A/N: I'm at a standstill where my other story is concerned (no idea what to write), so I figured I'd start something else I'd had planned for quite awhile. I love to take storylines that exist and warp them to make fan-fic, so I figured I'd do something that would take me the entire summer to write. I've got most of it planned out, but am writing chapter to chapter, so bear with me. As usual, I love constructive criticism, so feel free to leave it. Btw, the character in parenthesis is the character who's POV is taking place in each chapter, in case you haven't figured it out.
THE BEGINNING OF FOREVER
Chapter 1 (House)
"The "C" Word"
The first inclination upon hearing the words "conference" and "mandatory" was to grab your vicodin, portable television and barricade yourself into one of the clinic exam rooms. The last time you were forced into one of these long drawn out hell-fests, you spent the entire time in the darkest, most remote area of the lecture hall complaining to Wilson about paint on the walls, and its peeling scoring a ten on a ten point scale where excitement was concerned.
Of course, he'd told you to shut up, and went about listening carefully and taking notes on the laptop he told you eight times you couldn't play solitaire on. God forbid he miss one piece of info that could save a dying bald child's life.
Anyway, SHE had corralled you into her office with the promises of lunch and vicodin, and by the time you'd sat down ever so trustingly, it was already too late. You'd been staring at her particularly low cut top in a transfixed daydream, when you heard THE word. The "C" word that would make any caring physician joyous at the possibility of a trip, and a chance to show off treatment plans and lecture to a room full of MD's who only showed up for the free stuff.
"Conference time House. I think you'll find this one interesting, as it's about diagnostics in the emergency medicine setting. Right up your alley, right?"
That did it.
"Aww, it's so nice of you to think of me, but no thanks. Really Cuddy, I've been thinking about putting in some more hours at the clinic as a favor to my most favorite of favorite hospital administrators. " You wonder if she's in a good enough of a mood to buy the mass amount of bullshit that has just come from your mouth.
"Ok. You'll do more hours, but hours doing WHAT, is the magic question. I'm almost positive medicine won't be involved!"
Damn her. You wonder if she's locked her office door if you try to make a limp for it?
"It's locked House, don't try it. Before you start to reason your way - ok, TRY to reason your way - out of it, hear me out and let me see if I can spark your interest at all."
You sit down and act mad when she mentions a free hotel SUITE (like you've never stayed in a nice hotel room before), mildly interested when she mentions a fair amount of traveling (further means nicer), and by the time she's mentioned the open bar after every presentation each night, you figure why the hell not?
"Oh, and it's in Australia." She shuffles a few papers on her desk, pulling out a brochure on Sydney and its tourist attractions.
Ok. Wait a minute.
"Awww, but it's so FAR to go to listen to a bunch of balding old MD's who think they're masters of the medical universe. It may be free, but I can get myself good and drunk right here in Jersey. Send Skippy the Kangaroo, he'd like that … going home for a visit and all." You give her that desperate look you only use when she's found you doing something particularly bad.
"First class sleeper seats and two weeks off clinic duty?"
Ok. Just MAYBE you can tough it out.
At five o'clock in the morning, you're thinking not along the lines of bright and cheerful, you're thinking more about which person you'd like to murder the most. You hold on to your fourth Starbucks espresso like its going to disappear any second, and wonder what the hell possessed you to agree to this. Once you've gotten through airport security and settle down into an uncomfortable airport chair for some pre-flight sleep however, you're thinking it won't be TOO bad.
That is, until you spy a familiar blonde head just beyond the realm of the airport security checkpoint.
Your upchuck reflexes are tested as you see Skippy the Bush Kangaroo himself, quickly exchanging saliva with your former immunologist. You're debating whether you should get up and break it up, but quickly pretend to be asleep as you see Cameron clear the metal detector and spy you lounging.
"You don't have to ignore me House. I saw you watching me and know you are awake."
You open an eye to let her know she was correct and wonder, silently, how anybody can possibly look so awake and composed (and so good, though you'd rather eat your cane than voice so) at this hour. She's also holding a Starbucks cup, only smiling at you and looking at you inquisitively.
"So. A week? Two? I know you wouldn't agree to do this for any less time free from the clinic."
You tell her two weeks and she laughs at you, telling you that you've gotten far too agreeable lately. She assumed you would have taken Cuddy to the cleaners, and gotten at least a month.
You inform her it was the free bar, time away from the devil and a week away from Dante's vision of hell that convinced you in the end - not the clinic.
She smiles at you, and you learn after a few moments of idle chit-chat, that she was asked last minute to go to this conference. Cuddy was thinking about sending Chase and another member of the emergency department, but it seemed to worry her that you'd do everything in your power to make sure he had a miserable time.
You pretend to look totally shocked, and innocent (she found that pretty funny).
She also let you know Chase wasn't very happy when he realized his girlfriend would be spending the week in HIS homeland with the colossal king of the assholes. She tells you she managed to calm him down, and assured him she'd make sure (and Cuddy would as well) you were on your best behavior, then asks you if you'll try and at least let her enjoy herself - she doesn't want to be dragging you out of the bar, completely drunk at three am, or bailing you out of any Australian prisons for God knows what.
You answer her by grabbing and downing the remainder of her coffee and joining the line for pre-boarding.
You've got the sneaking suspicion this trip is going to be more, and a lot better than you bargained for.