Disclaimer: I still do not own House MD, although the scene with Amber was heartbreakingly beautiful. It almost made me like her character—almost. The scene here is a little altered to display what might have happened, or rather an extra add-on to what did happen. So the author's note will explain everything.


Prompt IV. Shiver

"You know, the morgue attendant told me that the dead speak to her. She keeps seeing her mother." Amber's tone is silky and sly, hidden carefully behind a bored expression. But even when feigning carelessness, the only other female doctor can't hide the slight sneer twisting her lip. It distorts an otherwise pretty face, giving it an ugly edge of awareness.

You humor her, haunted memories of an accidental murder still burning a hole in the back of your head. "Hallucination. We've already added that to the white board. Has she exhibited any other symptoms?" Your tone is a little impatient, eyes flickering back and forth between the steady ticking of the clock (it brings back images of a clock ticking, ticking, ticking and a dead man's face staring back from a bed of steel) and your slightly shaking hands. There's a dead silence that follows your question and you turn, an exasperated sentence ready to be said.

A dog's collar greets you.

"You know who else she says she can see? She says she keeps on seeing a man in a wheelchair, with a dog next to him. He says he was killed—murdered." And still, she says it in that singularly sly and infuriatingly neutral way. Your hands clench and your eyes stay riveted to the little red collar. "Oh! How did that get here, you know, that's a little creepy." Amber backs away, her features rearranging themselves into one of honest and complete surprise—innocence.

There is no such thing as ghosts. Humans can't see the dead. The dead don't talk. And red dog collars don't randomly appear in front of the doctor who killed their owners. You want to laugh, throw your head back and say that you've finally lost the last marble rolling around in your brain. But you don't. You reach out for the collar, loved like a past ghost, ignoring your hands as they shake. You've never believed in superstitions. You still don't. The patient in the room is forgotten. The world narrows until it's just you and the voice of a dead man echoing in your ears.

He is your ghost to carry. Your burden.

You know that at least Amber understands that much.

Later, when you're trying to stem the blood pouring out of Irene's mouth as she reacts to the eye test, you think of blond hair and a pair of cunning blue eyes. You think of a too-red mouth perpetually twisted into a cruel and calculating expression.

But all you see is a red dog collar and a man's blood on your hands.

You can't stop shivering.

Word Count: 615

Author's Note: It's been awhile since I last watched the episode, so this can definitely be considered slightly AU. The relationship between Thirteen and Amber has always fascinated me, the way Amber loudly proclaims her hatred and plots to catch her adversary off guard. And Thirteen with a subtle disapproval in her eyes, a slight gesture that denotes her dislike for Ms. Cutthroat Bitch. It's a silent, threatening sort of hatred that ties them together. This was written in second person because I felt I could drive the point home better. The next drabbles/one-shots should all be in third person again. I'm sorry of that threw you guys off. Please continue to review! The comments really make my day.