A/N: Stream of consciousness-esque. Tuesdays.
One of the things he truly hated about Cameron, Chase decided as he put his empty glass on the bar, was that she was genuinely nice. She was the type of person who held doors for little old ladies and left milk out for stray cats. She'd read David Copperfield to orphans and say "Good night you princes of Maine, you kings of New England," if given the chance. Cider House Rules had been on last night so Chase had it stuck in his head. It's not like had anything better to do, he figured, no girl, right? No girl because she was too nice to everyone but him. As he'd said all those weeks ago, she cared for puppies, but not him, not him.
"Can I get another?" Chase called to the bar tender, gesturing to his empty glass which had formerly held some type of dark beer which was weak piss compared to Chase's personal stash. Chase had no idea why he was even in this bar. Watered down beer was not going to get him drunk and if that was his purpose he might as well have stayed home and gotten drunk there. His cousin Eva had brought him some decent brews which her father made when she visited last from the Czech Republic. He only had a couple bottles left, so maybe that was why he was here and not at home finishing the last of his decent quality beer. Then again, did he really want to get drunk? It was only Tuesday, he had to work tomorrow.
Tuesday, oh yes, that was why he was here. He had decided to make Tuesday the day he was most blatantly a masochist, though he supposed everyday was masochists' day since he did work for House and you had to be a glutton for punishment to do that. He'd asked her out once again, bad circumstances, even worse than usual. It wasn't a "doing labs so I'm going to slip the 'I like you' thing in," it was a "we're having an argument so I'm going to have the worst timing ever while we run labs" Tuesday.
"I really should cut you off soon," the bar tender said, refilling his glass.
"I live around the corner, I didn't drive," Chase told the bar tender. Chase experimentally tested his reflexes anyway, just to see, and found he was tipsy at worst. Driving wouldn't be the best thing at the moment, but he was fine enough to do it if necessary though it wasn't tonight since he literally did live around the corner.
Chase took a moment to think about his apartment. It was a studio and a small one at that but he supposed he didn't need anything more. He only used his bed, TV and fridge. Home sweet hell hole. The hospital was more of a home than the place he was supposed to sleep, but that didn't really matter since Chase was unsure what he'd do with himself if he had more free time. He didn't know anyone in Princeton, not really. He could still pass for a co-ed so occasionally he went to parties on campus, usually managing to come home with a girl, but beyond that he didn't really do much.
What he would do after his fellowship was up? Chase had no idea. He had no idea what he wanted to do with his life and he was ok with that. He liked not having a plan. When he'd decided to come to America, it had been because he'd gotten into a row with the chief resident at his hospital in Australia, Chase had picked up his meager things, consisting mainly of clothing and laptop, and moved to a hotel where he'd promptly sent a resume to every hospital in America looking for an intensivist. Within a week he'd been in America for interviews and another week after he'd had a job. He had no family, no close friends, no plans to tie him down.
That was one thing had he hated about this Cameron thing, when he was around her, he began to think about the future. When he thought about her he started thinking more than just a week ahead and he hated that, he felt so trapped, and yet he could not stop. Because of her kind tendencies and because she was who she was, he could not stop thinking about her. She was the first girl he'd met since secondary school he wanted to spend more than a week with. He actually wanted to still be with her in a month, in a year, in ten years, and a decade was a very long time. Chase had no idea why this was, but it had happened and he didn't understand it but if she was the first woman he'd felt this for, then there must be a reason. Chase followed his gut and his gut had got him here, so there must be a reason why he loved Cameron.
"Cheers darlin'" he toasted quietly as he lifted the revolting weak beer to his lips. It was almost painful to drink the crap. Maybe he should just give up and go home, he really had no idea why he was here and there was nothing more pathetic than drinking alone like he was. He should have a beautiful girl here that he was chatting up and buying drinks for, instead he was alone, toasting someone who wasn't there.
Maybe he should just go home, to his one room that Cameron had only visited once or twice. Chase made himself down the rest of his drink before slapping money onto the counter to cover the evening and what a crappy evening it had been. Chase got up slowly from the bar stool, deciding that walking up right was indeed possible and not really that challenging at the moment. Putting his hands in his pockets, he walked out and around the block, down two more to where he slept. He let himself into the building, climbed a flight of stairs and moved toward the back of the building. It was the cheapest apartment the landlord had and Chase liked that. He wasn't short on money or anything, he just liked saving it; he supposed this was due to his tendency to make rash decisions and having spare money made rash decisions possible, but he honestly didn't know what he'd spend the money on. Decent beer?
Before this whole Cameron thing, he'd hardly drunk at all. That beer he had at home had been there for a long time and it was only recently he'd begun to deplete it at any measurable pace. He didn't usually enjoy alcohol except socially, having a mother that drunk herself to death tends to do that to you, but since the Cameron thing, he began to occasionally have a bottle after work, to relax. Still, he refused to drink anything besides beer, wine and champagne despite his remarkably high tolerance.
Chase entered his apartment after jiggling the key in the lock since the lock was a piece of shit the landlord had promised to have looked at but Chase was too busy to keep on him to change it. Chase was pretty sure his usual way of getting into apartments would be more effective than his key on most days, but today the universe and the door decided to pity him and so he was let into his flat with less trouble than usual.
As soon as he got the door open, Chase worked like clock work. Mail was picked up from the floor while his other hand began to work on loosening his tie. The tie was placed on the second chair back and the mail on the table to be sorted in the morning which he passed on his way to the fridge. He opened the fridge with one hand while he reached for a glass from the cupboard with the other. Glass placed on the counter top next to the fridge, Chase removed the gallon of chocolate milk which was virtually the only thing in the fridge and poured himself a glass. He downed it with one hand while loosening the top buttons of his shirt with the other. His second glass Chase drank more slowly, falling out of the automatic moves.
He'd rickets as a child, or so his mother had told him. His mother hadn't really noticed for a while and had ignored his nanny's insistence that young Robert should be taken to the doctor. The doctor, who was finally notified nearly half a year after Nanny began to notice problems, quickly prescribed a teaspoon of cod liver oil to reverse the condition. He'd been rather young, since he didn't remember it at all, but apparently he'd refused to take the medicine so Nanny had mixed it into chocolate milk which the doctor told Chase later was another good source of the vitamin D he was missing so here he was, years later a rickets free, still drinking chocolate milk religiously since he honestly did love the stuff. Cameron had made fun of him, calling him a child.
She thought him very child-like, didn't she? Just today she'd accused him of sabotaging Foreman for the hell of it. Did she honestly think so low of him? Contrary to popular belief, Chase was rather fond of the neurologist despite the fact that Foreman had made it clear they were not friends. Chase supposed ideally as he sipped his chocolate milk that this was one of his major failings. When he formed an opinion about someone, it was very hard for him to change it. It had taken a punch in the face from House to make Chase wary of his boss and Chase knew he was still much more loyal to House than he really should be.
Putting the glass in the sink to be washed in the morning with his morning dishes, Chase replaced the milk in the fridge. He really did have very little in there, which made him very sad. Growing up he'd gotten rather good at cooking since his mum was usually not in any condition to cook and the maid left promptly at five and stated very clearly that it was not her job to cook though she did keep the fridge well stocked. Though he was no genius and a horrible baker, Chase fancied himself a rather good and inventive cook since most of the time he hadn't really used recipes. Cooking was one of those things Chase liked to do though he would admit it to no one but his schedule at work was so hectic it really wasn't worth buying food that would go bad and usually by the time he got down to the market it was closed anyway. The only real perishable he had was his gallon of chocolate milk and a pint of the regular stuff for his cereal in the morning. Everything else was dry goods, to be cooked up at a moment's notice if need be.
After a shower, Chase went to put his shirt in the hamper noting in surprise that it was full. It was Tuesday, laundry day. With all the Cameron nonsense, he'd started to associate the day with her and not laundry though he'd originally picked the day to ask her based on the fact that it was laundry day so he wouldn't forget. And now he's gone and forgot laundry day. Chase eyed the near overflowing hamper skeptically. He should have dropped it all off at the cleaners on his way to work since tomorrow they were closed. What laundry cleaner closes on Wednesdays? For the last two weeks he'd forgotten laundry day as well, so the last time laundry had been done was about twelve days ago.
Chase wondered idly if any other than his most ridiculous shirts were clean or if he'd chosen today to wear the last clean one. When he'd moved to America, all his mother's relatives had climbed out of the woodwork where they'd been his entire life and somehow all decided to buy him the most ridiculous work clothing. The only good thing about the clothing, aside from the fact that it meant that he didn't have to go out and buy clothing, was that it was all dry-clean only so Chase didn't feel bad about dropping what amounted to half he was paying in rent to wash his clothing. Where does my money go? Chase thought bitterly recalling his earlier thoughts about his financial status, it goes into laundry. Honestly Chase was glad he didn't have to do laundry since he was horrible at it. Though many people had told him it was impossible, Chase had managed, in the past ten years, to bust four machines to his knowledge and ruin at least ten shirts three of which were destroyed by ripping. On top of that he always lost half his socks whenever he did laundry.
His secondary school girlfriend, the only long term girlfriend he'd ever had, had once tried to show him how to laundry when he'd proclaimed his inability to do it. In the end the basement flooded with water and soap suds and half his clothes were ruined. The girlfriend, name of Alexis, had told him in her most soothing voice while the vein over her eye twitched violently, that it was not his fault and many people had trouble with laundry. After that she'd started coming over to do his laundry since the maid quit. She was the only one he'd had over in years.
Chase tossed the shirt into the piled and resolved to take the laundry in on Thursday and even went so far as to write himself a note to remember though Thursdays weren't particularly nerve-wracking days. It was simply the nature of Thursdays to be good for remembering important things and the nature of Tuesdays to be the day to forget things.
It was while he was brushing his teeth, wondering if he really needed to be doing this since he was exhausted and would rather be in bed that he noticed the red blinking light on his phone, which was rather odd since no one but his landlord and the lady upstairs ever bothered to call him there. He pressed the play button out of sheer curiosity since the landlord had called two days ago to see if everything was ok and he'd just talked to the lady upstairs yesterday.
"Hi Chase," Cameron's voice said through the machine. Chase wasn't even aware that Cameron had his landline number, but he supposed she must since she had obviously left a message here instead of calling his mobile which he would have picked up. Sometimes, Chase thought, Cameron could really be a coward. Actually, oftentimes she would really be a coward. She always ran away when anything ever got scary. Why did he love her again? Ah yes, because she was the type of person who looked after lost puppies. Chase supposed his life would be much easier if he didn't like her, but he did and he didn't really know why though he supposed the puppy bit was part of the reason.
Maybe it was the way she sometimes fell asleep over her work or how she danced in her car, oblivious to the people outside watching, or how she talked to herself when she was stressed or how she grabbed her head and looked down when she laughed very hard and uncontrollably. He shouldn't lover her, she ruined his plan not to have a plan, which was a contradiction he knew but Chase figured he was just pissed enough to contradict himself a bit if he wanted to.
The message was over and Chase hadn't paid attention to a work of it past the greeting and his name, so he hit the button again. "Hi Chase," the message repeated. "It's Cameron. I'm…I'm calling to say I'm sorry for accusing you. I really didn't mean it. I'm sorry. If you get this message, don't call me back or anything, I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry." There was a long pause and Chase could hear Cameron sigh as she took a moment to collect her thoughts. "Look, Chase, Robert, I…" she trailed off. "I'll see you tomorrow…" again there was a pause. Normally elegant Cameron pausing, Chase thought. "Happy Tuesday." With that the message ended and Chase pressed delete.
Happy Tuesday indeed.