Disclaimer: I own a house. I own "House" on dvd. I like the movie, "My Life as a House." But, I don't claim to hold a monopoly on the show or its characters. They belong to Fox.
is my first FanFic. It's the first chapter in what I hope will be a
longer story. Please forgive the heavy-handed references to the work of
Camus. I hope to raise the smut/romance factor once I get the hang of
the genre. I appreciate reviews, especially those with specific
likes/dislikes. Please help me to stay IC. Thanks to my beta,
Timbereads, for her careful readings. Thanks to Houseketeer for the
high quality of her writing. It inspires me. Enjoy.
The Vast Indifference of the Sky
can't sleep. Tossing and turning in her bed, with only some deep
thoughts and the radio as company, she learns that a blizzard is
imminent. Ever conscientious, she hightails it in to work. Once
there, she finds that House requires her to go with him to the home
of a patient in rural New Jersey. House and Cameron are caught
breaking and entering. What happens when the two doctors are
arrested and thrust into the back of a police cruiser that crashes?
How will they get out of the patrol car to help the injured officer? What will they do while waiting for help to arrive?
Cameron rolled over in bed and squinted at the red glow of her alarm clock. It was three a.m. and she was still awake.
If she were a doctor, she'd diagnose herself:
"You have ... drum roll ... insomnia."
Oh yeah, she was a doctor.
It was bad enough that she had no social life. No social life unless she counted the sarcastic repartee tossed around among members of Princeton Plainsboro's diagnostic team as quality conversation.
Or those stimulating exchanges with her clinic patients:
"Do you wear sunscreen? No? Might want to start. Do you take a multivitamin? That's good, but you might want to up your calcium intake to 800 mg. and start eating more salmon. Hmm. I see you take Serzone. Has your general practitioner tested your liver lately? No? I'll call the lab and have them set up a liver tox screen. Meanwhile, please avoid grapefruit juice."
Just thinking about it made Cameron yawn. But it didn't make her somnolent.
True, when the team was working a case with House, it was an adrenaline rush on the scale of climbing Mt. Everest. It definitely beat dinner and a movie. But sometimes a week or more went by without a patient -- or at least a patient intriguing enough to interest the perennially bored House.
Whatever the case, the hours were long. Cuddy expected Chase, Foreman and Cameron herself to pack in clinic hours when they weren't diagnosing and treating House's patients. And House expected them to be around in case he needed their help, or in case he felt like abusing them.
So Cameron had no social life. And now she had insomnia.
The sleeplessness was her own fault, really. Cameron had found just enough time after work to run three miles on her treadmill, shower, hop into bed and flick on CNN.
This was her first mistake. More civilian casualties in Iraq. More genocide in Darfur. More car bombs in Palestine. More dead in O-hi-o, she thought with a bitter little laugh. No sleep for Dr. Cameron.
She killed the boob tube with the remote, and, like an idiot, switched on the local National Public Radio station. "Am I a glutton for punishment, or what?" Allison said out loud. Christ. Now she was talking to herself.
The BBC World Report announcers rehashed the horrors of the day in clipped, British accents. God, Cameron thought. What would the news be like if House reported it? Nailing an upper crust English accent in the vein of Bertie Wooster, Cameron amused herself by satirizing the news:
"Tony Blair planted a big wet one on George Bush's ass today, showing ample support for Bush's pro-democracy stance in Iraq. 'I can state most emphatically that Mr. Bush is not a weeny, and that his upper lip is actually rather stiff in accordance with British tradition,' stated the Prime Minister as he puckered up." Cameron giggled. "Pope Benedict vowed to decapitate all gay priests and stack their heads outside of Rome in a symbolic, Old Testament gesture. 'This act will deter homosexuals from serving God,' the Pope said."
The fact that she was having fun didn't ease a lingering loneliness. It would be more fun to share it with someone else. Specifically, House. She grew silent, pensive. And then her sense of humor returned, sort of. "There's nothing like a little existential literature to cheer a girl up," she said, sitting up in bed.
Reaching for her copy of "The Plague" from her bed stand, Cameron flipped through it. The book reminded her so much of House, of his pathos. When faced with the rat-borne pestilence, and almost certain death, the citizens of Oran coped, or failed to cope, with their psychic pain. Like House, they were damaged. Wounded. And each day, they ate their Rueben sandwiches and watched their soap operas. Some even tried to save lives.
One of her favorite passages in the book explained the emptiness and lack of real hope she observed in House, his reluctance to move forward in his life, and his tendency to stay mired in the past:
"It was undoubtedly the feeling of exile - that sensation of a void within which never left us, that irrational longing to hark back to the past or else to speed up the march of time, and those keen shafts of memory that stung like fire...each of us had to be content to live only for the day, alone under the vast indifference of the sky."
So much of what Camus wrote fit House, she thought. She wondered what Wilson would think of her theory. She knew what House would say about it. He'd view it with the same disdain he'd showed her when, on their date, she'd applied Freudian analysis to explain his childish behavior toward her, to explain why she knew that he "liked" her.
Turning over on her side, Cameron reflected on her life before med school and marriage, before the death of her husband, before her internship at Mayo, before the job at Princeton Plainsboro. Her life before House. What life before House? Most days, House was her life.
Sure, she had packed a lot into her 28 years. She'd worked hard to become the person she was, the doctor she was. She'd chosen to marry young -- it had seemed like such an affirmation of life itself to love and marry a man, even if he was terminal. Cameron had convinced herself that it was an act of courage, and yes, dammit, she had seen the Julia Roberts movie 'Dying Young.'
But whenever she was around House, her blood sang in her veins. She was wide awake and constantly aware of all stimuli, especially when House was near her in physical proximity. Or when he held her with the blue glaze of his eyes. One look could force the air from her lungs and the blood to her crotch. One look could make the pit of her stomach flutter.
Shit. This line of thought would not help her sleep.
Her breaths grew shorter just thinking of House peering over her shoulder at the result of a lab test. She could feel the heat from his body as it lingered near her own, his breath warming the crown of her head. She could feel her pulse between her legs. Where the hell was her electric toothbrush, the one she usually kept in the drawer with her condoms and self-heating lubricants?
Just then the local NPR reporter interrupted its programming with a weather bulletin. There was a blizzard warning in effect for all of the surrounding counties.
Fuck it. Cameron shrugged off her duvet and slid naked from between the sheets. She padded over to the window and looked out. Snow fell in thick flakes, and she could see that several inches had already accumulated.
Once again her thoughts turned toward House. When she'd left work at 8 p.m., he'd still been at his desk. For a guy who usually left dust in his wake as the clock struck 4 p.m., this was unusual. Unless he had a date with a hooker, it struck Cameron as suspect. She had left him reclining in his chair, using his desk as a drum set, presumably accompanying whatever was playing on his ipod.
What the hell, she thought. It was nearly four a.m., and she'd left her notes for her paper on the recent case of the plague the team had diagnosed back at the office. Sleep was a stranger, and a snow day seemed imminent. She might as well drive in to work while she still could.