Chapter 1

There are five stages of death; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some people experience all five, some don't. Some experience it in that order, while some simply skip ahead or jolt around nervously. I explained all of this to Cameron on the day she told me she hated me and had moved on, while she was going through them herself for Cindy Lou Who or whatever her name was. The saddest thing is that I'm not experiencing the five stages of dying because I'm dying. No. It's because I'm standing here watching the she-devil drop kick my pride to death.



"It's a benefit House. Suck it up and get over it!" Cuddy screeched.

"It's not just a benefit Cuddy. It's a fashion show!" House whined.

Cuddy laughed at his misery. "I know. I set it up House."

"And what made you think anyone would want to participate in a fashion show?"

Cuddy smiled. "I think Dr. Cameron might be interested in the fashion show," she said not noticing the way House's face contorted nervously at the mention of Cameron.

"And why is that?" he asked curiously.

Cuddy looked at him closely. "You didn't read the rest of the memo?"

"Uh, no," House said obviously.

"We're throwing the benefit to raise money for Dr. Sebastian Charles and his TB clinic in Africa."

House rolled his eyes in irritation. "I can't stand that man," he said under his breath trying to ignore the way he was reacting to the idea of Charles being anywhere near Cameron again.

"It's tonight, you're coming. Get over it," Cuddy said smiling.

House groaned and threw his hands up in the air. "Why am I just now hearing about this damn thing?" he demanded.

Cuddy sighed. "Maybe because you pissed Cameron off with your whole 'fake cancer' stunt; and she's so angry, she's refusing to play secretary for you any longer. Then, there's also the fact that everyone else is just as pissed at you as she is, so they're not talking to you either. Maybe, if you ever came out of your office or put the damn Game Boy down, you'd have seen the fliers posted all over the hospital. Or maybe if you'd have taken the ear buds out of your ear and turned the I Pod off for two seconds you'd have heard people talking about it as well."


"It's at eight o'clock. Be there. Tux included. Don't be late because I plan to add an extra hour of clinic duty onto your schedule for every minute you're late..."

"And be on your best behavior, don't embarrass this hospital, yada yada yada. I got it," he snapped bitterly and turning to leave.

"And be nice to Dr. Charles," she called out to his retreating form. She was simply rewarded with a slammed door.


Wilson turned the corner heading towards his office tiredly. It turned out not talking to House was equally as exhausting as talking to House. He groaned in frustration when he saw House standing at his door waiting for him. "What do you want?" he asked grumpily.

House cocked one of his eyebrows at him. "You know, I don't remember you being this mad at me before. You know, when you came to me telling me that I needed to start small and have dinner with a friend, while you oh so subtly pointed at yourself. Where'd that Jimmy go?"

Wilson rolled his eyes. "He's been too busy cleaning up the mess you made. And I am mad at you House! You faked cancer! You hurt everyone around you so you could get a drug implanted in your head. "

House rolled his eyes. "I know what I did. But I never meant for any of you to find out. And you know that!"

Wilson shook his head. "It doesn't matter. Now, what do you want because I have patients."

House sighed. "A fashion show. Are you kidding me?"

"It's what Cuddy wanted House. And honestly, you should be all for Cuddy getting what she wants considering what she did for you."

House groaned. "But it's a fashion show...for Sebastian Charles."

Wilson sighed. "The fact that you hate the guy doesn't make his cause any less important."

House rolled his eyes. "Actually I think it does."

"Of course you do House..."

"He's not coming here for a benefit. He's coming back hoping to drag Cameron back to Africa with him," House snapped frustrated.

Wilson smiled evilly at House. "You're jealous. You think she's going to take him up on his offer this time," he said before snorting out a laugh. "Kind of makes you wish you'd waited until next week to fake brain cancer doesn't it," Wilson said before walking into his office and shutting the door in House's face.


"I can't..." Foreman said exasperatedly. "Wendy we've been over this. I'm not ready for the level of commitment you want from me... No I don't think we can be together again... Because I don't want to be with you...Seriously Wendy crying isn't going to make me change my mind... Stop calling me," he said before hanging up.

"Can't shake her can you?" Cameron said from behind.

Foreman shook his head startled. "No. I really can't."

Cameron nodded. "I understand. I finally convinced Chase I wasn't serious when I suggested a casual sex relationship with him on Valentine's Day."

Foreman looked at her in shock. "You what? No, never mind I don't want to know," he said quickly.

Cameron nodded and started walking back towards the Diagnostic Department, Foreman following beside her. "So, did Cuddy talk you into modeling at this thing too?"

Foreman sighed. "Yeah. Ironically, I just got done explaining to Wendy that I didn't want to be in a committed relationship, and Cuddy has me playing groom to some bride. You?"

Cameron smiled. "I haven't seen my dress yet but I've been told it's gorgeous."

Foreman smiled at her. "I'm sure it is. So are you excited to see Sebastian Charles again?"

Cameron smiled and shrugged. "I guess so," she said. She opened her mouth to say something else, but was interrupted by House bursting into the room.

"Daddy thinks it's time you kids stopped with the silent treatment," he said glaringly.

Cameron looked back at Foreman. "Excuse me," she said before turning around and storming back out of the conference room.

Foreman watched House watch her go; and surprisingly, he thought he saw a hint of sadness on his face. He sighed and looked away from House.

Guess she's still mad," House said under his breath and started to head for his office.

Why shouldn't she be?" Foreman snapped forcing House to stop walking and face him.

"Finally, someone other than Cuddy and Wilson cracked! Personally, I thought it was going to be Chase," House said smiling widely.

Foreman cut his eyes at House. "You're an ass, you know that right?"

House shrugged. "Well... yeah."

Foreman groaned. "You didn't really expect her to just bounce back did you?! You faked cancer House! She cares about you. She was petrified at the thought of you dying."

House shrugged. "Ok," he said simply before walking into his office and shutting the door behind him.

Foreman stared off after him incensed that the only thing House had to say for himself was 'Ok'.


Cameron smiled happily as Sebastian Charles entered her line of view. "Sebastian!" she said walking towards him.

Sebastian smiled at her before engulfing her in a hug. "Allison. I've missed you," he said happily.

She smiled warmly. "How's the clinic in Africa?"

He shrugged his shoulders. "I'm not saving enough people. Things could be better."

Cameron smiled softly. "You can't save everyone."

He sighed. "I know but we could save more. What about you? How's work here?"

Cameron sighed. "It's fine."

"And you still find working with House stimulating?" he asked snidely.

Cameron winced. "It's definitely something."

Sebastian shook his head. "I can't believe you find working for a man like that rewarding."

Cameron let out another sigh. "You just don't know House, Ok? I've done some things I'm not proud of since you've been gone, and he's never used them against me," she said ignoring the voice in her head that said 'except sleeping with Chase'.

"And you never stopped to think that maybe House's influence was what caused you to do such things?"

Cameron groaned before pulling him back into her arms and hugging him tightly again. She pulled back and smiled at him. "I missed you, too," she uttered trying to change the subject then added, "So, I hear there's going to be dancing at this thing."

Sebastian smiled widely at her before walking them both towards the clinic. "Let's hope you don't have two left feet," he said jokingly.


Wilson looked at Cuddy closely. "You're punishing him."

Cuddy simply nodded. "Yes," she said plainly. "House hurt everyone here with his stunt." I even let him grab my ass she added silently. "So, when Sebastian Charles called to discuss his TB medication, I offered our hospital up for a fundraiser. He seemed so excited about it, and I got a thrill out of the fact that House would hate it."

Wilson looked at her surprised. "What if he doesn't show?"

Cuddy scoffed. "Are you kidding? His fellows are in a fashion show. That's at least a month's worth of mocking material. He wouldn't miss this," Cuddy said knowingly.

Wilson smiled. "No, he wouldn't," he said unsure of why he didn't realize that himself. Then he looked over at Cuddy worriedly. "You know, this has the potential to end very badly. I mean, House genuinely dislikes Charles. I'm still unsure why but he does. And he's been acting so weird lately. Charles may just set him off."


Cameron looked at her dress, carefully inspecting every inch of it making sure there was nothing wrong with it. The last thing she wanted was to be walking down the runway and have some embarrassing wardrobe malfunction. Satisfied that it was still in prefect condition, she zipped the garment bag back up and carried it out of the conference room.

After Sebastian had gone to help Cuddy set up for the benefit she had gone back up to the Diagnostics Department in hopes of getting some work done. But it hadn't taken her long to realize that with House in the next room sitting at his desk playing Game Boy she couldn't focus on anything. Saddened by the fact that they currently had no case and the clinic was unusually quiet and empty, she headed up to the Immunology Department. After discovering that they also had no use for her, she stormed back down to Diagnostics and gathered her belongings. She strode over to the white board and picked up one of the forbidden markers. After writing "Gone home" and signing her name, she left the hospital and headed home.


House stared at her writing on the white board and sighed. The silent treatment was really bothering him, which was weird because normally he was begging people to shut up and leave him alone. He hated that he actually understood why she was so angry. He had allowed her to make a fool out of herself while he kept his mouth shut and let her think he was dying. He regretted that, but he wasn't about to let her know it. He didn't know what in the hell he was thinking letting her kiss him, and even worse he couldn't figure out why he had kissed her back the way he did with so much intensity.

He looked over at the clock and noticed it was late enough that he could leave without thoroughly pissing Cuddy off and gathered his stuff also. He was grateful that he hadn't been forced to converse with Charles yet, but still cringed as he passed two nurses who were gossiping about how cute he was and how lucky that Dr. Cameron must be since it was so obvious he wants her. Rolling his eyes and shoving any hint of jealously down deep, he left the hospital and headed for home. He arrived there about ten minutes later and began pulling out the clothing he'd need for the benefit.

He contemplated how bad it would really be if he actually didn't show up for the benefit. Cuddy had threatened him with clinic duty but nothing else. He already didn't do his clinic hours. He could even make Chase do the extra ones instead. Happy with his decision not to go, he sat down with a glass of scotch and flipped through his Tivo. Landing on a rerun of General Hospital, he smiled a half smile and got comfortable.