Sorry for the wait. Next break is going to be longer.... aptesting and finals. Thanks to MissingCancelledShows for beta'ing as always.
Chapter 15: Funeral
House shifted uncomfortable before he stood to speak.
"There's a lot of people here today. Including some from the Corps." That was where the lies he had planned to spout out for his mother disappeared.
"And I noticed that every one of them, is either my father's rank, or higher. And that doesn't surprise me. Because if the test of a man is how he treats those he has power over... it was a test my father failed." He thought of Allison Cameron and her scars. Her face when she showed them to him. Power. The people who gave her those scars – both physical and mental – had broken her. Just like his father had done to him. And she deserved someone better then him. Someone to put her back together. But he had given up on trying to send her away. He was selfish sometimes.
"This man you're eager to pay homage to, he was incapable of admitting any point of view but his own. He punished failure, he did not accept anything less than..." House thought of his thigh. How embarrassed his father had been about his leg. That it wasn't a war wound. Just gotten from living. He knew that his father didn't know that he had heard him talking to his mother. Better off dead with a leg like that.
"He loved doing what he did, he saw his work as some kind of sacred calling, more important than any personal relationship. Maybe if he'd been a better father, I'd be a better son." One who could take care of Allison Cameron instead of watching her break because of some asshole named Ron. "But I am what I am because of him, for better or for worse." And his mother, who was staring and him up from the crowd. Disappointment, but unconditional love. Which was good because he didn't give a damn what anybody else thought. His mother would be the one who always loved him unconditionally. Not like his father. Never like his father. And Cameron seemed to love him unconditionally as well.
They just said it was going to be worth it, echoed in his head as he stepped down. He needed to call her.
Cameron sat still. Very still. She had seen a group of interns walk by and do a double take as if to make sure she was real.
"Blondie?" Tina paused on the inside of the door. "I got a frantic call from Wilson who was reacting to a frantic House who had not heard from you, even though you promised that you would call."
Cameron didn't move a muscle. "Al?" No response. "Now you're starting to scare me."
"I thought that I would do Houses' mail today. His new team doesn't know how to do it."
"I'm sorry that that decision caused you to ignore -" Tina pulled Cameron's cell phone out of her own pocket. She had snatched it earlier from her locker. "Twenty seven calls and nine texts."
"Read it." Cameron demanded softly, handing her a letter. "Read it."
"Dear Dr. Cameron, -" Tina broke off. "This is addressed to you."
"No shit Sherlock. Keep going."
"My name is Cynthia Jones. You don't know me, but you're my dau-" Tina put her hand over her mouth. "Al." Cameron grabbed the letter back.
"Her son. He's sick. Dying. She found out about House. When I was still on his team. At the same time she had a private investigator trying to track me. Her son – he has cancer. Needs a bone marrow transplant. I could be a match. But there's something else wrong with him besides the cancer and no one knows what. Two birds with one stone." Cameron's tone turned mocking and she started to quote the letter. "I know that you may want nothing to do with my family – but you are a doctor. And you took a Hippocratic oath to 'first do no harm'. I hope that you don't take in to consideration my actions while thinking of my son." Her voice shook, reaching a high pitch as she stabbed the letter. "My sons name is Jacob." A tear made its way down her cheek. "He's his age Tina. His age, his name. There's no pictures, but they might look alike. What then?" Tears were streaming down her face now. "It's like God is playing a joke on me. How far can I be pushed until I snap?"
Cameron finally collapsed into Tina's arm sobbing and Tina rocked her as if she were a child, no words of comfort crossing her lips. She didn't know what to say.
"Tina!" Wilson's voice was full of relief. "Have you found her?"
"Is she okay?"
Tina snorted. "That's debatable."
"Well, besides wanting to tear out her DNA and change it, I would say yes."
"Hang on." A door opened in the background. He could hear muffled voices. "Allison Cameron – family emerg- don't know – long- thank ---."
"I'm here. Had to go tell your boss Al needed time off."
"Don't worry. We're coming to you. I think Allie needs House. Or Ian. But Ian is on vacation with the kids and Ellen. So we're coming to you because there is no way that Al is staying in Princeton for now."
Wilson entered the living room to find House and Blythe staring at each other. "Tina?" House asked.
"They'll be down here in a few hours."
House turned to look at Wilson. "She refused when I asked."
"Yeah, well something happened. Tina was distracted. Didn't say what. Talked to Cuddy and got Al some emergency leave – something about family. She said they'd be down here in a couple of hours. That was all."
"Who are Tina and Al?" Blythe asked curiously.
"Which one of them sent the flowers and signed your name?"
House raised his head and Blythe pointed to the flowers on the windowsill. "Al," Wilson replied.
House nodded. "It's her nature."
Blythe's eyes sparkled. "So it's two girls."
Wilson chuckled. "Two women," he corrected gently.
Blythe nodded. "Which one of you wants to tell me about them?"
"Mo-om" House groaned out.
"Oh hush. I'm an old woman. And if they're driving out here to see the two of you, something must be going on."
"Al is having a mental break down, from what I could gather," House replied with a sigh. "Why didn't they go to Alice?"
"Tina wanted to get her out of there. Said that there was no way that she was staying in Princeton as of right now."
Tina spent the first forty five minutes on the phone. She called Alice, called Heather and Ross, called Ian and left him a message. Allison sat in the car and stared out the window. Tina had packed for her – her cousin seemed to be in a shocked, comatose state.
Most of the drive was spent in silence or singing along to the radio.
Tina just prayed to a God that Allie didn't believe in that House could talk to her. Because she wasn't responding to Tina.
It was dark by the time that they finally found Blythe House's house. Tina had called Wilson and given him a ten minute warning, so all three were standing outside when Tina pulled into the driveway. House was opening Cameron's door before the car was fully in park.
She looked at him blankly and sighed.
"I'm moving to Africa."
"No you're not babe," Tina responded, walking over to Al's side of the car.
It had been Allison typical response when something bad happened when they were younger. Nothing happened I'm fine. When I grow up I'm moving to Africa and saving lives so I don't have to be here anymore.
"Tell her I'm dead. But maybe we can dig me up and try and figure out a way to get some marrow."
"Take it back Allison Jane."
"What'cha gonna do?"
The defensiveness in Allison's tone didn't go unnoticed by Tina. She just sighed and shook her head before turning to House and Wilson. "We saw a hotel a few miles back, so we should probably go check in. I just thought that you'd like to see that she's not dead." There was no mocking in Tina's tone, only fact.
"You can stay here," Blythe cut in warmly.
All four looked extremely uncomfortable at the suggestion.
"We really shouldn't impo-"
"They would be more comfo-"
"We don't have enou-"
"I insist." The look on her face showed that they weren't going to get of it.
Blythe House watched as her son talked to the blonde girl. Her face was devoid of emotion and she looked young and vulnerable. She wondered what had frightened this girl so badly.
Wilson and the gir – woman that they had referred to earlier as Tina appeared with luggage. "Where do you want us to put this Mrs. House?"
"Do you and Allison mind sharing a room?" If they did she could always make James and Greg she supposed.
"No, not at all. In fact, it would probably be better if we did." Tina made a face. Allison had been prone to nightmares sometimes and she could see them reoccurring tonight.
"Is Al okay?" Wilson asked as they followed Blythe.
"No." Tina replied honestly. "And I don't know how to help her."
"I thought you were Wonder Woman," Wilson teased.
"Not this time. I need Ian. But Ian's out of town and this is beyond Alice's area of expertise. House is good at taking care of Al. Even when she's being a pain in the ass. This time though, she's just in pain."
Blythe opened the spare bedroom that she had just recently redone and smiled at the two of them.
"I'm going to make some tea, can I get you anything?"
"No thanks Mrs. House." Tina smiled at her warmly. "Thank you for letting us stay here."
"No problem dear."
"And I heard about your husband. I'm so sorry."
Blythe House grinned at Tina and accepted the hand she offered. James Wilson had been her sons best friend for years. And it looked like he may have finally found the right one.
Tina had packed for her and her cousin in a hurry. She had grabbed some of Allison's clothes for herself – they were the same size. But, that was how Al ended up with her only pajama shirt being the damaged at best one that Tina loathed.
Blythe had seen it when they had trekked back downstairs and had merely started to make tea.
Cameron settled onto the couch next to House with a steaming cup of green tea in her hands.
"So what's the big occasion? You drove all the way out here just to see me?" She merely handed him the letter and burrowed into the couch.
House read, and as he read his fists slowly clenched.
"What do you want me to do?" He asked finally.
"Cam, unclench so I can hear you please."
"What do you mean?" If Tina was in the room she would be curled into her cousin. But, she wasn't.
What the hell? She though. They were trying this, whatever they wanted to call it. She curled up against House and rested her head on his shoulder.
"I mean, she clearly wants your bone marrow to be tested, and I can't make that decision, but if you want me to ignore her request for her son's treatment, I will. If you want me to take it, I will."
"I don't know what you should do."
"Well, what are you going to do?"
"Do no harm."
"Do no harm to yourself or harm to others?"
"Sure," was his mild reply. "I can see that you're fine. Your cousin drove you all the way out here because you're so fine. You're in shock. Or something. Your birth mother wants you to save her son. Instead of being raised by said birth mother you went through hell and then finally ended up with your crazy family."
"If you're going through hell,
keep on going, don't slow down
if you're scared don't show it,
"Not the time to be singing Al." The words slipped out without thought. He was used to hearing her being called Al. She didn't seem to notice, only shook her head.
"Yes it is."
"We're going to talk about this. You drove all the way out here to talk. And then you can sing."
Allison tilted her head to look at House, face set.
"When I was six, I was moved from the only family that I had ever known. At seven I met Jake and we were inseparable. He was my best friend. My brother. I got beaten and abused. I have so many scars House. So many. At ten, I watched as Jake bled to death. I watched and I sang to him because there was nothing else that I could do. And I wished for my mother. Oh boy, did I wish for my mother. I wanted someone to love me and protect me. Keep all the demons away. There weren't any monsters under the bed for me. There were monsters on top of me. And now she's here. But she's not here because she wants me. She's here because she wants my body. And I want to know why she gave me up. Why she gave me up but not her son who is only a few years younger then me. If she had kept me I would have grown up with a brother named Jake. But I wouldn't have ended up where I am. It doesn't matter. She's still a part of me. I want to know if we have the same colored eyes and what my father's name was. I want to know if she's hyperopic like me. If her son is allergic to berries and breaks out in hives like I do. If we have matching birthmarks under our right arms. And at the same time I want to not be a match for her son. I want her to go through all the pain that I went through. I want -"
She swallowed hard. "I want her to love me. But because I'm hers. Not because I'm the woman who could save her sons life. So I don't know what to do. I can't make a decision because I'm the Allison Cameron with the bleeding heart that you know, but I'm also the AJ that went through hell and back again because this woman wasn't ready to take care of me."
Quotes from Birthmarks
If You're Going Through Hell - Rodney Atkins
Hyperopic – it means being unable to focus on close-range objects....just a fancy term for long-sightedness (It's mentioned in one of the episodes, but I can't recall which one.)