oncology, where I don't expect to see you." She headed for the doors, but paused before she left. "And kindly remember, Dr. House, that disobeying these orders will result in immediate dismissal." With that parting shot, she left his office.
House sat back in his chair and glared after her. Things had taken a turn for the worst since Foreman, Chase, and Cameron had completed their fellowships. The fellows that he got after them didn't measure to half of their brilliance. As more and more fellows went through, he realized more and more how lucky he'd been to have his ducklings.
The latest bout of fellows were all goody-two-shoes, as he'd complained to Wilson on more than one occasion. When House wanted to treat without complete proof, they ran to Cuddy. When he didn't have enough proof for them, they ran to Cuddy. And on this last case, when his controversial treatment had resulted in saving a life, but not the total quality of life, he'd been ratted out and thrown at the mercy of the board of directors.
He hadn't been surprised when Cameron had been the only one to stand for him. He was still astonished that she was on the board with those sharks. They could have eaten her for breakfast when she'd started working for him. And now? Well, shit. Now she could eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not give a single backward glance.
At times, he wondered what caused it. Now, he had to know. He didn't realize it was possible for her to be the ice bitch that she'd been just five minutes ago. He was going to have to figure this out. And since he had her as his "advisor," he didn't see it taking too horribly long. He'd solve this puzzle, just like he solved the rest of them. With that thought in mind, he flipped open his chart.
At lunch, Cameron reported back to House's office to check on him. He was there, iPod in his ears, doing his charting like a good boy. She was immediately suspicious that he would actually do what he was told, but seeing as how he'd lose his job for insubordination, she supposed that she shouldn't be so surprised.
She took a seat in a chair across from his desk and waited for him to take his iPod out of his ears. Once he did, she crossed her fingers loosely and rested her elbows on the arms of the chair. "I take it you got plenty done this morning?" she asked, crossing one ankle over the other.
"I have fifteen charts to go," he glowered at her.
"Don't get angry with me," she stated coolly, studying her nails. "If you'd done your charting in the first place, we wouldn't be playing this game now." She looked up at him from her nails. "Would you like to get lunch?"
"Not with Dr. Cameron, Bitch Extraordinaire," he told her, slamming his chart shut and tossing it off to the side with the other finished ones.
"Don't get snippy just because you have to do your job now." Her body was relaxed and confidence practically oozed off of her.
"When the hell did you get so confident?" he asked angrily. "I could walk all over you all the way through your fellowship with me and now you're not only the head of Internal Medicine, but you're on the board of directors. Who did you sleep with to get where you are?"
"Cuddy. She likes my pretty girl-parts," Cameron shot back.
"Nice." He frowned at his remaining charts and sat back in his chair, tapping his pencil absently on his knee. "You're bitchier, brassier, and a whole lot icier. I want to know why."
"I'm not here to give you what you want," she responded. "I'm here to make sure you do your job properly and ethically."
"Yeah, I know. I don't give a crap about that. I want to know what made you like this."
"If you had a dollar for everything you wanted, you'd be a rich man and you wouldn't be on probation right now," she informed him, standing from her seat. "I'm taking lunch; you can do so, as well. You have one hour for lunch, and you're required to punch out at the nurse's station when you go."
"What the hell is this, Auschwitz?" House asked in outrage.
"Compare it to a concentration camp all you like; just don't tell Wilson. He might get offended." She turned to leave. "And, Dr. House."
He quirked an eyebrow to let her know he was listening.
"I've wisely decided to keep my private life just that; private. Any further questions you may have on the matter should be consciously diverted."
"Even your vocabulary is bitchy. Not normal bitchy… Rich bitchy."
"Have a nice lunch hour, Dr. House." And she left him in confusion once more.
What in the hell was going on with her?
It was that evening that House got a little glimpse into what had caused this drastic change in the sweet, kind Dr. Cameron of the past. She'd been working at Princeton Main for a while and he hadn't heard any gossip about her; probably because he didn't bother to listen for it.
As he cracked open the door to her office, he heard her on the phone with someone. He left the door opened a crack and listened to the conversation. Thank God for speakerphone.
"I want the lake house," Cameron said coldly.
"You want everything, Allison," a man's voice drawled boredly.
"Yes, well, I think I deserve anything I want with the kind of behavior you've had. I want the lake house."
A sigh. "Fine." The word was long and drawn out in annoyance. "The lake house is yours. Which car?"
"Good. I like the Porsche better, anyway. I'm getting the estates in England."
"You can have the estates in England," she bit out bitterly. "I hated them."
"Yes, yes, we all know. Do you want the books in the library? I'm not going to read those medical worse-for-wears."
Her jaw clenched. "Send them to my post office box."
"Are you paying for postage?"
"You have plenty to do so yourself," she sneered. "As far as the monetary settlement is concerned, you'll be hearing from my lawyer."
"I can't believe you want more money out of me," the man whined. "I've given you an allowance since we married."
"You're made of money, Richard. You can afford a bit more after everything you've put me through." She picked up a yo-yo off of her desk and then sat on the desk, playing with the object to calm herself.
"What about Lydia?"
"I don't want her. She's annoying and stupid," Cameron said with a bored sigh.
"Well, I don't want the little brat, either," Richard snapped.
"Call your mother; she loves Lydia."
"Fine. Mother will take Lydia. And the manor in Georgia?"
"Mine. I picked it out and refurbished it myself."
"Yes… You always were a bit on the gritty side, weren't you? I suppose I liked it years ago."
Cameron threw the yo-yo across the room, satisfied when it hit the wall with a dull thud. "And I suppose I liked that stick up your ass, too. It's late, Richard. My lawyer will contact yours."
"But of course. Goodbye, Allison."
"Goodbye, Richard." She hung up the phone and picked up the pen holder on her desk, tossing it angrily at the wall with a frustrated scream caught in the back of her throat.
House chose that moment to walk in. "Someone sounds very unhappy," he commented slowly.
Cameron's eyes widened. "How much of that conversation did you hear?" she demanded anxiously. "Tell me how much you heard."
"Well, I know what you're getting from the lake house on down," he commented, leaning on his cane. "Someone's been naughty," he said in a sing-song voice.
She frowned, moving to pick up the pens and place them back in the holder that she'd chucked across the room. "It isn't any of your business and you should have made your presence known."
"I'm not one of your servants," he replied with a quirked eyebrow. "Did you have servants? I'll bet you did."
"Stop it," she snapped, placing the pen holder back on her desk, where it belonged. "You have no idea what that was about. Furthermore-"
"I know a divorce settlement when I hear one," House cut in. "You married Richard the rich bastard and now you're getting a divorce. Why?"
"None of your business."
"Dr. House, I highly suggest you reconsider your line of questioning," Cameron said severely, a frown firmly in place as she stood tall, her chin up at a slight angle in defiance. "If you've some business reason to be here to see me, then by all means, get to it. If not, I ask kindly that you leave."
"I'm going to repeat what I said earlier," House said, his voice a low growl. "I'm not one of your servants. You don't order me around like that."
"I'm your superior," Cameron snapped. "I'll order you around however I like."
"Someone got your knickers in a mighty tight twist," he responded with a small, knowing smirk. "And look at you now; rich bitch Allison Cameron. Girl with an attitude. I'll bet you're pretty used to people following your orders now. Is that why the board of directors respects you so much? Do they fear you?"
"It isn't your business, Dr. House. Refrain from these highly inappropriate questions."
He laughed. "Refrain from these highly inappropriate questions?" he asked with a look of sheer amusement. "Are you going to smack me with your pure, white glove next? Call for help from your beaus?"
She sneered at him and slapped him right across the cheek. "You go to Hell," she snarled. "Get out of my office."
House rubbed the spot on his cheek where she'd landed her open-handed hit. Christ, but that woman had an arm on her. "The charting's done," he said flatly. "Can I have a case tomorrow?"
"I'll check over your charting in the morning and tell you then. You have clinic from nine until noon." She was so cold. So professional. It almost worried House.
"Yes, ma'am," he muttered, heading for the door. "Oh, and just so you know… I think it's shitty that you'd give your kid away."
"My what?" Cameron asked in confusion.
"Your kid. Lydia."
Cameron smirked and crossed her arms over her chest. "This is why you shouldn't eavesdrop," she said coolly. "Lydia's a Lhasa Apso. Not a child. Now kindly keep your nose out of my business. I'll see you tomorrow."
"Right," he muttered, leaving her office. "Tomorrow."