Perspectives

Summary: After No Reason, as House floated through unconsciousness and hallucinations, those left behind were dealing with the aftermath. Here are their stories, glimpses into the chaos and uncertainty felt after the shots were fired.

Disclaimer: Just borrowing the characters and storyline, I promise to give them back just as soon as I'm finished. Please don't sue me.

Chapter One: The Request

"It's going to be okay. You're going to be okay." She had said stupidly, voice shaking, stumbling along with his gurney. He was nearly unconscious, but she could almost feel waves of disapproval radiating from him. Her optimistic (what he chose to call naïve) attitude was a constant source of rebuke in their relationship.

"You don't know that." He had said softly, confirming her suspicions. A million replies ran through her head: you HAVE to be okay, I think my optimism is the least of your worries right now, I love you please don't leave me, you're gushing blood from your neck maybe you should think about shutting up. None of them seemed adequate; they swirled and collided with one another in her head, and the result was an even more inadequate silence.

"Tell Cuddy I want ketamine."

A few seconds after his request, her brain processed what he had just told her. Ketamine? He wants…ketamine? She opened her mouth and fumbled about for a reply, but closed it again when she realized his eyes had slipped shut.

Within moments everything around her moved into overdrive. As they neared the trauma room, people engulfed the gurney from both sides. She could hear the elastic snap as pairs of gloves were put on, and the urgency in each and every voice (though she couldn't, for the life of her, make out what they were saying). She fell back, gloved hands warm and glistening with his fresh blood. He was in the ER doctors' territory now, and she recognized (albeit reluctantly) that they were better prepared to deal with his injuries then her, or Chase, or Foreman.

She took a step back, craning her neck in an attempt to see House, to see what was going on. Her breath hitched as she realized she couldn't see him, couldn't hear him. In her years of working for him, he had always made his presence known. When House was around, whether you liked it or not, you knew. But now…where was he?

Words flitted through her mind: blood…surgery…police…bullet. She glanced around frantically, trying to place the words in the context of a conversation, desperately searching for who was speaking, what they were doing. She felt herself beginning to hyperventilate as she tried in vain to focus. She was losing it; the gunshots, the fear, and the blood came rushing back into her memory. She looked down at her crimson hands and thought briefly that she might just throw up.

She could hear the hurried clicking of heels on tile behind her. She turned to find Cuddy beside her. The normally unflappable administrator looked as if she also might throw up. Her blue eyes darted around the room in an attempt to make some sense of the situation. She glanced briefly at the three of them, searching their eyes for some explanation that was impossible to find. There was no explanation. What had just happened?

"What happened?" Cuddy asked, voice powerful if not somewhat shaky. Cameron watched as the Dean of Medicine pushed her way through the crowd surrounding House, demanding answers that no one could give her.

She stood for a few moments, unconsciously rubbing her slick fingers together, entranced by the scene before her. Her heart was pounding furiously in her chest, and her breathing seemed impossibly loud.

What had just happened?

Searching for some semblance of order amongst the chaos, she attempted a mental run-through of the last ten minutes. The man, the gun, the…shots. The blood, the gurney, the elevator. The bright lights of the ER, House's pale face, the ketamine…the ketamine!

"Dr. Cuddy!" She shouted hoarsely.

Cuddy neither answered nor turned her head. There was no acknowledgement that she had even been heard. Cameron took a step towards her, the importance of relaying House's request ripping her from her trance.

"Dr. Cuddy. I—"

"Not now, Cameron." She interrupted angrily, without so much as a glance.

Cameron, pushed by her newfound sense of purpose, reached forward and grabbed Cuddy's forearm, yanking it in urgency. Cuddy, startled, pivoted to face her. Scowling, the administrator looked down to where Cameron's bloodied hand was still gripping her arm.

Cameron yanked her hand back quickly. She had forgotten about the blood. For a moment the two women stared down at Cameron's bloodied handprint, crimson red against Cuddy's vibrant white lab coat. After a few seconds Cameron looked up and into her eyes. Normally crystal-clear blue, she could now see only sadness and fear.

"Ketamine." She whispered. "He said he wanted ketamine."

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