Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize from House, M.D.
A/N: So...I'm back. No, this is not Ten Days in October. Yes, I am writing Ten Days in October - I have completed four chapters so far. This was an opportunity that I simply could not pass up. This is going to be a little mini story, a three-shot, if you will. I was struck by the title first, for once, and the story was born after that. The next two chapters should be added soon. You can expect this entire piece to be finished before TDIO.
I would appreciate any and all feedback. I welcome constructive criticism, and while you probably won't change my mind about what I'm doing with this story, feel free to leave your opinions and predictions in reviews. Enjoy!
It had been another long day. He had diagnosed a woman with breast cancer, he had seen five people for consults, and he had comforted two grieving families. He had worked four hours in the clinic and he had been forced to scarf down his lunch while carrying on a phone conversation with an oncologist from Florida asking for his professional opinion. He was looking forward to nothing but some peaceful relaxation on his couch, perhaps with a cup of decaf tea and the droning sounds of the news in the background as he rested.
It was nearing 11:30. The news was just ending with another useless story and he was feeling properly tired now and ready to call it a night. He turned off the TV with a lazy push of the remote button and was just rising from his comfortable seat on the couch when the phone rang.
He sighed. The only calls he received at this hour were either prank calls, or calls from House, or a prank call from House. Nothing House ever said to him at this hour was so dire it could not have waited for another twelve hours. And he so wanted to sleep…
The ring sounded again. Wilson sighed heavily. He didn't want to deal with House now that he was so calm and rested, but at the same time, he had learned long ago that this strange friendship came with obligations, and one of those obligations was to answer the phone at all hours. After the third ring, he finally decided to answer.
"Hello?" Silence. Wilson cleared his throat and tried again. "Hello?"
There was still nothing. Sighing in frustration, he was about to remove the receiver from his ear when a voice stopped him.
He almost dropped the phone in surprise. "Hel – Hello? Who is this?"
Heavy, labored breathing. "Cam…ron…"
He froze and suddenly all the air seemed to have vanished from the room. He clutched the phone to his ear, clinging to every word. "Cameron, what happened? Where are you?"
He didn't know what she was saying, but that was what scared him more than anything. She was murmuring into the phone on the other end of the line, babbling incoherent sentences that he could only catch certain words of. Fear gripped him; what had happened to her?
"Cam – Cameron?" he stuttered. "Cameron, listen to me. I'm coming, okay? Tell me where you are."
Wilson pressed the phone even harder to his ear and held his breath, desperate not to make a sound, lest he miss hers.
"Cameron?" he tried again. "Cameron, talk to me. Tell me where you are. I can't come and help you unless you tell me where you are."
First there was silence. And then –
"Apartment?" Wilson repeated. "You're at your apartment?" He waited for a response, but she didn't give one. His heart was beating so fast he could hear it in his ears. "Okay – okay, Cameron. I'm coming, all right? I'm going to leave right now." He was trying to speak in calm, reassuring tones, but he wasn't sure how well he was doing. His own panic was increasing with every passing moment of her silence.
"I'll be right there," he promised her.
He arrived at her apartment fifteen minutes later. He was aware that he had broken at least three traffic laws in his pursuit to her apartment building, but at the late hour, there were few cops out to stop him, and he hadn't been caught by anyone. He parked outside the building complex, turned off the engine, grabbed his keys, and ran inside.
As soon as he reached her floor, he could see that something was wrong. Her apartment door was ajar and there was something red that looked horribly like blood on the white paint. Darting forward, he ran his fingers over the smooth wood. It was blood. Fear gripped him; what had happened?
"Cameron?" he called uncertainly as he pushed open the door. Nothing. "Cameron, are you here?" There was still no answer. He stepped further inside, his eyes darting around the room. His fear increased with every passing moment. Why wasn't she answering him?
His breath caught in his throat when he saw her. She was lying in the kitchen, a large pool of red blood around her. The phone receiver was next to her right hand and was also covered in blood. So many emotions welled inside of him all at once: anger, fear, grief, horror. He sank to his knees beside her.
"Oh god…" he murmured. He could see now where the blood was coming from: a large stab wound on her left side. The blood stained weapon lay next to her still body. He quickly pulled off his jacket and pressed it to her bleeding wound. With a shaking right hand, he extracted his cell phone from his pocket and dialed 911. He relayed the necessary information to the operator and then snapped the phone shut. He shut his eyes and tried to think about what to do next. He knew he should check her pulse, but he was just so afraid of what he would find…or not find…
It made him sick just to look at her. The red blood was drying in her hair, turning her brown locks into a congealed mess. Her left hand was covered in blood as well; he could see she had tried to stop the bleeding before she had lost consciousness. He felt his breath coming in short, raspy gasps. It was unreal to look at her this way, to see her pale skin covered in red, sticky red blood. Anger well up inside of him for whoever had done this to her.
Swallowing hard, he steeled himself and pressed two shaking fingers to her neck. After a moment or so of brief panic, he let out a huge breath. Her pulse was threaded and weak, but it was there. She was still alive. Invigorated by this information, he held his ear to her mouth. She was breathing, but just barely. Relieved, he bowed his head and let out another deep breath.
He jerked his head up at the noise. She was stirring ever so slightly. Immediately, he reached out his left hand, careful to keep the pressure on her wound with his right, and touched her cheek reassuringly. "Come on, Cameron," he muttered. "Wake up for me, come on now…"
She groaned again and Wilson felt his heart leap. She opened her eyes just barely and he lowered his face to her so that she could see that he was there. He felt her smile beneath his left hand.
"You came…" she murmured.
He nodded thickly. "Of course," he said quickly, trying to keep his voice from shaking. "I've – I've called an ambulance. They're on their way. Just hold on a little bit longer, Cameron. It's almost here…"
She was shaking her head. "…hurts so…much…"
"I know," he told her, and he was alarmed by how weak her voice was becoming. He felt her lace her fingers with the hand he was pressing against her side. He nodded in approval and moved his left hand from her cheek and placed it on top of hers. "That's right, Cameron. Just stay with me…"
"Ho…much…ger?" she slurred.
"Just a few more minutes," he promised her, though he actually had no idea. He hoped he was right. She was fading away from him quickly, her grip on his right hand already becoming slack beneath his left. He tapped her hand rapidly. "Hey…Hey, stay with me Cameron!" he insisted. "Don't give up now!"
"…so…tired…" she rasped.
"No – no!" he called out as he saw her close her eyes. "Cameron, stay with me, come on!" She didn't respond. He tapped her hand harder. "Allison!" he tried. "Allison, wake up! Come on, you can't do this now…come on, don't do this…"
"No, don't be sorry, just stay with me," he said loudly. He was trying to keep her with him, keep her talking, but she had no more fight left in her. He pressed down harder with his right hand over her stab wound and shook her shoulder with his left. "Come on, wake up! Wake up!" he cried. He pressed his fingers to her neck again. He could barely sigh in relief; her pulse was still there, but it was so faint, he could hardly feel it. He moved his ear to her mouth. Nothing. Her swallowed hard and listened closer. Still nothing.
"Damn it, Allison, stay with me!" he muttered as he tilted her head back and began breathing into her mouth. He felt panic gripping him as her blood slipped between the fingers of his right hand. He couldn't keep breathing for her and put enough pressure on her wound at the same time…Where the hell was the damn EMS?
And suddenly, there they were. They burst through the door and ran into the kitchen. They pushed him roughly aside and slipped the oxygen mask onto her face. They shouted orders to each other, but he hardly heard any of it. All he could feel was blind panic, and all he could see was red. Red blood on her floor. Red blood on her body. Red blood dried into her hair. Red blood covering his hands. Red, red, everywhere, red.