Disclaimer: I do not own rights to House M.D or any of its Characters. This is entirely for my own amusement and the result of way too much time that I don't have to be spending writing this. (Disclaimer for future chapters will be omitted.)
Summary: A very "What If" fanfic. Takes place while Allison is in college and figuring out her life. She goes to a lecture that changes the course of her life. This is a House/Cameron fic. Please enjoy!
A/N- For my lovely readers who followed me all the way through the epicness that was "Contagious", I just want to tell you (since you asked quite a few good questions), that the beginning of the sequel to "Contagious" will take place EXACTLY where we left off!.-Andi
P.S- To my new readers... HELLO!-Andi
Chapter One: What am I Doing?
August 30th, 1998
Allison Cameron was a typical Sophomore in college. She lived in a dorm, had a roommate, and was still completely unsure with what she wanted her major to be. Confusion wracked her brain relentlessly. Every day during her summer vacation had been spent contemplating future careers, and reading up on subjects she hadn't studied her Freshmen year. Now, she was back to school and once again she had filled her course schedule with a multitude of classes she was unsure she would ever use.
Her roommate, a girl named Julia Dayze, was watching the girl she'd shared a dorm room with the prior year. "You know," she said as she observed the young woman reading over her new Medieval History book, "there's a lecture in three weeks up state. You wanna go with me?" She offered.
"A lecture on what?" Allison asked, still absorbed in her book.
"Not sure really, but the doctor that's lecturing is a diagnostician from the east coast, and he's suppose to be really good. I'm just not sure what he's going to focus on."
Allison groaned, "It's a medical lecture?"
Julia laughed at her roommate's reaction, "Well, I figured you may be interested since the medical field is the only one you haven't read into."
"I don't handle death very well." She grimaced.
"Come on! Go with me!" Julia lunged and began shaking her friend desperately, "You're the one with the car!" She whined, grabbing her friend's ankle and clinging to it like a toddler.
"Okay!" Allison snapped her book shut. "But I'm not going to understand any of it." She pointed out.
"Don't worry, I'll translate for you." Julia went over to her desk and grabbed one of her anatomy visera books, "Here, read this. I got a bunch of books tuned towards anatomy and physiology when I decided to go into the medical program. You've got a light course load this semester, Ms. I- Got- All- of- My- Pre-req's- Out- of -the- Way- My- Freshmen- Year." Julia flung the book onto Allison's bed. "Now, I've got that cute guy, Joe, to meet for lunch. See you later." Julia grabbed her purse and bookbag for later classes and went to the door, "And don't worry about figuring it out just yet. You've still got time." She assured as she left the room.
Allison sighed. Looking at her Medieval history book for a moment, she set it on her desk and reached for the medical book her roommate had just thrown onto it. Flopping onto the bed, Allison started reading it.
An hour and a half later, Allison was still reading it. She was surprised how quickly she had taken to the information that resided inside the book. Part of her wondered if she really could go into the field, but she pushed it away almost immediately. She knew that she couldn't handle the emotional strain of being a doctor or a nurse. The idea that someone's life was in her hands scared her to death. Even worse, was the feeling she knew would well up when there was nothing she could do at all. How could they do it?
Allison looked at the clock and noted that she had to get ready to go to her next class. Closing the book, she grabbed her required items for her class and went towards the door.
Even as Allison sat in class her mind raced with curiosity towards the knowledge she'd gained in the hour and half she had spent reading her friend's book. Uncertainty weighed her down, and curiosity peaked her interests back into full force. Her stomach felt like it was in an elevator.
That night, when Julia came back to her dorm room, she found Allison on her bed reading the book that she had given her earlier that afternoon. However, it wasn't the fact that Allison was reading it that surprised Julia; it was the fact that she was nearing the back.
"Have you been skimming it?" Julia asked, dropping her purse and bookbag next to her own bed.
"No, cover to cover." Allison replied, absorbed in the magic of the lymphatic system.
"No. WAY!" Julia jumped onto her roommate's bed. "You read that huge fucker in a day!?" She glanced over Allison's shoulder. "You've just got the reproduction chapter left!" Julia glared scornfully. "I hate you. It took me a month to get through that sonofabitch." She flopped backwards. "What's your favorite system?"
"The immune system." Allison closed the book and looked at her friend. "I like the reassuring feeling of how much my body does to keep me from dying." She laughed.
Julia groaned and got off of the bed, heading back towards her bookshelf/desk. "Here, then you'll probably wanna read these two also." She took away the first book and handed her the other two. "Pathology and physiology. Read physio first though. Otherwise patho's gonna kick your ass." Allison nodded and took the books. "Are you sure you don't wanna go into the med program?" She asked.
Allison thought for a moment, "I've actually been wondering the same thing all day." Curling her knees to her chest, Allison grabbed a pillow, resting it on her knees and then her head to the pillow. "It's been a long time that a text book just... Consumed me like that. I don't think I've wanted to learn more about something like I want to learn about the human body." She told truthfully.
"Hmm." Julia thought for a moment, "Okay. How about this. Read those books and then I'll give you my new pharmacology book. If you STILL feel up to it after getting through that bastard," she jerked her thumb at the gigantic pharmacology book, "then I really think you should go for it." She smiled reassuringly, "You know, Ally. I know you said that death makes you uneasy, but I think the medical field would be in great shape to have someone like you."
Allison bit her lip, "I just... I don't know if I could tell someone that their loved one isn't going to make it."
"Yes you can." Julia sat down, placing a comforting arm over her friend's shoulder, "Because you know death, Ally. You know what it's like to lose people too."
"It's not the same." Allison grumbled, "Not saying I didn't love my family members that died, but they were aunts and uncles and grandparents. It's not like I lost my mom or dad or my brothers!" She lamented gently.
"But you know how to be gentle. You know what you'd want to have someone say to you." Julia gave another comforting squeeze of Allison's shoulder. "Come on! Like I said, first try and get through these next three books. Then we'll work on the death thing." Julia gave her friend a nudge and got off of the bed. "Plus," Julia continued as she grabbed her bathroom items so that she could shower and dress for bed, "we've got that lecture we're going to in a few weeks. Maybe that will help you make up your mind?" She offered.
Allison nodded and watched her friend walk out of the room. Picking up the physiology book, she went about reading. Maybe she was finding her way after all?
Much to Julia's irritation, Allison flew through the books she had loaned out. The introduction to pharmacology had given her a bit of a challenge, but Allison had still remained intrigued throughout the entire book. Above all, the pathology had been the most interesting to Allison. Feeling curious as to why she hadn't been turned on to the medical field sooner, Allison began perusing her roommate's books, increasing her curiosity the more that she read.
"How!? How can you not be sure yet?" Julia nearly screamed as they drove up state to the lecture Julia had invited Allison to. "You have read how many of my medical books? You've held coherent conversations with me dealing with health related topics and anatomical terms, and you still aren't sure?"
Allison's hands clenched on the steering wheel slightly. It was true that she had devoured the books that had been supplied to her and retained the information, but her doubts at her own ability to handle the stress of entering the medical field still deterred her towards making a decision. "I just can't." Allison mumbled. "I can't decide."
Julia flopped back against the seat. "You're going to be the death of me." She sighed dramatically, rolling her eyes upwards. "You know what your problem is?"
"Please, oh please, enlighten me." Allison glanced at her friend.
"You're too afraid of everything."
"I am not!" Allison half yelled, "I'm the one that had to drag you onto that ferris wheel at Navy Pier. And if I remember correctly, it was me who had to pin you down when we went and got your ears pierced when I went to get my bellybutton done."
"I mean you're afraid of life-changing things." Julia stated. "You can't pick a major or field of study 'cause you're afraid you'll choose the wrong one and be stuck somewhere or wasting your time with something you don't want to do. You won't go to any parties while you are underage because you are afraid you'll get caught drinking, get arrested, and be marked for life. Hell, Ally, you haven't slept with a guy because you're afraid you'll get pregnant!" Julia was now starting a frenzy, "Don't you see Ally, you're so afraid of life changes that you're forgetting to live! You'll pierce your body cause you know if you change your mind, it will heal over and go away. But you won't get a tattoo because its a commitment."
Julia could see Allison deflating in her seat. The slouching of her shoulders was a clear sign that she had made her point, and that there was no reason to exemplify any further.
The rest of the car ride lacked any real conversation, the only thing keeping silence from winning over was the music on the radio and the sound of the car's engine. Other than that, the only vocalization was the humming of a familiar song that played.
A/N- YAy! Chapter ONE of Mentor has concluded! Please review and tell me what you think! People who read "Contagious", you know what a review whore I am! So show me some love!-Andi