A/N: Revamping entire story. Please be patient.
Allison Cameron couldn't find the strength to look away from the sharp blue eyes that stared up at her from the floor. Even as the piercing orbs glazed over, she couldn't help but be purely fascinated by them; they were bright, full of wisdom – full of mischief and bitterness and resentfulness. They were also full of emotionally crippling pain, and that knowledge tore at Cameron's heart every damn day.
Even now, with the white-hot sun a stalwart beacon in the ridiculously clear sky, those eyes were filled with excruciating pain. The acrid smell of sulfur coated the inside of her nose, the shrill screams still rang in her ears, and his eyes were still so goddamn blue. And it appeared that today was no exception to the familiarly pain-clouded eyes, although Cameron thought that being publicly gunned down by a vengeful ex-patient was as good excuse as any.
As it was, she didn't think she'd ever forget the sound of the two fired shots – the sound continued to reverberate off the hospital walls; soaring as it reached its intended target. It would always, she thought, be followed by the following two noises: an agonized grunt, and a solid form striking the ground.
She had reached him last. Foreman and Chase were kneeling on either side of his prone form, both trying to staunch the maroon blood that coated their pristine coats and slicked the recently waxed floors. They had barked orders at the panicking nurses – they ignored Cameron. She had hung back.
The pair of doctors had forgone cautiousness when they hefted the elder man's sagging weight between the two of them. They had placed him on a stretcher, when it had arrived escaped Cameron's memory, and had wheeled away the second the man's body touched fabric.
Cameron recalled blinking back tears as she followed the stretcher. She remembered the deep well of dread, and the molasses like feeling when everything had seemingly slowed down to a crawl. It's a dream, she had thought. A nightmare.
They had all surged forward to help this injured man. This cripple. Cameron could almost feel the huff of pained laughter. The cripple. God, that was one of many names they had called him behind his back – and it was the nicest one.
She remembered tucking a loose strand of hair behind her hair. She remembered marching to the elevator in determination. She was going to be the one by his side when he woke up, because she wasn't there when he went down. Whether Gregory House like it or not.
The steady, soft beeping of monitors was anything but soft to House's overly sensitized hearing. He blinked himself awake with a stifled groan. His stiff tongue lapped at his dry lips, begging for a drop of water. He rolled his eyes upward, squeezing his eyes shut in a failed attempt to quell the unmerciful, pounding migraine that thumped steadily underneath his skull.
He swallowed again. I'm dying for a drink.
Dying? I should be dead. Am I dead? Assess the wounds. You're a doctor, damn it.
House struggled to pull himself into a sitting position, and found that the small movement of just pulling his elbow back in order to do so caused an excruciating pain to sear through his abdomen. The extent of the physical suffering caught the man off guard, and ripped a startled grunt of agony from his cracked lips.
A young woman leapt up from the edge of his peripheral vision, and leaned over the railing to ask him a question. What that question was, however, was completely missed by the injured man. He slowly blinked as his head swam. There was a dull roar in his ears, a spotty white brightness twinkling in his field of vision, and a soft strand of auburn hair tickling his exposed arm.
"Cameron." The name came out like a death rattle.
"Yeah," she sighed wearily. "Do you need some water?"
He nodded once, curtly, and gratefully accepted the offered beverage. He greedily guzzled the cool drink, and sighed as his parched lips became moist yet again. When he drained the plastic cup, Cameron took it from him, and threw it into a waste bin.
House offered yet another, singular nod.