Notes: This was written for the houseficpens LJ com challenge, to take ten song titles and write a 100-word drabble for each one. The first ten drabbles are exactly 100 words (titles not included), the last one is 315 words. Also, I cheated and kept shuffling until I found a song that fit. So there goes the spirit of the exercise.
Something To Sing About
Cameron spends almost an hour looking for Chase, whose shift 'officially ended' at eight, but working for House means forgoing that concept altogether. She doesn't expect to find him in the Oncology ward, sitting by the bed of a five, maybe six year old girl, smiling softly as he bends over to let her touch his hair wonderingly.
Something clenches in her chest. Chase politely asks for permission, then strums a few notes on a guitar that was leaning against the wall. Cameron can't bear to intrude, watching as for one August evening the dimly lit room becomes a sanctuary.
How I Know You
"Did you know Chase can play?"
Foreman doesn't look up from his microscope. "Play… bridge? Polo? Barbies?"
She rolls her eyes. "Guitar."
"No, I didn't."
"Don't you think that's strange?"
"That he plays the guitar?"
"That we didn't know."
"Uh, no, I don't."
"Why wouldn't he tell us?" she pushes.
Foreman gives her an odd look. "In case you haven't noticed, Chase is a pretty private person. I'm sure there's a lot we don't know about him."
"We're not the Brady Bunch, Cameron. I don't really know you. And there's a lot you don't know about me."
She finds him there again and again, never daring to interrupt those fragile moments when he plays for the children, seeing them captured (enchanted, bewitched) by his dancing fingers and his low voice, always surprisingly deep.
She catches Wilson during a lunch break. "So, what, is your department short on an intensivist?"
He looks confused. "What?"
"You haven't noticed Chase hanging around your kids recently?"
He frowns. "How recently?"
"About… two weeks, I guess."
Comprehension fills his eyes. "And you were wondering what prompted it?" he surmises. Cameron nods. "Well, I'd suggest going to the source. Ask him about—"
Cameron sang in a chorus for fifteen years. She has a clear, melodic voice and she never misses a note. She was rarely offered solos, but she preferred singing in a group anyway, taking part in creating harmony.
In her second year of med school she resigned to singing in the shower, in the kitchen, in the car, because two hours a week were two hours too much. But when she hears music, she still improvises an accompanying part instead of humming the main tune.
One night she takes a leap, and discovers her mezzo-soprano merges perfectly with Chase's baritone.
He Was a Friend Of Mine
"Andie Brennen died two weeks ago," Chase mutters, when she finally asks. "When I heard, I…" He rubs his forehead, staring into his beer, and Cameron waits. He sighs. "I didn't remember who she was at first. Wilson had to remind me."
She doesn't say anything, repressing her instinctive horror – she can't imagine herself forgetting a patient. But she realizes that Foreman was right, Chase is intensely private, and in this dark, dense bar he's opening a window.
"Anyway," he says abruptly, "I haven't played in a long time."
His lips quirk up. "You're not too bad either."
Change the World
"Singing?" Foreman's eyebrows shoot up.
"Yes." She dares him to laugh. "It's me and Chase's thing."
"Oh, you and Chase have a thing now?"
"Yes," she declares, smiling. "It's nice."
Foreman snorts, returning to his journal. But later that night she notices him peeking through half-closed blinds. Caught, he rolls his eyes, enters, and says: "Let me show you how the pros do it."
His voice soars with the warm vibrancy of joyous gospel richness, masterfully rising and falling and it feels like there's an ethereal link between the room and heaven.
And that was just Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
I Don't Wanna Hear It
"Gentlemen. Cameron." Cuddy leans back in her chair. "Care to explain?"
Foreman scans the letter and starts to grin.
"The Princeton-Plainsboro Singing Sensations," she recites. "Medical Melodies. The Dancing Diagnosticians. Apparently, you're hot stuff."
"We don't actually dance," Chase points out helpfully.
"Three hospitals have asked to borrow you for Thanksgiving." Cuddy snaps. "Since I actually need my doctors, I'm going to apologize politely and retain your services myself. The fundraiser's on the twenty-ninth. Any problems?"
Beyond the door they hear shouting and an angrily rapping cane. "DON'T YOU DARE, CUDDY! —so embarrassing—"
The three doctors smirk.
"We're all yours."
Wilson's office is perfect for hiding from – but also for spying on – Diagnostics. Foreman's actually snickering over something Chase said, and Cameron's doling out gravy. It's all so happy.
"I don't get it," House complains. "When did all this Team Spirit happen?"
Wilson's way too smug about this. "I think it's kind of like the POWs who unite under a shared enemy."
House sulks. "They're no fun anymore."
"I thought you'd be glad they have musical talent. You can… jam. Or something."
House directs him his most withering glare. "Dude, I'm so out of their league."
Wilson hides his grin.
As Time Goes By
"Do you think we'll be in touch in a couple of years?" Cameron asks out of the blue.
"I dunno," Chase replies, surprised.
"Think about it."
After a moment, he lifts his head to find her staring at him eerily. "What, now?"
"What difference is it? Whatever happens, happens." He shrugs. "If we're not in touch, it probably means none of us cared anyhow."
The answer is accepted with obvious disappointment. She finishes making coffee, absently setting a second cup in front of him.
"If it helps," he offers, "a month ago I'd have answered 'no'."
Let The Good Times Roll
"We should do it," Cameron insists.
"He'll fire us!" Chase exclaims.
"You guys are such cowards."
"He might not fire you," he shoots back, "but he'll definitely fire me. Screw fire, he'll kill me. With sharp pieces of broken canes. I'm not doing it. Foreman, back me up."
"Foreman, imagine the look on his face!"
An amused expression flits across Foreman's face as he does, indeed, imagine the look. "Actually…"
Chase groans. "No, no, no, Foreman… I'm this close to finishing this fellowship without being officially fired."
"Come on, Chase," Cameron encourages, knowing she's already won. "You're our music man. Flow."
The steps in front of 221B Baker Street have been cleared of snow, but there's still a thick white layer covering all the cars in the street. Most of the widows are decorated with bright, colorful lights; one of them is noticeably not.
They've been caroling for almost half an hour, bundled up in coats and hats and scarves, exhaling steam, and they're good – a small crowd of neighbors has gathered around them and they've already been offered tea and cookies twice. But in 221B, not even a light turns on.
"What is wrong with him?" Chase demands, annoyed. His fingers are becoming stiff with cold. "Can't he even bother to yell at us to shut up? It's not like he doesn't know we're here."
"He did kind of act in denial whenever anybody mentioned… this… our thing," Foreman speculates.
Cameron's worried expression transforms into determined. "Well, he can't ignore us forever. Not now. Not on Christmas."
"That's very optimistic, but—"
"No!" Her vehemence takes them all aback, including herself. "No," she repeats, softer. "If he ignores us, he wins. He's… part of the department too, damn it." She looks just as annoyed as Chase did a minute ago.
Foreman and Chase exchange glances. Finally, Chase shrugs. "Might as well. My chances of ever getting on his good side are shot to hell anyway."
"Maybe if we complicate the harmony," Foreman suggests.
"Maybe we should change songs too," Cameron adds, grateful that they've decided to stick around. She'd wanted to provoke House – trust him to turn that into a challenge.
So instead of 'Silent Night' they call on Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrie, Roger Waters, filling in words they don't know with nonsense but somehow, together, they make the music work.
Faintly, in the background, a piano begins to accompany them. They're not warm they're not dry, and they're not invited in – but they're singing.