Disclaimer: I no own [House M.D., you no sue.
Pairing: Hameron (House & Cameron)
Warning: May be slightly OOC, but I'm not David Shore.
(This is my first fan fic, please let me know what you think)
Now On Your Mark
"Oh, come ON!" Dr. Gregory House whined. "Why not send one of the other two little ducklings instead? They're like her older, overprotective, big brothers. And they're far more interested in traveling than I am."
Lisa Cuddy laid back in her desk chair and folded her arms. "Think of it as a vacation. You haven't taken one of those since the day you were hired."
"I can't leave. Who would visit the twins when they rarely come up for air?" asked House, motioning to her low, revealing blouse.
Cuddy frowned. "I'm sure I could survive a month or two without the wonderful comments that would lead anyone else to file a mountain of sexual harassment suits against you."
He pressed on. "Who would reign on high while I'm gone? You can't stick a crown on the village idiots and expect everything in the kingdom to be peachy keen," he said, leaning into his cane.
She half smiled. "I'll put Wilson in charge. Besides, I could use a vacation from you for awhile."
His attacks on the enemy were being shot down. "Who would water my plants and be there to TiVo General Hospital?"
Cuddy scolded him. "House. A) You have no plants, and if you did, I'm sure they'd stand a better chance of surviving in the Sahara Desert than in your apartment and B) TiVo was made to record shows to be enjoyed at your convenience. Oh, that reminds me, by the way, the financial board also turned down your suggestion on supplying Room 221 with the SOAP network."
House looked appalled and saddened. "Poor Mr. Jacobson…"
"Johnson," she corrected him.
"…Johnson."Well, it started with the same letter, he thought. "He has no family, no friends," House continued, pointing a finger at Cuddy, "and you're depriving him of the only love of his life that he has left."
"You don't know anything about what he loves."
"Lucky is his favorite; he told me."
"He did not!" she protested.
"He also wishes you could do something about the pickles they keep putting on the Reubens in the cafeteria..."
"House, he said no such thing!"
"You don't know, you weren't there!" he retorted.
Cuddy threw her arms in the air. "I didn't have to be there! The man's been in a coma for fifteen years! I highly doubt he woke up today and rolled over to tell you his preferences on soap opera character relationships!"
"Fine," he said, "I lied about the soap opera thing."
She sighed, somewhat relieved he dropped the subject. "Thank you."
He twirled his cane and watched it dance in the air. "But he's as serious as an AMI about the pickles!"
She sighed in frustration. "This is asinine! You're making up excuses to avoid an almost all expenses paid vacation!"
"It's hardly a vacation when it requires me to do anything other than sitting on my gorgeous rump, watching Lucky get lucky," he smirked.
She decided to go in for the kill. "What other obligations do you have here that you can't part with, aside from your reign of terror and scorched imaginary vegetation?"
Crap, he thought. She's not going to let this go. "Besides the patients that are dying to be seen by me? Well, someone would have to feed Steve while I'm gone. Would you like to feed the hand that bites?"
"Steve? Your rat died off six months ago, House," she said, rolling her eyes.
"He's a legend! Steve McQueen never died; he just left the cage."
Cuddy held up her hands in surrender. "No clinic duty for a week."
House put on his poker face. "A year."
Cuddy's eyes narrowed. "A month."
House grinned and tapped his cane to the floor. "Deal." It popped back up and he grabbed it out of mid-air and turned to leave.
House grimaced. "Where's this vacation to anyway? Disneyland? The zoo? Your brothel? Or is the zoo your brothel?"
She took a deep breath and held it. This is going to send him into a yelling frenzy, she thought.
His eyes narrowed. "I didn't know there was a need for thee world's most famous diagnostician and his trusty minion immunologist in the lower states filled with people who use toilets as lawn ornaments. Good thing Princeton has two ducklings, and a wombat. I'm sure Chase would be thrilled if you sent him. He's always aiming to go back down under."
"Dr. Cameron knows the details and your road trip starts at 11:59 tomorrow night. The trip is to New Orleans, Louisiana."
His eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped so far Cuddy swore it would detach itself from the rest of his face.
"I don't know if anyone told you this, after you crawled out from under the rock you've been living under, but not even a week ago a giant hurricane destroyed everything down there! We can't go frolicking through the city like a bunch of tourists! Hurricane plus city tends to equal dead and floaty sick people. It does not end up in relaxation or anything close to your idea of a so-called vacation. No way, Dean Funbags! Make Chase go, he's been dying to ride Cameron's emotional roller-coaster again anyway…"
He was surprised at how horribly guilty he felt after saying that, let alone thinking about it. Jealousy was starting to attack him as he thought of Chase and Cameron, so he turned and headed for the door.
Cuddy thought for a moment. "What if I let you take the Freestar?"
House turned back around. "Have you been spending too much time on the psych floor? I think you're starting to catch something. You want me to drive a family van? What do I look like, a soccer mom? No way!"
Cuddy sighed loudly. "Then let Cameron drive and you can be the kid who sits in the back seat and acts obnoxious. It seems more appropriate anyway. I'll call for it to be detailed for you and you can pick it up on your way. You'll need to head for the American Red Cross in Illinois for the paperwork to get you past civilian territory. Just drive the Freestar down there and bring it back, in one piece, when you're done."
House laughed. A month away from Wilson, Cuddy, Foreman and, most of all, Chase. No clinic duty for a month. All expenses paid trip. With Cameron; it sounded better than he would ever admit.
Things were starting to look up for the poor, miserable old soul.
Just then, he glanced behind him as he heard the door squeak slightly. Turning around, he found Cameron looking back at him. She was surprised and a little uneasy to see him standing there, but she continued to cautiously enter the room and approaching her boss's boss. "You wanted to see me?" she asked, keeping her eyes focused on looking at Cuddy.
Cuddy smiled. "I was just filling in Dr. House on your leave of absence plans before he goes downstairs to finish his clinic duty for the week. And he's agreed to sign your paperwork."
Cameron sighed to herself in relief. "Um, thanks."
"Now," Cuddy continued, "Here are the keys to the Freestar. If you let him drive, please don't let him wreck it, it's the only vehicle we've got that's nice enough to take to non-hospital functions." She threw the keys to Cameron and gave her a weary look. She half smiled and went back to the stack of files on her desk.
Cameron stood in shock. "What? He's driving me to Illinois?"
Cuddy gave her a sympathetic look. "To Illinois, to New Orleans, and back. House is going with you."
Cameron's eyes went wide and her bottom jaw dropped a little. She looked at House in disbelief and then turned back to Cuddy, cursing herself for being unable to keep her shock hidden. "But…I-I don't think I have enough money for-"
"I understand. That's why the hospital has covered all of Dr. House's expenses to accompany you there and back," she assured her. Cuddy cleared her throat and turned to the tall, lanky man holding a flamed cane. "That is, Dr. House, unless you find yourself in the company of professional dancers, casinos and bars that are neither free or open. Then, you're on your own. I won't pay for your sinful pleasures. If you want food, gas, and lodging financially covered, bring back all of the receipts and we will reimburse you under the terms of a company trip."
House grinned at Cameron's horrified facial expression. "Well," he said, turning and heading for the door, "I better get going. Big day tomorrow. Places to see, patients to go…Cameron to harass…"
"It better be the other way around!" Cuddy yelled after him. She sighed. Who am I trying to kid? It's always that way with him, why should I expect anything different?
Turning to Cameron, she sighed softly, feeling guilty about doing this to her.
"I'm sorry, Allison, but I can't get him to take time off any other way. He's lonely, but he'll never admit it. He spent one vacation day since the day he was hired, and then he stayed home and watched the travel channel. He'll never cop to it, but he's beginning to burn out. Chase and Foreman wouldn't last any longer than five minutes around him, I can't stand him; he drives me up the wall with sexual comments, and Wilson…" she paused in thought, "Well, let's just say I think he's definitely the closest to House and I think he may need a much longer vacation than all of us."
"Yeah," Cameron replied. She knew how aggravating House could be, and she was amazed, herself, how Wilson continued to befriend him so closely.
"I was just hoping that he could vacation with you, get to know someone else besides Wilson and maybe not be such an egotistical, male chauvinistic, pessimistic, factious pain in my-" Cameron could tell Cuddy was on a tirade as the brutal words rolled fluently off of her tongue.
"I know," she said, cutting her off. "Okay, he can come, but I hope he knows what he's getting himself into." She shook her head, knowing that he was going to hate this.
"Thank you Allison, we all really appreciate it."
"Not a problem." She replied, forcing a smile. Yet…
Cameron turned and was ready to head out the door when Cuddy stopped her. "Here…" she said, still writing on a pad of paper. She tore them from the pad and handed them to her. "You'll need these."
She stared at the papers. They were prescriptions written out to her name. "Diazepam and Naproxen? I assume the Vicoden's for House, but Naproxen?"
Cuddy grinned. "That not for House. It's for you."
Cameron stared back at her, confused.
She laughed slightly. "Believe me, when he drives you up the wall, you'll need it to calm the migraines. Come to think of it, he's had some lately as well. You might want to offer him one once in awhile, but don't let him take advantage of them. I want him to be bearable, not unconscious."
Cameron chuckled. "I might appreciate the latter one more." She turned back to the doors.
"Take the rest of the day and tomorrow off to pack for the trip. I'll see you when you get back." Cuddy said as she stood up from behind her desk and walked around it toward Cameron. "Take care of him, okay? Be careful," she said as she hugged her tightly.
Cameron's eyes widened in surprise, but shrugged off Cuddy's emotional episode as just being emotional or it being her time of the month. She went along and hugged her back.
"Thanks, Lisa," she replied, smiling. It was then that she realized that her boss really cared for her and for the people who worked for her.
Neither one of them had seen House stick his head in the room. He cleared his throat. "Is this," he pointed to both of them, "going to turn into a sexy moment between you two?"
"House-" they groaned simultaneously, rolling their eyes.
"Ooh! The way you both said my name like that. Me likey! Can you at least wait until I grab my camera? I want to savor the moment so I can replay it over and over again later on. For when I'm at home, alone, bored in my deserted apartment," he said, grinning mischievously.
Cameron's blush was light pink, but getting redder by the second. She nodded at Cuddy and walked out the office to the locker room. House's grin remained while he watched her walk away and turned back to his boss. "So, is that why you wanted a sperm donor and not a boyfriend? I'd hate to-no, I take that back, I'd love to burst your bubble...so...I have it on good authority to tell you that she likes me more."
Here is comes, he thought. The yell of "clinic duty" should be thrown at me any second now.
With a half-smile on her face, Cuddy surprised them both by throwing her arms around House and pulling him into a friendly, emotion-filled hug.
House was taken so off guard, he had no time to dodge it, so instead, his eyes narrowed and his body stiffened as she squeezed him. Thinking fast, he built up his emotional wall again. "So, is this the punishment for everyone who assumes you have lesbian tendencies?"
Cuddy expected some type of comment like that from him; anything to keep anyone else from seeing the real him. "Only those who should be completing clinic duty."
"I think I'd rather be wiping snot-nosed three year olds and pulling random objects from embarrassing orifices than stand here and let you clench onto me like a stuffed animal. Not that I don't like being close to the twins, I just can't see them when you're this close."
She laughed. Same old House. She put a hand to the side of his face. "Promise me you'll take care of you and her, okay?"
He was completely freaked out by this emotional, soft, caring Cuddy that stood before him.
"Yes, mom!" he said, "I promise to wear my seat belt and everything! On a serious note, maybe you should concentrate on taking care of the disease we mentioned earlier that you're currently harboring. It's getting to you," he said, pointing his cane toward her brain as he turned around and left.
Cuddy sighed and walked back around to her desk, and picked up her phone.
"Hey, how did it go?" the voice on the other end asked.
"He took the bait. Mission complete."
"Now all we can do is let them duke it out themselves. If anything is to happen, it's got to happen on it's own."
"Well, not exactly. I...know some people. I could call around and see what they can do to help. Some of them owe me a favor or two."
"Ok. Well, keep me updated. I've got to go for now. We need to discuss some further details. Meet me at the Daily Grind Coffee Shop over on Main around noon tomorrow."
"Sounds good, I'll be there. See you then. Bye."
A/N: AMI is the technical term for a heart attack. It stands for Acute Myocardial Infarction.