Chapter 18: Love's True Form

"By night one way, by day another …"

A gentle gust of wind began to swirl at Cameron's feet.
As it rose, it enveloped her body in a cloak of fairy dust and small twinkling lights.

And then it vanished, just as quickly as it came.

House watched in awe as the fairy dust settled.
At first his beautiful Cameron appeared unharmed, but then he noticed her leaning awkwardly towards her left side, a metal crutch grasped firmly in her hand. His eyes traveled the length of the crutch, observing her delicate left foot, still clad in its wedding slipper, peeking out from under the hem of her gown at an odd angle.

Their eyes met …
House searching hers for answers …
Cameron searching his for acceptance.

"Congenital hip dysplasia?" he asked quietly.
"Yes," she whispered.

"Well. That explains a lot," he said with a hint of a smile, which Cameron quickly returned, reassured of his love.

"What do you think you're doing?" Cameron fumed, as Lord Vogler lifted her skirt with the tip of his ceremonial sword.

The congregation gasped in horror at the site of her crippled leg.
Vogler shrieked and sheathed his sword, shielding his eyes until her leg was covered once more.

"Ugh! You're a cripple!" he yelled. "You're disgusting! Guards! Guards!"
Vogler's security guards swarmed the chancel.
"I order you to get that out of my sight! Now!" he commanded, pointing at Cameron.
"And while you're at it, get that other cripple, too! Get them! Get them both!"

Cameron was no match for the massive security guards who pinned her arms behind her back. She struggled valiantly, but to no avail.
"No, No. Let go of me! House!" she screamed.

"Wilson, I need help! Hurry!" were the only words House managed to utter before Vogler's henchmen attacked,
sending his cell phone crashing to the floor.

He fought back fiercely with his fists and cane. The guards fell to the floor, one after another.

A right jab to the chest.
An upper cut to the chin.
A sharp poke to the groin.
A blow to the shins.

But as hard as he tried, he was soon overcome by the sheer force of his attackers.

Vogler ranted and raved at the top of his lungs as he paced back and forth across the altar. He stopped before a pedestal where his crown sat waiting, sparkling brilliantly atop a royal blue velvet pillow trimmed with a luxurious golden cord.

"This hocus-pocus alters nothing," he shouted, placing the bejeweled crown on his head.
"This marriage is binding, and that makes me King! See? See?" he said, pointing to the crown as he approached House.

"Let go of me, you morons!" House growled, struggling to get free. "Allison! Arrgh!"

"I'll make you regret the day we met. I'll see you drawn and quartered!" Vogler sneered menacingly. "You'll beg for death to save you!"

"No, don't hurt him. House!" cried Cameron.

"And as for you, my wife…" Vogler spun around, drawing his sword once more, pressing its gleaming tip upward beneath Cameron's chin.

"I'll have you locked back in the tower of Dewey Screwem for the rest of your days!"

Vogler pumped his arms in the air as he faced the crowd.
"I'm King!, I'm King!" was his jubilant cry.
"I will have order! I will have perfection! I will have …" Vogler stopped, alarmed by the sound of booted feet kicking against the chapel door.

"FBI ! FREEZE! DROP YOUR WEAPONS!

"PLACE YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD! NOW!

"AND THAT INCLUDES YOU, LORD VOGLER!

"It's King Vogler, to you commoners," Vogler replied defiantly, as he dropped his sword and complied with the order.

"Your reign of terror is over, Vogler!"
Wilson ran with the FBI agents down the aisle followed closely by Cuddy and Howe. "House, Cameron, are you all right?"

Cameron glared at her captors upon her release, and limped over to House.
"That was good timing, Wilson. Thanks," House said, slipping a protective arm around Cameron's shoulder.

"I can't take all the credit. Howe brought in the FBI"
House's "Thanks Doogie", brought a brief smile to his old friend's face.

"Ha! It's The Three Stooges – Cuddy, Wilson and Howe!" Vogler laughed.
"The perfect pawns for my perfect plan!"

"I'm nobody's pawn, Vogler! No one besmirches my reputation and gets away with it! You pushed me too far this time!"
Wilson asserted, with fire in his eyes.

Cuddy insinuated herself between Wilson and Vogler.
"And how dare you sabotage Dr. Cameron's research after all the years I spent protecting her and nurturing her talent?"
Cuddy seethed, as she repeatedly poked Vogler in the chest with her well-manicured fingernail.

"I'll rip you apart and leave you to rot like carrion festering in the noonday sun," she snarled.
"There's a reason they call me The Dragon Queen, Vogler! And no one, but no one, hurts the man I love!"

"OWWWW!" Vogler howled, as Cuddy tromped on his instep with her stiletto heel. "That's assault! Arrest her!" he demanded.

"I didn't see anything, did you?" the Chief asked, surveying his men, who all shook their heads.

"That's some feisty girl you've got there, Wilson!" House said, giving Cuddy a thumbs up.
"She's one in a million," Wilson said with pride, as he dragged Cuddy away from Vogler.

"Okay, okay. Let's get this show on the road. 'Cuff him!" the Chief ordered.

"Wait! I'm Stacy Warner. Lord Vogler's …"
"King Vogler's …" hissed Vogler, interrupting the attractive brunette.

"King Vogler's attorney. What are the charges against my client?" she demanded.

"How much time do you have, lady?"
Chief Clancy sighed wearily, as he flipped through sheet after sheet in his notepad.

"Let's see … we've got embezzlement, fraud, insider trading, mischief, assault, battery, racketeering and I also have a list of impending charges from FDA and the Securities Commission. Their agents are at headquarters now, awaiting your client's arrest. Now 'cuff him boys and read him his rights!"

"No! That's preposterous! I'm innocent I tell you!" cried Vogler.
As the Feds approached, Vogler grabbed Stacy around the throat and backed down the aisle using her as a human shield.

"I'd advise you to let me go immediately," Stacy hissed.
"Why?" Vogler asked. "Consider this payback for that exorbitant retainer I pay you each year."

"You doctors and nurses always think you're so clever." Vogler laughed at his staff in the congregation. "But I fooled you all, including House!"

House glared at Vogler as he drew Cameron close.
"What do you mean, Vogler? How did you fool me?"

"You think you got your precious little CRIPPLED back, don't you?" Vogler paused and smirked. "Well actually, you did get a little cripple," he said, leering at Cameron, "but not the one you wanted. The deed's a fake!" he chortled.

"Ha! That's what you think, Lord Vogler … and don't try any of that King crap with me!"

"Marjorie?" Vogler muttered, staring at his mousey secretary.

"You chose the wrong victim when you tortured Pharmacist."
Marjorie smiled as reached for Pharmacist's hand.

"When Ms. Warner gave me the bogus deed for you to sign, I knew I had a way to make you pay for everything you put my Pharmie through! I gave the deed to his brother, Lawyer, and voila … I had a legal, binding deed for CRIPPLED in no time!"

"And guess which deed you signed?" Marjorie asked, with a satisfied grin on her face.

Vogler's nostrils flared with fury. "MARJORIE!"

"Aw, quit 'yer bitchin', Lord Vogler. No one's listening!" Marjorie retorted, dismissing Vogler with a wave of her hand.
"Dr. House, CRIPPLED is yours!"

"Enough!" Vogler shouted, backing closer to the chapel door.
"Don't let him get away, men!" Clancy ordered, as his agents ran down the aisle.

Vogler pushed Stacy into the charging Feds, who tumbled like dominoes on top of the stunned attorney.

"YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE! NEVER!"

oOoOo

"STOP OR WE'LL SHOOT!"

The Feds ran down the corridor with Cuddy, Wilson and Howe close behind, as House and Cameron struggled to follow.
They rounded the corner and spotted Vogler at the far end of the hall, punching a code into a keypad on the wall.

Suddenly he disappeared.

"Damn!"
Chief Clancy banged his fist in anger on the secret panel.
"There's a private elevator behind this door. Does anyone know where it goes?"

"I do," said Howe. "It goes to the 10th floor of The King's Tower. I've had a few meetings with Vogler up there."

"Good!" said Clancy. "I want ten men to take the stairs in case Vogler decides to double back, and the rest of you, come with me!"

"What's the scoop, Wilson?" House asked, as he and Cameron caught up with their friends.

"Vogler's headed for his penthouse."
"Let's go!" House frantically pushed the "up" button on the elevator control panel.

"Wait! He could be dangerous. Why don't we let the FBI handle this? I don't want anything to happen to you," Cameron pleaded with House.

"We have to go, Princess. Vogler tried to destroy all of our lives in one way or another. We can't stop now when we've come this far," House said, softly stroking her cheek with his finger.

"We'll take care of each other, I promise."

oOoOo

"Get me my helicopter, stat!"
"That's right! I want you to land on top of The King's Tower, on my private helipad. How long will you be?"
"Two minutes?"
"Make that one and there will be a bonus in it for you!"

Vogler dashed through the suite, dodging linen draped tables set with the finest crystal and silverware, in preparation for the royal wedding reception.

He grabbed his wallet and passport from a bureau drawer, and peered anxiously through the window.

"FREEZE VOGLER! WE'VE GOT YOU NOW!"

"THE EXITS ARE BLOCKED"
"YOU CAN'T ESCAPE!"

"Oh I can't, can't I?" Vogler smirked, as FBI agents poured into the room from the stairwell and the elevator.

A second set of elevator doors opened and House, Cameron, Wilson, Cuddy and Howe stepped out.

"Goodie, Goodie Gumdrops! Now everyone's here!"
Vogler glanced out the window and spotted his helicopter approaching from the south.

"Well I'm afraid I'll have to be going soon," Vogler smiled, as he pulled a gun from his pocket. "It's been very nice meeting all of you, but do not try to stop me."

Vogler reached for the door to his rooftop helipad, but was distracted when he noticed something amiss with the royal wedding cake.

"What's this, my darling wife?" Vogler asked, as he plucked "his" figurine from the top of the cake.

House snorted loudly when he saw Cameron's handiwork.

"Are you mocking me, Princess?" Vogler asked very quietly.
"I didn't feel the original portrayed you in an accurate light," Cameron said defiantly.

"And how did you plan to explain this betrayal at our wedding reception?"
House shielded Cameron as Vogler began to wave his gun erratically about the room.

"HOW DARE YOU HUMILIATE ME!" Vogler roared, taking a violent swipe at the cake with his massive hand.

The ten-tiered cake toppled on contact.
The hardwood floor was instantly covered with a thick layer of cake crumbs, icing and fondant roses.

"DAMN YOU, PRINCESS! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!"

Vogler looked to the ceiling, as he heard the helicopter land on the roof.
"But alas, I must bid you farewell …" he said, with a wave.

"STOP HIM!" ordered Chief Clancy.

As the agents neared, Vogler lunged quickly for the door. His foot sunk into the mucky mound of cake and icing and shot out from under him, sending Vogler flying through the air towards the window.

The moment his massive bulk hit the glass, the window shattered into a million pieces.

Time froze as Vogler stared at his pursuers with terror in his eyes.

"NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
he cried, as he fell backwards through the window. He tumbled and flailed his way down through the sky until he finally stopped, ten floors below.

As everyone stared in horror as they absorbed Vogler's fate, House limped to window and peered over the edge.

"Well, that takes the cake!" he said with a smirk, before making his way back to Cameron

Chief Clancy took one final look around the room, then paused to shake everyone's hand. "C'mon men, our work here is done.
Lord Vogler's just saved the taxpayers one heck of a lot of money!"

"Good luck, folks. Thanks for all your help. We'll be in touch."

oOoOo

"You're free, Princess! You never have to worry about Vogler again," Wilson said, as he watched Cameron and Cuddy embrace.

"I'm so sorry, Allison, I had no idea," Cuddy said tearfully.

"There was no way you could have known, Lisa, and you took good care of me. I'll always be grateful to you for that. And now, if Greg is willing, we can continue our Lupus research together at CRIPPLED," Cameron said, looking at House hopefully.

"I'd like that," House said quietly, as he stood behind Wilson.
"Go ahead, House." Wilson urged, giving House a gentle push towards Cameron.

"Uh, Allison?"
"Yes, Greg?"

House stammered awkwardly, the smiled shyly at Cameron, "I … I love you."

"Really?" she whispered.

"Really, really," he murmured.

"I love you too." Cameron said softly as their lips met for their very first kiss.
"Awww!" Cuddy sighed.

House swept Cameron into his arms as their kiss deepened.
Once again, a gentle gust of wind began to swirl at Cameron's feet. As it rose, it enveloped her body in a cloak of fairy dust and small twinkling lights.

The wind intensified, lifting Cameron up off her feet, through House's arms, as she rose higher and higher, spinning slowly in the air. A beam of light shone from her left foot, then another from her right. Her hands were next, then suddenly a golden ray of sunshine enveloped her body. She looked to the heavens, as she heard these words.

"Until you find true love's first kiss and then take love's true form"
"Take love's true form…"
"Take love's true form ..."
"Take love's true form ..."

House shielded his eyes as the room flooded with light. The beams ricocheted off every surface, diffusing rapidly, exploding violently. Windows shattered throughout the penthouse as the shimmering vortex lowered Cameron gently to the floor.
And then it vanished, just as it came. In silence.

"Duh … there was already a broken window you could have used," snarked a terrified House as he limped to Cameron's side.

"Allison, Allison. Are you all right?" House asked anxiously.

Cameron smoothed her dress as House and Wilson helped her to her feet, then looked at her left arm with dismay.
She still had her crutch.
She was still a cripple.

"Well yes. But I don't understand," she said, as her hand brushed her disfigured left leg. "I'm supposed to be beautiful."

House's face softened into a gentle smile. His azure eyes shone with love as he spoke without reservation.

"But you ARE beautiful," he said softly, then they kissed once more.

"I was hoping for a happy ending …" Wilson said contentedly, as he gave his darling Lisa a long tender kiss.

oOoOo

Princess Allison, I give you this ring, as a token of my love, and a symbol of our marriage. I vow to be loving, faithful and loyal to you, for as long as we both shall live. Whatever life may bring, I will always love you.

Gregory, I give you this ring, as a token of my love, and a symbol of our marriage. I vow to be loving, faithful and loyal to you, for as long as we both shall live. Whatever life may bring, I will always love you.

By the power vested in me by Kingdom of Princeton-Plainsboro, it is my honour to pronounce you … husband and wife.

You may now kiss your bride …

"With pleasure," murmured House, as he carefully lifted Cameron's veil up over her Princess tiara, then smoothed it into place.

"I love you," he said, gathering Cameron into his arms, before brushing her lips softly with his own. Overcome with desire, their lips parted tentatively, their tongues met briefly, until the sound of the judge's subtle "Ahem …" brought them back to reality.

As they slowly ended their kiss, applause and cheers filled the air.
When the organist broke into a joyful rendition of "I'm A Believer", their guests danced and swayed to the music.

I thought love was only true in fairy tales,
Meant for someone else and not for me,
Love was out to get me … that's the way it seemed,
Disappointment haunted all my dreams.

Their wedding day had been glorious.

The sun shone brightly and their friends celebrated joyfully on the banks of the Plainsboro Marsh as House and Cameron watched the festivities beneath an archway adorned with wild ferns and orchids.

They stood hand-in-hand, lost in each others eyes.
House caressed Cameron's face with his long, sensuous fingers.
Every stroke heightened her desire for him. Every touch left him wanting more.

He smiled at her and wordless motioned to his motorcycle that stood glistening in afternoon sun in front of the CRIPPLED lab.

"Shall we?" he asked.
"I can't wait," she replied breathlessly.

And then I saw her face
Now I'm a believer
And not a trace
Of doubt in my mind

They were showered with rose petals as they walked down the aisle. Cameron nudged House gently, when she noticed Wilson and Cuddy locked in a passionate embrace beneath a weeping willow.

They changed their clothes quickly, then returned outside.
House honked the horn on his motorcycle to draw everyone's attention.

"Well folks, we're on our way, because … well, actually … I can't wait to …"
"House!' Cameron scolded, slapping House playfully on the wrist.
"Owww! Cripple here … that's hurts!"
Cameron looked at her own leg and raised one eyebrow as she smiled playfully at House.

Once he was sure Cameron was safely aboard, House joined her on his motorcycle.
"Ladies, it's time to throw my bridal bouquet!"

Howe and Wilson stood at the sidelines, doubled over with laughter as they watched Cindy Palmer and Marjorie jostling each other when Cameron lobbed her flowers into the air.

All eyes turned skyward as the bouquet of daisies floated down towards the dozens of outstretched hands.

"Get out of my way!" shouted Cindy, bumping Marjorie with her hip.
"No. It's mine!" shouted Marjorie. "I want to marry Pharmie!"

Victory was so close, they could taste it!

oOoOo

"Good catch!" Wilson grinned, sliding his hands around Cuddy's waist.
"The Dragon Lady always gets what she wants," she purred, crushing her ruby red lips against Wilson's for a blistering kiss, whilst dangling the bouquet behind his back.

I'm in love
Ooh-aah
I'm a believer
I couldn't leave her if I tried.

"Happy?" House asked.
"Delirious," replied Cameron.
"Shall we ride off into the sunset, Princess Doctor Mrs. Allison Cameron-House?"
"Nothing would make me happier."

Cameron rested her head on House's shoulder as she waved to their friends.

House started the engine and pulled away slowly from CRIPPLED,

She was mesmerized by the beauty of the iridescent hues that filled the dusky sky. Cameron smiled as she wrapped her arms tightly around House's waist.

I will never fear sunsets again …

oOoOo

The fairy tale book glowed softly on House's bed as the newlywed's rode off into the sunset.
When it closed itself, a sprinkle of fairy dust settled on its cover.

"And They Lived At CRIPPLED, Happily Ever After"

The End