Chapter II - The Arrival of The Heroes
Suresh, Peter, Claire, Hiro, and Ando
Somewhere in New Jersey
"She's psychometric." Suresh told the others. Everyone who was included in the "Save Dr. Allison Cameron Mission (as dubbed by Hiro)" gathered in the small dining area in their rented apartment, eating a simple dinner of spaghetti and muffins. Based on the information that Peter was able to get and the power that he was able to duplicate, there was no mistake about it, Dr. Allison Cameron is a psychometric. And she was an especially strong psychometric in fact.
Claire poured more iced tea on a glass and handed it to Hiro who was eating a muffin she baked earlier. "So, you're saying that just by touching a person or any object touched by anyone, she can learn everything about you?"
Suresh nodded "Your past, your present, and even your future; its like watching a movie or TV show. Based on how Peter described it, I can pretty much say that its not even developed properly yet."
"She was wearing gloves." Peter added, as he too grabbed a muffin from a nearby platter, "I think she can't even control it fully." He then handed a napkin to Ando who had spaghetti sauce on his chin. "You eat spaghetti using chopsticks?"
Ando shrugged "Sidekick's quirks."
"I can imagine why Sylar would want such an ability." Mused Suresh "He can find people like you easily. All he needs to do is to ride a bus or a train and just grab on anything, chances are he'd get a reading on someone with abilities."
Peter nodded in agreement. "Not only that, but that ability is a treasure trove of information. Knowing Sylar, he'd do everything to develop it and use it to find out if there would be more like us born in the future."
"That's crazy." Claire said. She remembered her own brush with Sylar, she came close to die then and her brain would have been a great snack for the madman. With her ability to regenerate her cells, Sylar would have been indestructible. It was a good thing that Peter decided to risk everything and rush out to Texas to save her. Now another one like them needed help and protection, Claire was willing to bet that Peter would not need prodding in order to save the doctor.
Unlike her biological father who didn't give a damn about people he didn't know. Nathan Petrelli was lucky his brother risked everything on a mindless quest, or Nathan would have lost a daughter he never even met. If she were of legal age, Claire would NEVER vote for Nathan Petrelli in a million years.
"We go to save the doctor." Hiro chimed in. He really was into this 'Hero' thing, he left everything: his country, his job, even his family and their money just so he can save the world. Hiro believed that his kind was special and that it was their duty to use their abilities for the greater good. Bringing over his best friend, the two embarked on a cross-country tour to help and eventually meet up with the 'Heroes.' In a way, this shy young man endeared himself to everyone, just like sir Galahad the pure-hearted knight in the company of King Arthur.
Of course, being Japanese, Hiro would much rather prefer to be compared to a samurai or ninja.
"We definitely have to meet up with her and save her." Peter said. "She has to learn how to control her abilities, it's the only way she can safeguard herself from Sylar."
"We go tomorrow!" Hiro said.
"Great enthusiasm," his best friend, Ando said dryly. "But just how can you go and explain yourself without freaking her out? She works in a hospital you know. You can't just teleport inside."
"Suresh is a doctor. Besides, if Dr. Cameron is one of us, chances are she's open to weird stuff." Claire supplied hopefully, but the Indian cut her off gently.
"I'm a professor of genetics, I don't think that's a good idea."
"She has clinic duty tomorrow."
Suresh looked at Peter then, "Well, I think I just might have a way."
Greg House and Jimmy Wilson
"Just admit it House, you're interested in Cameron."
House took a drink of his beer instead of answering immediately "Right, I just couldn't get enough of her at work and I was so sad that she didn't speak to me today."
Wilson rolled his eyeballs at the sarcastic quip. "Newsflash House, she hasn't been talking to you for several months now. Aside from the differentials you and your team makes, that's the only interaction you get out of her."
"She hasn't been hanging out with the other ducklings as well." House said as he surfed the TV channels for a decent show. "Neither Foreman, Chase, nor anyone. Ms Popularity is suddenly Ms Introvert."
"Considering her history with Chase, I don't think she's ready to interact with him anytime soon." Wilson replied as he tried to grab the remote with no success.
"So does that mean she slept with Foreman and you as well?" House said as Wilson choked on his beer "'Coz she's hardly talking to you either."
"Well I don't know about Foreman," Wilson grumbled as he looked at House carefully "but I didn't think that one night would get in the way of my friendship with Cameron." At House's disbelieving glare Wilson laughed, "See? That's not fascination of a puzzle House, that's jealousy and concern speaking."
"And that is my beer you're bumming, Jimmy."
"I bought it over, Greg. Technically its mine."
Both were silent for a while until Wilson spoke. "Watching the L word on mute is no fun House."
"Which one of them?"
Wilson, realizing that House was warming to the topic said nothing and instead just grabbed a handful of chips. Being friends with him for a long time taught Wilson to never say anything when House was on the verge of saying something. You don't force House to talk; you WAIT for him to talk.
"She's hiding something; she's become a neat freak, wiping every surface in sight. Her answers are ambiguous, never yes or no. She diverts the topics when it comes close to her behavior and herself. She's become extra caring to patients."
"Well, she can't be sick." Wilson ventured "She hasn't ask for a consult from me, if that's what you're thinking. Nor do I have patients that she knows in any way. Is it affecting her work?"
House shook his head "Nope. In fact, she's become better professionally." At Wilson's silent question, House continued. "She's better in the sense that she is more observant of the patient; she's concerned about the little things that makes them tick. She's even faster in recognizing the diseases than Foreman or Chase."
"Well, maybe she's studying and getting better House. Did it occur to you that maybe, Cameron wanted to become better than you?"
House frowned slightly. "I did, but Cameron... she's not the type who would go to that lengths for no reason at all."
Wilson snorted "No reason? House, Cameron had a thing for you. She thrives on getting validation from you. She knows you love puzzles; maybe she wanted to show you that you couldn't figure her out." He paused to take another drink before continuing, "Of course, knowing you, you'd obsess over the change. Or maybe, you're just over-analyzing things and you just don't want to admit that you ARE interested in her."
PPTH Hospital (The next day)
Unlike other doctors, Cameron enjoyed working in the clinic. She makes it a point that all her patients are comfortable with her and she assists them in small problems that have medical relevance. That day was no different, and she was heading towards the clinic when she met up with the hospital administrator, Dr. Lisa Cuddy.
"Dr. Cuddy, good morning."
"Good morning to you as well. I am so glad that it's you who's working in the clinic today. At least I can be assured that there won't be any lawsuits today."
Cameron laughed, "Don't worry about lawsuits Dr. Cuddy. However, I must warn you, I can't diagnose ten people in under five minutes. I'm not THAT good."
Lisa Cuddy rolled her eyes "Please, don't tell me I haven't noticed."
Cameron was confused "Noticed what?"
"That you've become better. Most of the suggestion regarding tests and cases this past few months have come from you. Cameron, you're getting better and better. Even House noticed it."
Feeling the cold hand of fear grab her by the neck, Cameron schooled her features into what she hoped was of delighted innocence "He noticed I was getting better? He, he told you?"
Cuddy smiled "Not exactly, House would never admit that he noticed one of his fellows improving. He asked me if you were applying for a position as Department Assistant in Immunology. Are you interested Cameron? I know your fellowship is still for a year, but if you want to step up or something -
Relief flooded Cameron temporarily, "No. Not like that Dr. Cuddy." She told the older woman, "I mean, I've been studying, but I feel like as of now, diagnosis is the thing for me. Its too early to think of applying for a position."
"Oh nonsense, there's no rule that you cannot apply for a position when you're scarcely 30. If you deserve it, who's to say you can't? But if you're not interested, I advise you to continue studying and prepare for the certification exam so you can qualify for a position easily." Cuddy smiled proudly "Of course, do all you can to learn more from House, I'm sure it will be for the best."
As Cuddy walked off, Cameron leaned against the wall and took deep breaths. It was a close call, if she slipped anymore; it was obvious that House would soon figure her out. Cameron had no intention of being labeled as a freak, even if it meant House being interested in her. Squaring her shoulders and plastering a smile, Cameron headed to the nurse's station to get her patient's chart.
"Exam Room 2, Clarisse Johnson." The nurse told her.
Looking into the chart, Cameron headed to the room. Opening the door, she came across a young blonde girl who was in her late teens. She was a pretty girl and she was calmly sitting down with a rolled up jacket covering her arm. Beside her stood a tall, dark man that was of Indian descent. "I'm doctor Cameron, Clarisse Johnson?" she asked as she took off her day gloves and snapped on the latex gloves.
The teen nodded "This is my professor, Dr. Suresh."
"Doctor? What's your specialty, if I may ask?"
The Indian smiled "Genetics. I deal with changes in genes and DNA."
Cameron nodded and smiled as well. "So, Clarisse, your records are not that comprehensive, is this your first time here in our hospital? We'll be needing a blood sample later."
"I got a cut." Clarisse said, holding up her arm.
Cameron gently peeled the jacket off. "Oh god!" she exclaimed breathlessly. The girl's arm was full of cuts and blood. The cut was so deep that her bone was showing. "We need to take you to the Operating Room." She made a move to step outside, but the girl used her other hand to stop her.
"No. It won't be needed." Claire said quietly, "trust me on this."
To Cameron's surprise, the girl's arm slowly healed. The muscles grew and covered the bone, then the skin patched itself up and the blood slowly went back in. Seeing what happened, Cameron staggered backwards. Instead of moving more backwards, she hit something she could not see.
"Please don't make a noise." The voice whispered. To Cameron's greater surprise, Peter Petrelli materialized in front of her eyes.
Peter nodded. "We'll explain everything if you want."
If she wanted to? Cameron almost bubbled up in hysterical laughter. For six months she had been looking for an explanation of any sort. Not knowing where to go and what to do, she just kept everything to herself.
Before Cameron could say anything, two Japanese guys appeared in the room, and it took everything she had not to jump up and scream. One was wearing a simple black pants and a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and a blue tie. The other was a bespectacled man wearing similar clothes but he wore a jacket and had a sword sheath strapped behind him.
Hiro immediately stepped in front of her and shook her hand enthusiastically. "Hallo Dr. Allison Cameron! I, Nakamura Hiro, nice to meet you!" At Cameron's speechless surprise, he stepped back a bit to let her digest his teleportation exhibition. "You very pretty!"
"We're just like you." The girl said. "My name is not Clarisse, its Claire."
"Like me? You're like me?" Cameron asked.
Dr. Suresh stepped up and nodded "We know that you're special. You're a psychometric, Allison Cameron." He looked at the others. Last night, they came into an agreement that they will not let Allison know about Sylar because it would only traumatize the poor doctor. Instead, they planned on helping her develop her abilities before letting her in on the threat on her life. "All of you are like me?"
"Well, not all," Peter said, "but we know a lot more who are just like us. It may seem difficult, but we do exist. We try to hide it from others, but we continue to look for those who need guidance in dealing with these abilities."
"We can help you." Claire added. "We are aware that you are still unable to control your powers fully. Dr. Suresh is developing a vaccine that can help you control your powers by inhibiting them a bit while you try to get a hang of it."
Dr. Suresh looked knowingly at Cameron "We will try our best to explain to you the changes in your DNA and your life. However, we know that you need time to digest everything, so we won't pressure you to make a decision immediately."
"If you want, we'd like to invite you for dinner later." Peter said. "Just tell me later if you want to join, I'll pick up from your department."
Of course, Cameron had no idea that Peter offering to pick her up was a way to make sure that if Sylar showed up, he could defend her from any attack. By copying Hiro's ability to teleport, Sylar would be unable to follow them and thereby making sure that the others would be protected as well.
Cameron's mind on the other hand, was in a whirl. Six months ago, she was afraid that she was alone in developing and understanding her abilities. Now, in just one day, she met three people who were just like her. Deep inside her, Cameron believed that she could trust them, especially after seeing their efforts in making her feel less of a freak. "I'd like to join you guys for dinner."
The others smiled. "That's great." Peter told her, "I'll pick you up at seven then."
Relief flooded Cameron's features. "Seven would be great."
It was a rather uneventful day by House's standards. They had no case, he had no clinic duty, which meant that he was free to watch TV and play his video game the whole day.
Chase had left earlier, muttering about a date with an accountant while giving Cameron small glances. Judging from his dejected look as he left, House can say that the female immunologist didn't care about the Aussie's date. Like the others in the hospital, House expected and counted on the two to end up together, as they were, technically, a good match. In fact, he was pretty sure that whatever kids the two would have would definitely be good-looking and passably intelligent as well. Of course, there was a possibility that Chase's wimpy genes and Cameron's naïve idealism would be passed along the unfortunate kids as well.
"You're not going home yet?"
House looked up to see Wilson at his office door. "In a while, I relish the solitude of my office."
"Mind if I crash in then and SHARE it with you?"
Giving his best friend a suspicious look, House asked him "Why would that be?"
Wilson stepped in and sat on the chair opposite his friend "I don't know, maybe because Cameron is still in the office?"
"Cameron left even before Foreman."
"Then why is her coat still in the next room, and the new nurse is waiting outside?"
"What new nurse? Your nurse or Foreman's?"
Wilson smiled a secret smile that irritated House to no end. "A guy nurse House. Peter Petrelli, the newest heartthrob of PPTH."
"A MALE nurse? What a loser."
"He happens to be a good nurse, House." Wilson explained, as he took hold of a paperweight on the table and looked at it. "Comes from a rich, affluent family. Seems like they're going on a date."
"Perfect, Homecoming Queen meets her match. What's the extent of his damage?"
Before Wilson could retort, Cameron stepped inside the room. She changed her clothes and was now wearing close fitting pants, gloves, and a fitting, black V-necked blouse underneath a light coat. She stopped and saw Wilson, so she walked over to the next room "Hey Wilson, you're still here?"
"Big date?" House interrupted, earning a pointed look from Wilson. "Hmm, you're wearing a low-cut top tonight. You plan on getting lucky?"
Cameron just glared at him "Peter's taking me out for dinner."
"Have fun then." Wilson managed to say before the conversation got out of hand. The three turned in time to see Peter walk by and wave to Cameron. "So...Peter Petrelli...Cameron, all the nurses will be after your blood."
Laughing, Cameron just shook her head "I'm a big girl, Wilson. Don't worry too much. Well, good night then Wilson, Dr. House."
"Don't do anything that I won't do."
Cameron spun to face House. "Gee, that's such a short list." Then she walked back to get her things before going out to meet Peter.
House and Wilson looked on as Peter chivalrously took Cameron's things and said something that made Cameron blush and smile. After that, he held out his arm and as she took it, the two went on their way.
Wilson then looked at House.
House said nothing, and instead he just continued playing his video game.
"They seem to make a great couple." Wilson baited, waiting for a reaction from House.
"Well I don't know." House said hesitantly before rolling his eyes, "My ideal couple happens to be Dumb and Dumber."
A/N: Yes, it's slow as well. I really can't pick up the pace yet. Hopefully, I will be able to next week, but I'm busy with work. I really need reviews.