Challenge response to a 'March Hare' challenge at community dot livejournal dot com slash house underscore het. Write a story featuring a character has to deal with another character who seems to have gone mad. Concrit welcome, I'm not entirely satisfied with it, but I'm not sure what it is...
Cameron was slumped in a chair in the Diagnostics Office, her head in her hands. She had been feeling headachy since she woke this morning and had considered not coming in today. Their patient, however, was sicker than Cameron, and Cameron thought that maybe he should get precedence. They were close to finished on this patient – meaning only that he was about to die, and either they would solve it or stop working on it – but she couldn't bring herself to care terribly. Chase and Foreman were stressed, running tests on everything they could think of that was even mildly connected to her symptoms. House had withdrawn into somewhere secluded, which he always did when they were too close to make any more mistakes. Cameron should be helping, she knew, but first she had to scrounge up some energy. The office was warm and stuffy, and hardly helping. She was having enough trouble trying not to fall asleep.
The door opened and Cameron lifted her head guiltily, but smiled in relief when she saw who it was. Andrew, her husband – of seven years was it now? Cameron couldn't remember – as gorgeous as the day she met him, came over to the table and picked up her coffee cup.
"What are you doing here?" Cameron asked him, a little light-headed. She didn't think he'd ever seen where she'd worked before, and hadn't been expecting him.
"Still nothing," Andrew said gloomily. Cameron wondered vaguely what he was talking about as he sipped her tepid coffee, but in the state she was in, she suspected he'd already told her and she'd just forgotten.
"Cheer up," Cameron said. She stood up, briefly leaning on the chair for support. She came over to him and kissed him chastely, needing to stand on her toes to reach him. She was surprised when he squirmed away, his hands up defensively.
"What are you doing?" Andrew asked warily, taking another step back. Cameron frowned.
The door opened for the second time, and both heads turned towards the man who walked in.
"Wilson!" Cameron said in delight. "I don't think you've met my husband."
The voices were unison, and Cameron, with her head starting to pound, was quite oblivious to the tone. The two men in the room started at each other. Wilson looked merely amused, but Chase was quite startled.
"Are you alright?" Chase asked Cameron. She smiled appreciatively at him.
"I am now," she said. "Thanks for coming."
"How come I didn't know about this?" Wilson demanded. He crossed his arms sulkily. "Does House know? If House knows, why don't I know?"
Chase glanced irritably at Wilson.
"We're not married," he said distractedly. He was watching Cameron, her eyebrows knitted in confusion. She gazed, hurt, at Chase.
"You've upset her," Wilson pointed out. "How can a man not remember his own wedding?"
"There wasn't one!"
Cameron bit her lip.
"Andy? Cameron, it's me, Chase." He stepped forward and held his hand to her forehead. "You're burning up. Are you feeling ok?"
Disoriented and confused, Cameron looked from Chase to Wilson. "Are you…not…?"
"No, I'm Wilson," he reassured her. Chase took her hand and led her to the sofa in the corner.
"Are you tired?" he asked kindly, and she nodded miserably. "Do you wanna just sleep for a while? Sleep it off?"
"I don't understand…"
"I think you're hallucinating," he said, gently pushing her down onto the sofa. Cameron peered up at Chase, her eyes cloudy and unseeing. Chase put a hand on her shoulder and forced her down. She kicked off her shoes and pulled her feet up underneath her.
She nodded, head down, eyes closed. Chase took his jacket from the hook it was on – she was already wearing hers – and draped it over her.
"Cold?" Wilson was still standing at the door. "Flu?"
Chase nodded. "Yeah, I reckon."
Cameron had tucked her arms under her head, and she looked like she'd fallen straight to sleep.
"Poor thing," Wilson commented sympathetically. Chase put his hands on his hips, standing over Cameron. She was starting to shiver, but also to sweat.
"Well," Wilson said, "I'd better go find House."
Chase nodded without looking up. He didn't think there was anything he could do for her, yet he wasn't sure he should just leave her here. He thought he should probably drive her home, but he didn't want to wake her. He had another patient, anyway, who probably deserved more attention.
Cameron looked unsettled, but Chase resolved to continue running tests. Foreman was probably wondering where he'd got to.
He reached out and touched her cheek, and Cameron turned her head towards it.
"Andy?" she murmured, and Chase stepped back hastily, not realizing she was still awake.
"No, it's…" Chase swallowed. "Yes?"
"I'm not going to see you again, am I?" Beneath her closed eyelids, a tear fell down. She was motionless otherwise. If he hadn't seen her speak, he might have thought he was the one hallucinating.
"No," he said quietly, reaching out his hand to touch hers. Her fingers curled around his, and he found it hard to let her go. But he had a patient, and Cameron wasn't it. Slowly, he untangled their fingers, and Cameron tucked her hand back under the jacket. Chase crept out of the room, glancing back at Cameron's sleeping form. He couldn't help but smile.
The office was dark, but Chase hadn't bothered to turn on the light. The room was still warm and stuffy, and even Chase had a line of sweat on his forehead. Cameron had stayed on the couch the whole day, looking less than peaceful. Foreman and Chase had constantly glanced at her throughout the day, but House had pointedly ignored her.
She was breathing shallowly now, the jacket that covered her close to slipping off her. She wasn't shivering any more, though, and she looked better. Chase tapped his empty coffee mug on the table lightly. Chase thought he remembered House going home, but Foreman was still with their patient.
The breeze was pushing the tree branch outside into the open window. Chase sighed, and rubbed his eyes.
He turned his head and smiled, not sure she could see him in the dark. Cameron was sitting up, pushing the jacket off her legs.
"How're you feeling?"
Chase could make out the silhouette of her shoulders lifting.
"Better. What's the time?"
"Don't know," Chase said, after failing to see the hands on his watch. "After six. Do you want me to drive you home?"
Cameron stood up and put a hand to her head. "That might be a good idea."
"Let me get your stuff," Chase said, standing up and taking his mug to the sink. He had packed all her belongings into the bag she had brought in with her, and handed it to her. She took it silently. Chase patted her on the shoulder, picking up his own bag.
"How's the patient?" Cameron asked him as they headed out into the corridor. Chase shut the door behind them.
"Probably better than you now. Foreman's with him."
Cameron managed a small smile, but the rest of the journey out to Chase's car was made in silence. Cameron was swaying as she walked, and Chase was afraid she might fall over.
"You don't look so good," Chase commented, and reached out his hand.
"I'm not," she said, taking his hand and smiling. "But thanks."
He helped her into the car, taking her bag for her. Normally she would complain, Chase suspected, but she looked like she felt crap enough not to tonight.
"Your husband," Chase said as he started the car.
Cameron turned to him sleepily. "I don't have a husband."
"Hmm?" Chase knew she was drifting off, even though he stared ahead at the road.
"What was his name?"
"Andy," she yawned, closing her eyes and drawing her knees up. Chase was silent. Why me, he asked himself. Why was it me? Watching the road, out of the corner of his eye he saw her sleeping. Watching her sleep, Chase hoped he knew the answer.