Alright people, here's the third - and probably final - installment of the Cameron family clan. No clue how long it will take to get up though. Summer school starts today (I'm taking 9 hours), and training for my new job ends this weekend, so it could be awhile. Then again it could be a week, if I procrastinate school like I used to do. Probably not. Anyways, let me know what ya'll think.
"Good morning, everyone." Elliot comes into the conference room and takes a seat at the table, pulling her lab coat and an energy drink out of her bag, putting on the coat and opening the drink.
"Do we have a case?" Foreman questions the cardiologist's presence in the room, throwing his medical journal on the table, "Frankly I hope so."
"No clue. Just as I got in, Cuddy told me to report here." She glances over at Cameron, noting the large amount of make up beneath her eyes, covering dark circles. "Late night, Dr. Cameron?"
"You could say that." Cameron matches her slight teasing tone, not going any farther with the conversation. The two women have fast become friends, and often their conversations don't last more than a few sentences, which annoys everyone around them. This one is cut even shorter as House limps into the office, shocking everyone.
"What are you doing here so early, Greg?" Elliot speaks up, "did Cuddy promise a night of black leather and whips in exchange?" She receives glares from House and Cameron that somehow come off as death and grateful at the same time. She's still the only one in the hospital that knows of House and Cameron's relationship, and takes pleasure in annoying them with random comments to throw other doctors off their scent. Chase and Foreman sit by with clueless and disgusted looks, respectively.
"Oh, how I wish. No, she just promised me two weeks off clinic duty."
"Just for showing up early?"
"No, for why she had me show up early. Who cares why, it gets me off of clinic duty for two weeks." House hooks his cane over the white board and pours himself a cup of coffee before taking a seat at the table between Cameron and Reed. Before he can make himself comfortable, Cuddy enters the office.
"Alright guys, I'm sorry to have to do this to you given that you've had so many difficult cases and the hospital fundraiser recently, but I'd rather not turn this down." All the doctors except House perk up and give the Dean their attention. House merely slumps farther down in his chair and allows his eyelids to droop. He's startled awake and upright by a smack on each arm from Cameron and Reed. All shake their heads in exasperation as Cuddy continues. "There is a Diagnostics Convention in New York this weekend, and this team has been requested to attend." She falls silent, waiting for the expected reactions. Chase and Foreman merely nod their heads in acceptance, Cameron looks thoughtful, Reed worried, and House… she couldn't identify the look on House's face. She starts with Cameron.
"Dr. Cameron? Concerns?"
"Could I speak with you in private?"
Cuddy nods her head affirmative before moving onto Reed. "Dr. Reed?"
"Mackenzie?" Reed mentions her daughter.
"If your family can't take her then I'll be happy to." Cuddy reluctantly turns to House, dreading what's coming. "House?"
"I'd like four weeks off of clinic duty."
"Fine." Cuddy easily accepts before placing a folder down on the table, "Here are your train tickets, hotel information, conference itineraries, and other information needed for the weekend." She turns and leaves, with Cameron following. They stop just outside the office, just out of earshot to talk. House leans back in his chair, trying to see if he can read their lips. He's interrupted by that when Reed stands up and 'innocently' brushes past him, causing him to topple to the ground.
"What's up, Cameron?"
"Is there any way that I could have an extra day or two in New York this weekend?"
"I've already arranged it. The conference is Saturday, and Sunday. You all leave Thursday morning. Is a day and a half enough?"
"Yes. Why didn't you say something in the conference room?"
"Who knew what House would say? Why did you want the extra day?"
"My little sister goes to Julliard. She's got her summer show on Thursday night. I wasn't planning on attending, but if it's possible…" Cameron lets her sentence trail off.
"You'll be there anyways."
"Thanks, Dr. Cuddy."
"No-" They're cut off by a crash sounding from the room they just left and turn to see House lying on the floor, with Reed standing by just a little too innocently. They laugh and turn their separate ways. Cameron enters the conference room, helps House to his feet, before turning to Foreman, who's reading over the conference literature.
"That's odd." Foreman speaks up, "The conference doesn't start until Saturday morning, but we leave Thursday morning."
"So we get an extra day and a half in New York. If no one objects, I know a great club we can go to Friday night." Cameron speaks up, causing all the occupants in the room to turn and stare at her, causing her to shift under their gazes. "What?"
"Who knew that the queen of work ethics would enjoy two days of rest on the hospital's dime, and she'd willingly suggest going to a club the night before a big conference-" House begins to snark, but he's cut off by Chase.
"Where we're the guest's of honor." Chase looks up from the itinerary before holding it up for everyone to see. "We've got the 10 AM spot on Saturday. A six hour intensive on three cases of our choosing."
"What?!" Even House looks surprised at that piece of news. Cameron is the first one to recover.
"I say that one of our cases be Esther and Ian." She looks at the four other doctors and finds them staring back, "What? It was a big case. House put to rest 12 years of unease… and we saved a 6 year old boy. Plus we diagnosed him with a case that only has what…200 reported cases?"
"202," House quietly states. All the others fall silent, remembering what those two cases did to him. Reed has no clue, and voices her question.
"What?" All the doctors look down, finally Cameron steps up.
"House had a case, 13 years ago; 70 year old woman died, he never figured it out. A year ago, a 6 year old came in with the same symptoms. We had about 8 hours to figure out what was wrong with him before he died."
"What was the diagnosis?"
"Very well," Elliot accepts with no further explanation. "That's one case, two spots left."
"I vote for the Naegleria case." Chase speaks up next. The others look to him in complete ignorance. "Surely you recall the case…it involved Forman nearly dieing."
"Sounds good to me. One left…Foreman, you choose."
"The nun with copper allergy, I suppose."
"What's interesting about a copper allergy?" Reed speaks up once again. Chase takes over this time.
"Nun comes in, has constant allergic reactions, even in a clean room. Turns out that she had a copper cross - a form of birth control pulled off the market in the 80s."
"Embedded in the endometrial tissue and never showed on any scans." Reed completes the sentence.
"As always, you never know it's there unless you know to look for it." All present are shocked by the tone in House's voice as he made the statement. Before anyone can question him on the statement, he turns and makes his way into his office, throwing one last comment over his shoulder at the team. "Better get to whatever research you have to, we leave in two days."
"I'll get the files on the patients." Chase speaks, getting to his feet; Foreman quickly follows.
"I'll go dig up our old notes from the differentials."
"You keep them?" Cameron speaks up.
"Every last one of them. Never know when you'll need them again." The two men leave Cameron and Reed alone in the room. Silence stretches for a moment before the younger woman speaks.
"Twenty bucks says that he was talking about you with that last comment." Cameron looks to Reed before slowly making her way into House's office, locking the door and pulling the blinds as soon as she enters.
"'Never know it's there unless you know to look for it'?" Elliot quotes House's words as she takes a seat opposite his desk.
"I have a problem."
"Well, admitting it is the first step." House glares at Elliot, which she simply smiles back at. "What's the problem?"
"I'm in love with Allison."
"Good for you. You've just admitted what I knew the second I saw the two of you together. So what's the problem?" House doesn't say anything. "You haven't told her. What is your problem?! You have possibly the greatest woman in the world and you can't even tell her that. Did Grandma drop you on your head as a baby?"
"No, but I wouldn't be surprised if my dad did."
"Greg…she loves you, you obviously love her, what are you afraid of? Do you not want the others to find out?" House remains silent, averting his gaze. "That's it, isn't it? If you tell her how you feel, then you think you'd have to out your relationship, and you don't want to deal with the opinions of the hospital."
"When have I ever cared about other people's opinions?" House tries to redeem himself.
"Apparently now." Elliot stands and moves to the door. "Greg, if you don't let others in, you're going to wind up alone for the rest of your life. And Allison doesn't count. Because after what you've just said, she's still on the outside."
She leaves House alone to ponder what she's just said. House opens his desk drawer and pulls out a photo hidden in the back. He's so engrossed staring at the photo of him and Allison from Karaoke night that he doesn't hear the door to his office open, nor does he notice the shadow falling across him until a voice shocks him out of his reverie.
"Do you have any idea how hot you looked that night?" House turns to find Cameron standing behind him with a grin. House attempts to cover up his shock with a joke.
"Sorry, all I remember is how hot you looked at my place after the fundraiser."
"Can't argue with you there." Cameron takes it all in stride as she takes the seat across from his desk. "What's wrong? Elliot looked pretty grim when she left a minute ago." Cameron rests her elbows on the desk and rests her chin on her clasped hands, waiting for him to answer.
House takes a moment to stare into her eyes, trying to picture her life without her. Realizing that he can't do that, he breaks contact to go digging in his desk drawer again, while speaking to her.
"I have a problem."
"Admitting it is the first step." Cameron unknowingly mimics Elliot's words, causing House to pause his search and glare at her, causing her to giggle. "Sorry, you were saying?" She waves her hand for him to continue.
He digs out a photo frame that still has the price tag sticking on the glass. He distracts himself by prying the tag off, delaying what he wants to say, just long enough to make Cameron nervous. Finally House begins speaking.
"I normally figure things out fairly quickly."
"Except when you're wrong." House once again glares at Cameron, who silently apologizes again, "Yes, when you're right, you figure things out quickly."
"So why did it take me so long to figure this out?" House says to himself, but still loud enough for Cameron to hear.
"Figure what out?" Cameron's voice is barely above a whisper, fearing what's next. House has moved the frame to his lap, preventing Cameron from seeing what he's doing. Finally he finishes and pulls it up so that he can stare at it again. Once again, his silence shocks Cameron into fear, resulting in a new wave of shock when he finally speaks.
"Figure out that I'm in love with you."
HAH! cliffie, sort of... Let's face it, I suck at drama. Anyways, let me know what ya'll think.