Taking A Chance
Disclaimer: If I owned them, you would be seeing it on T.V. rather than reading it here.
Summary: As Thirteen struggles with the events of the season finale, her most closely guarded secrets are revealed. Will this lead to heartbreak or happiness?
Pairing: Eventual Thirteen (Hadley)/Cameron….Cadley?
Spoilers: The fourth season, including Thirteen's real full name.
A/N: This is my first House fic. I apologize ahead of time if they seem a little out of character as I am still getting used to writing them.
A/N2: Chase and Cameron are not together…And thoughts are in italics.
Chapter One- Trying To Deal
Having just drawn blood and sent it to the lab for testing, Thirteen leans back in her chair. Knowing that her day is only going to get longer and that she can't very well leave the hospital without her test results, she flips open her cell phone. After scrolling through her contacts, she hits send.
After a few moments, the other end of the line is picked up. "Hello?" A gruff male voice breathes out, obviously winded from having to rush to the phone.
"Hey, its me," Thirteen smiles softly.
"Oh no. I know that tone," he begins suspiciously. "You're going to be late aren't you?"
"I'm sorry. I know that I promised her, but something's come up at work," Thirteen sighs regretfully, deciding not to tell him about testing herself.
"She won't be happy," he replies slowly.
"I know. Could you tell her? And let her know how sorry I am?" She pleads.
There is a pause on the other end of the line as he pretends to consider it. "Okay, but this is the last time that I play the bad guy and deliver the bad news," he informs her sternly.
"Thanks Dad," Thirteen smiles into the receiver before flipping her phone shut and standing up to go talk with the rest of the team about Amber's progress…or lack thereof.
Aimlessly wandering the halls, Thirteen is trying to clear her mind of all that has happened in the last hour. Amber is dead. I have Huntington's. She's dead and I'm dying. She felt like crying. She felt like crawling into a dark hole and never coming back out. She also knew that neither of these things were really an option. I can't go home. I can't face Alexis tonight or I will breakdown. I need to be strong…for her.
After taking a moment to regain her bearings, she notes that she is in House's hospital room. The doctor in question is still in a deep sleep…or a coma. Thirteen isn't so sure of anything anymore. Standing idly in the door ways, she pulls out her phone and dials once more. This time, the phone only rings once before being picked up.
"Hey Sweetheart," her father greets her from the other end, having read the caller I.D. before answering. "You on your way?" He asks.
"No," Thirteen bites her lower lip nervously. "I can't make it tonight," she mumbles regretfully. Her father exhales deeply. "Are you mad?" She wonders.
"You know I'm not," is his immediate reply. "But I wasn't kidding when I told you that I was done being the bearer of bad news. You're telling her this time," he says, leaving no room for argument.
Thirteen heaves out a deep sigh. "Okay, put her on."
"Here she is," he informs her before passing the phone.
"Hello?" A young, curious voice asks.
"Hey Alexis," Thirteen smiles into the receiver, already feeling guilty for blowing off the girl.
"Hey!" The enthusiastic voice replies, grinning from ear to ear as she recognizes the voice on the other end. "When are you coming to pick me up? Are you on your way?" She bombards the young doctor with her questions.
"Look, Sweetie, I know I promised you I'd-"
"You're not coming are you?" Alexis asks, clearly devastated.
"I'm sorry, Baby. You know I would be there if this wasn't important," Thirteen sadly informs her.
"I know," she reluctantly concedes before thrusting the cell phone petulantly into the older man's hand and stomping off.
"Remy?" He asks, not sure if his daughter is still on the line. "You there?"
Thirteen hesitates for a moment. "Yes…She's mad, isn't she?" She weakly questions as she takes a seat in one of the chairs by House's bed.
"She's furious," the older man corrects her. "But she'll get over it. She can never stay mad at you," he smiles softly.
"Yeah," the brunette responds, clearly distracted.
"There's something else bothering you, isn't there? The real reason why you aren't coming tonight?"
Thirteen pauses to look at House to make sure he is really out for the count before replying. "I took the test," she whispers brokenly into the phone, leaning over in her chair to rest her elbows on her knees. She knows that he is all to aware of what test she's talking about.
Her dad says nothing for several long moments and Thirteen starts to give up hope of him ever replying. "You have Huntington's, don't you?" He asks quietly, already knowing her answer.
"Yes," Thirteen answers softly. "But, you know, I'm fine. I prepared myself for this, you know. It's not like this is a T.V. show or something where everyone all lives happily ever after or something," she informs him, amazingly calm.
"Remy…" her father trails off in a sympathetic tone.
"I'll be okay. I just need a night on my own to clear my head and I'll be by tomorrow afternoon," she says before hanging up.
With one last lingering look at House, Thirteen stands up and walks out of the room to head back to her apartment. Once she is out of the room, House allows his eyes to open, having been awake through the entire conversation.
"Interesting. Huntington's? Check. Mystery girl named Alexis? Check. Now, how can I squeeze more info out of her?" He questions himself, a devious expression taking over his face.
Walking into her apartment, Remy flips on the light by the door. She continues to move on autopilot as she hangs her jacket up in the closet by the door before making her way o the kitchen.
Remy opens the refrigerator before closing it again with a sigh. I wish I had a beer or something simple like that…And I need to do some serious grocery shopping sometime this weekend. Checking out the freezer, she pulls out a chilled bottle of vodka.
Deciding to forego the formality of a glass, she just drinks straight from the bottle as she heads to the couch in the living room. Remy winces at the burn of the first gulp before it begins to warm her from the inside out. Settling on the couch with her bottle, she wants to simply forget about the crap day she had. She's suddenly glad that she didn't pick up Alexis earlier, having promised herself a long time ago that she'd never let her see her like this…not again.
Finally, after everything that happened today, coupled with the alcohol, Remy lets herself break down and cry. Just a few small drops form in the corner of her eyes at first. That soon turns into a river of tears streaming down her face as she fights to hold back sobs, even in the privacy of her own home. Once the tears subside, she lets herself fall into a restless sleep.
Remy awakens with a start, immediately regretting the sudden movement of sitting up as she feels her back pocket vibrating. She reaches into the pocket and pulls out her cell phone, leaning over to rest her elbows on her knees and cradle her head in her hand.
"Hello?" She greets the caller dizzily.
"Are you okay?" Her father asks right away, noting her tone.
"Fine Dad," is her none-too-convincing response.
"Uh huh…Are you hung over?" He asks in a harsh whisper. She doesn't answer right away. "You promised," he sighs in disappointment.
"I was…This is all so…" the brunette sighs, totally at a loss. "Last night I experienced a moment of weakness. You know I'd never let myself get like that again. I could never do that to Lexi," she states confidently.
"I know you wouldn't. I'm sorry for mentioning it," her father replies, never doubting her sincerity. "I just wanted to see when you'd be here. She is getting restless," he says, smiling at the thought of the other girl.
"I said I'd be there this afternoon, probably around 2:30-ish," she informs him, standing up and stretching, her brain not bashing itself against her skull anymore.
"Well, you'd better hurry up because it's 1:30 already," he smirks.
"Oh m god! I can't believe I slept this late!" She exclaims, fully astonished, never having slept in this late on a Saturday before.
"See you soon Sweetheart," he chuckles as she flips her phone closed and rushes to hop in the shower.
Standing awkwardly on the porch, Remy waits for her dad to open the front door and let her in. She doesn't have to wait long before the door swings wide open revealing a man no less than 6'2" and looking very much like an older, blonde…and male, version of the woman standing before him. He pulls her into a warm hug.
"Thank god! She's been diving me crazy," the older man greets the brunette.
"Thanks Dad. I missed you too. I'm fine, thanks for asking," Remy rolls her eyes as she briefly hugs him back before wriggling out of his grip as they move into the house.
"Very funny," he grins. "So, how are you really?"
Remy puffs out a deep breath. "I'll be okay" she informs him seriously. He shoots her a dubious look. "Really. Last night was just me…dealing."
"I was worried. You haven't dealt with anything like this since-"
"I know!" Remy cuts him off sharply, not wanting to delve too much into the past. "But I would never put Alexis through that again. She's already put up with too much from me as it is," she smirks at the older man.
He simply laughs. "Don't cut yourself short. You know she loves you," he smiles fondly.
"I know," Remy grins. She glances into the living room just inside the house before opting for the easiest, and fastest, way of locating the girl in question. "Alexis!" She shouts.
Moments later, the sound of someone stampeding down the hallway is heard. Soon, a dark-haired seven old girl rounds the corner and crashes into the brunette hugging her, her arms wrapping tightly around her legs.
"Hi Mommy," the little girl looks up to greet Remy, her head just barely reaching above the young doctor's waist.
"Hey Lexi," Remy greets the girl, a soft smile settling on her features.
"Did you have fun with Grandpa yesterday?" Remy asks her daughter as they are eating dinner back at the apartment.
Waiting until she finishes swallowing her food, like her mother always tells her to, Alexis nods. "Yeah. He picked me up and we went to the park and he got McDonald's for dinner," she informs her, eyes widening slightly when she realizes what she let slip.
"Oh, he did, huh?" Remy smirks, arching her eyebrow.
"He made me promise not to tell you," the little girl mumbles, breaking eye contact to look down at her plate.
Remy reaches over and places her hand atop her daughter's reassuringly. "It's okay. I'll pretend that I didn't hear it," she gives her a half-smile when the girl looks back up at her. But he will hear from me about giving her junk food…again.
"Thanks Mom," Alexis grins.
"So, how was school yesterday?" She asks after a moment, wanting to catch up on the latest happenings in her daughter's class.
"Well, Ben got in trouble for saying a bad word in Ms. Greer's Art class, but it was really Brian, his brother. When I tried to tell her, she didn't want to listen and Benended up having to sit through class by himself in the corner. Brian felt bad and the three of us ended up playing on the monkey bars together during recess. Oh, and…" the young girl continues recapping her day, gesturing wildly with her hands and making animated facial expressions.
Remy just watches her daughter with a gentle smile, listening with rapt attention and providing input on the rare occasion that Alexis takes a breath to ask her something. Once the little girl stops talking and turns back to her food, Remy's thoughts begin to turn back to yesterday. I can't be dying. Not now, not when I'm all this little girl has left of her mother. She sighs.
"Are you okay Mommy?" The young brunette questions her with concern.
"Yeah Sweetie, I'm fine," Remy replies, sure that neither of them actually believe that. "Are you finished?" She asks, nodding toward the empty plate in front of her.
"Yes," Alexis replies. Remy stands up, taking both hers and her daughter's plates back into the kitchen. "Thank you Mommy," she says sweetly. "Can I go watch T.V.?" She asks once her mom comes in from putting the plates in the dishwasher.
"Did you do all of your homework?" Remy asks sternly.
"I did it all at Grandpa's last night," Alexis confirms.
The doctor studies her for a moment. "Okay, but only for an hour and then we have to get you ready for bed," she replies, earning a grin and a hug from the six year old. She just smiles and shakes her head at the innocence of it all.
Remy has just finished the nightly routine of getting Alexis to bed. They both got into their pajamas. They stood side-by-side in font of the bathroom sink, with Alexis on a step-stool of course, and brushed their teeth together. Then they went back into Alexis' bedroom and crawled into her bed so that Remy could read to her. After she finished the story and finished tucking her daughter in, Remy went to her own room and got into her own bed.
Being that it is still so early, Remy usually goes into the living room and watches CNN or the Discovery Channel or something else that most people consider boring. Tonight, she just wants to lie down.
Just as she begins to drift off into sleep, she feels something in the air shift and it's like she is suddenly being watched. Tensing slightly, she cracks open an eye and looks at the open doorway. She relaxes and sits up in bed.
"Is everything okay Lex?" She asks the little girl standing just inside the room with concern evident in her voice.
"I don't know," Alexis mumbles quietly as she continues standing there, nervously shuffling her feet.
Remy carefully studies at her daughter before folding down the comforter beside her and patting the bed. "Come on," she prompts, indicating for her to climb in next to her.
Alexis follows her mother's instructions…to a point. Once she reaches the indicated side of the bed, she sets a well-worn stuffed dog down in her place. "You need him more than I do," the little girl whispers, not looking her mom in the eyes.
"Captain Barker?" Remy asks, clearly confused, as she fondles the floppy ear of the shaggy stuffed animal. "He's your favorite," she says distractedly.
"Grandpa once told me that you got him for me when my mom died. He always makes me feel better when I'm sad," Alexis explains, still not looking up from her feet. "You're sad now. I want you to take him so he can make you feel better," she adds, trying not to cry.
Remy, for her part, is holding back tears of her own at the selfless gesture of her daughter, wondering how this seven year old can read her better than anybody else she knows. She reaches over and lifts the little girl's chin up so that they are looking into each other's eyes. "I think having you up here would make me feel better too," she whispers.
Alexis nods, smiling shyly as she climbs into bed with her mother. She scoots in under the covers, Remy lifting an arm up so that she can snuggle in close. The brunette doctor wraps her arms protectively around her daughter, wondering how she got so lucky. With that, they both drift off into a sound sleep.
So, this is a little different than what I'm used to writing. This fic actually came to me out of nowhere…especially considering that I don't particularly like kids in the first place.
This first chapter is more or less meant to show how close Hadley and her daughter are…the next two chapters are going to show the main part of the plot getting under way. Also, I deliberately kept it vague in regards to Hadley and Alexis' background, so if it sounds strange about, for example, Alexis' "mom dying", I did that on purpose and will explain later in the story.
Like I said, I don't know where I got the idea for this fic and I, surprisingly, actually like how it's turning out so far. However, since I've never written anything quite like this, I am kind of…unsure about it, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Even if you hate it and think that I should remove it…which I may very well do if enough people ask. Then again, telling me you like it would be good too.