House looked up from his newspaper and found that the clock was just about to reach his favorite time of the evening. He stood up from his desk and grabbed his cane. It was time to go home. His daughter Miranda House was most likely asleep and in bed by now but that never stopped him from waking her up for his good night hug and kiss. It was no secret that he had a soft spot for his little girl…of course no one else knew that but him.
He pulled up to the front of the apartment and locked his car door behind him. It was winter and the nights were finally cold. He pulled the collar of his jacket up and opened the door with his key. He ran up the steps skipping several to get into the warmth of his home. It was dark inside the house and no lights were on other then the one in the bathroom. How many times did he have to tell Miranda that the electric doesn't pay for itself? Just as he was about to go and turn them off a most repugnant sound echoed through out the apartment.
It was Miranda and she was leaning over the toilet retching her bloody brains out. House limped over to her as fast as he could and placed a cool hand on her forehead. She looked up her eyes glassy and cheeks flushed with fever.
"Dad." She moaned.
"Shh…I'm here." He said softly.
Now was the time that he wished his fourteen year old daughter was five again. It was so much easier to pick her up when she was sick and place her on the couch. Now all he could do was take her hand and direct her to the sofa. At first Miranda protested, she didn't want to take the chance that she would throw up on the floor. House understood completely but said,
"You need to lie down so I can properly diagnose you."
"Daddy…I can't." she cried feeling as though her stomach might crawl out of her mouth.
"No you can you just don't want to." He said helping her up.
Before they left he grabbed a trash can that they kept in the bathroom and led her to the sofa. She lay on the couch moaning and crying begging her father to make the pain go away, but House didn't even know what was wrong with her yet.
He sat at the other end of the sofa and once again placed his hand on her forehead. Unconsciously Miranda leaned into it. His hand soothed her head ache.
"Hmm, you're burning up. When did this start?"
"I came home from school and all I had then was a head ache…then I ate some dinner you left in the fridge…and then…I…" she pursed her lips the feeling of nausea coming back at full speed.
House noticed how the color that was left in her face drained and pulled her hair back as she dry heaved into the basket. Nothing was coming out though and House knew how painful that was on a person's body.
Miranda sobbed unable to contain herself. She hurt so badly and there was nothing left in her body to purge. She clenched her fists to the point that the nails would most likely cut the skin. House stood for a moment and went over to the kitchen; he took out a glass and filled it with water. He couldn't stand to hear his daughter suffer so, she needed something in her stomach.
He came back into the living room and tried to coax some into her mouth, but Miranda refused.
"If you don't you'll become dehydrated and it will be more then just vomit coming up."
She swallowed from the glass several times before gagging and vomiting once more into the basket. Whatever was wrong with Miranda had seemed to subside now, but House was going to keep a close eye on her the rest of the night.
"I want you to go to bed, honey." He said helping her up.
Her body quivered but she nodded, now exhausted from throwing up everything she had eaten from the past week.
He helped her into bed and pulled the covers over her body.
"Are you still cold?" he asked stroking her head.
Miranda was in too much agony to talk; her throat felt like it had been scratched with a butcher's knife. So she simply nodded.
Her father pulled a quilt from her closet and threw it over her body. Just as he was about to kiss her good night Miranda pulled away.
"What?" House asked concerned.
"Don't…what if you…get sick…" she gasped.
House nodded in agreement but kissed her forehead anyway. Before he walked out of the room he felt cold icy fingers clutch his hand.
"Don't go…please." She begged.
Her father motioned for her to move over and sat next to her holding her hand and stroking her hair until she fell asleep.
House awoke with a jolt, Miranda was screaming at the top of her lungs. He took his cane and hobbled as fast as he could. He ran into the room and watched as Miranda thrashed around her bed.
"Miranda…WAKE UP!" he yelled.
He didn't want to grab her he didn't know how her body would react.
"DAAAAD!" she screamed. "DADDY!"
House fumbled back and fourth. He could wake his daughter and send her into a total state of shock or he could let her battle it out in her own mind.
"PLEASE…DAAAAAAAAADDDY…WHERE ARE YOU!?"
It ripped through him until finally.
"Miranda…Miranda wake UP!" he yelled shaking her shoulders.
After one last attempt Miranda sat upright and looked around. Her face was pouring with sweat and her breaths were coming out in gasps.
"Dad…oh, what's wrong with me?" tears began to stream down her face and for once House had no answer for her.
He placed his hand on her forehead and found that it was hot with fever.
"You're burning up." He said his tone thick with concern. "Where else do you hurt?"
Miranda swallowed hard, her throat was on fire and dry.
"My…stomach and head…and I feel horrible daddy." She said breaking down into tears.
Even at the age of fourteen Miranda cried for him when she was sick, but House knew this wasn't the usual ailment. Something was definitely wrong with her; unfortunately House knew that he would not be able to properly tell until they were at the hospital.
"I'm calling a cab." He said limping away.
"Why…daddy…?" she sobbed.
"I need to find out what is wrong with you…I…I don't know what else to do."