Spoilers!: First half of Unfaithful.
A/N: Yes, I know it's been ages, but life tends to get in the way. Hopefully the length partially makes up for it and the chapter isn't a total disappointment.
A/N2: I felt like I could do more with this episode than The Softer Side and I needed at least one between the end of The Greater Good and Simple Explanation.
Chapter Twenty- Roll Over and Play Dead
Four Days Later, Wednesday – 9:00 am
Remy sits patiently in the Diagnostics Office reading over an article in the New York Times with a subtle and thoughtful smile on her face as she sips her coffee.
"Isn't this just the idyllic picture of domestic bliss?" A sarcastic voice takes note from the doorway.
The brunette looks up at the owner of the aforementioned voice and arches a brow at his intrusion. "You're here early," is all she says in response, folding the paper and setting it down with the article she was reading face down on the table. She obviously won't be reading anymore with her boss in the room.
House brushes it off as he makes his way into the office and approaches the table, glad that his youngest employee seems to have been able to properly recuperate and is relaxed. Not that he'd ever tell that to her face or anything.
"You're reading yesterday's paper," he points out, nothing in his tone to indicate what he's thinking.
Dropping her gaze briefly onto the open page of the newspaper, she nods. "So it is," she returns with a Mona Lisa smile, her expression not giving anything away.
Narrowing his eyes slightly, House takes his cane and maneuvers it to lift up the edge of the paper to see what had held her with such rapt attention. She sits with her hands folded together calmly on the top of the table, making no move to stop his intrusiveness. Scanning the page for a moment, he finds nothing remarkable. Several pieces on hot-button issues that, quite frankly, House couldn't care less about. Then he spots it, in the center of the page…hidden in plain sight.
"'Robert Hadley, Contributing Columnist and Investigative Journalist'," the older doctor reads from the byline under the featured article. "So, you're sainted father is writer?" He comments, clearly not actually caring about the answer.
For her part, Remy frowns at the verbiage used by her boss. Words like 'saint' and its derivatives or 'father', which is almost too formal for the other man, are uncommon from House. "Do we have a patient?" She suspiciously asks him. However, before House can reply, the door opens once again as Taub enters and is followed by Kutner.
"Welcome back!" The goofy doctor greets his coworker warmly, happy to see her functioning as well as she is compared to the last time he saw her. Then, the door swings open once more and Thirteen stiffens.
"What is he still doing here?" She questions darkly and no one is willing to answer right away. "Didn't you lose your license yet?"
"They're investigating the incident," Foreman tentatively replies. He knew that he was on thin enough ice and, with the dark-haired woman returning to work today, that things could potentially get, well, hostile.
Thirteen opens her mouth but her response is cut off by the sound of her pager. Her brow scrunches in confusion as she pulls it out, hoping that her daughter isn't sick again. She relaxes upon seeing the message but she still huffs out a breath of frustration as she rises out of her chair, making sure to fold up her newspaper and bring it with her.
"Where do you think you're going?" House questions haughtily, pretending to be appalled that she has the audacity to behave as though something is more important than her current task consisting of…doing nothing.
"What's it to you? It's not like we have a case or anything," Hadley smirks half-heartedly on her way out the door, easily seeing through her boss' tone.
"Want me to follow her?" Foreman offers, deciding that volunteering to something that House would undoubtedly ask one of them to do is better than enduring another day of his boss' scrutiny.
"I think you've stalked her enough," the older doctor quips.
"I know where she's going," House cuts off Kutner's attempt at brown-nosing, saving him the trouble of finishing his sentence.
Tidying up the haphazard stack of paperwork to be signed off on, Dr. Branum glances expectantly at her office door, waiting for the inevitable tentative knock. However, though anticipating it, the sound still startles her when it comes.
"Come in," she calls and, as predicted, a sheepish Remy Hadley opens the door and steps in the room, softly clicking it closed behind her.
"Sorry," the young woman apologizes.
The older doctor smiles warmly at the Fellow. "You've been a busy girl lately so I figured that you'd forget about our appointment this morning," she assures her kindly.
"I take it Allison told you," Remy states as a fact, already anticipating the answer.
"Actually, Dr. House called me Friday morning after the surgery," she corrects her.
"Oh," Hadley doesn't bother to hide her surprise. "I wasn't aware that he knew that I was seeing you."
"Neither was I. If what I've heard of him holds any truth then I'm sure he went through your file or something of that nature seeing as how I strongly doubt that Dr. Cameron or Dr. Cuddy said anything," the psychiatrist says, her tone neutral.
"I see," Remy acknowledges, more for something to say than anything else. Finding herself with nothing more to add, she looks around the office in search of anything that might pique her interest. It's a futile act on her part.
"You know, Remy, you can only get out of therapy what you put into it."
Hadley tries not to cringe at the other woman's casual use of her first name. "Well, Amy, it wasn't really my choice to come here, was it?" Is the defensive reply, the therapist's first name emphasized with the young brunette's irritation.
"Dr. Cuddy was only concerned. You had a lot going on at the time so it's only natural that she and Dr. Cameron were worried about your frame of mind as well as your well-being," Amy reasons.
"But I think we've established that I'm not going to kill myself so I'm fairly certain that these visits are unnecessary," Remy counters, not bothering to suppress the sneer in her tone.
"What?" She asks, confused as to what the therapist is referring to now.
"Have we established that you're not going to kill yourself?" Dr. Branum elaborates her question. "You seem better now than you were after the hostage crisis, but what's to stop something else from coming up and making you re-evaluate your self-worth?"
"I have my father, Dr. Cameron, and my daughter," Remy grinds out. It never takes long for her to be reminded as to why therapy has never agreed with her.
Amy taps the capped end of her pen against her lips thoughtfully for a moment before leaning forward in her chair and folding her arms on her desk. "Did having parents, a significant other, and a daughter that she loved do anything to prevent Olivia or your mother from committing suicide?" She asks, her question rhetorical…for the most part.
Her jaw clenching, Hadley grips the arms of her chair until her knuckles turn white as she fights every urge to slap the other woman. "I'm not them," she simply replies, her tone tight and controlled, but her eyes burning with anger.
The other doctor keeps her gaze firmly locked with Remy's, not in a challenging manner, but more out of confidence in how she's reading the younger woman. "Perhaps," she responds after a moment, but not in a way that agrees or disagrees with the angry brunette.
"You didn't know them so how can you say that I'm the same as them?" Remy snaps. Dr. Branum raises an unimpressed brow at the outburst. "Whatever," she grumbles, standing up and making her way to the door.
"You know why you hate therapy so much, Dr. Hadley?" The older woman questions from behind her desk. Remy's back tenses, but she doesn't bother to turn around or respond, which is taken to be a cue to continue. "You prefer to be mysterious to others because that lets you be in control. Being mysterious lets you read other people and keeps them from being able to read you. If they can't read you, they can't judge you. What is it that you're afraid they'll see?"
Remy is quiet for a moment before she releases a tired sigh. "I don't know what you're talking about," is her final answer.
Amy nods to herself, the answer about what she expected from the other woman at this stage. "For the record, Dr. Hadley, their concern doesn't come from your mother's history or because of your diagnosis."
"Of course it doesn't," is the sarcastic reply.
"It comes from you holding so much in. You need an outlet for your negative emotions or else they'll keep building up and holding you down," Amy finishes, ignoring the outburst from the other doctor.
Hadley allows the words to sink in. "Are we done here?" She questions softly.
"For today," Dr. Branum nods, the action meaningless because of the younger woman's back still turned to her. With that, Remy is out the door and Amy is certain that, if nothing else, she got the younger woman considering what was said. A glance at her clock brings a smile to her face. "9:34, she lasted a whole ten minutes longer than she did last week."
Meanwhile, in the ER
Cameron approaches the Nurses' Station to pick up the next patient's file from the stack. She stops short upon seeing her former boss rifling through the files, torn between her usual annoyance at his presence and the need to be nice to him because of how much he helped Remy less than a week ago.
"Can I help you?" She asks neutrally, choosing to be neither accommodating or hostile.
"Just browsing, thanks. Happy to be underachieving again?" House questions, barely sparing her a glance upon her arrival.
"Running the ER is just slacker heaven," the blonde deadpans, rolling her eyes. "Looking for anything in particular?" She wonders, hoping to get rid of him now that she knows that he opted for reverting back to his usual jerky attitude.
"Not anymore," the older doctor announces with his unmistakably mischievous smirk as he flips through a file. "Where's this guy?" He questions, practically thrusting the file in the other woman's face.
"Why?" Is the understandably suspicious response.
House sighs in exaggerated exasperation. "'Cause he's my next patient. It'd be rude of me not to introduce myself."
Narrowing her eyes, Allison takes a closer look at the file. "He's a drunk priest who hallucinated Jesus," she states obviously.
"Afraid you might've missed something?" He taunts.
"Afraid you're wasting everyone's time?" She retorts. House merely arches a brow in response, earning a heavy sigh from the other woman. "It's obviously either alcohol or exhaustion."
"So you admit that you have no idea which," House declares dramatically, as if he just called her out on a monumental lie.
Cameron shakes her head, tired of playing this game with her former boss. "I admit that I'm too busy to care who you're screwing with," she informs him before taking one of the discarded files and walking away.
In a show of maturity - for House, anyways - he decides not to ask 'even if it was your girlfriend I was screwing with', no matter how tempting it may have been. "Don't thank me. Just knowing I can be of assistance is thanks enough," is instead his relatively tame reply.
Thirteen's jaw is set as House holds her and Foreman behind to talk to them, affectionately referring to them as 'Foreteen' in the process.
"This department is broken," House begins as he takes a seat at the edge of the table. "And I'm not going to take a real case until it's fixed," he finishes.
"What are you getting at House?" Foreman asks warily.
"I'm glad you asked," the older man grins with false cheer. "Now, Foreman, if by some miracle you get to keep your medical license, I can't very well keep you on my team, working side-by-side with the very woman you tried to kill, can I? That would be irresponsible," he explains, his lips twitching near the end from the effort being used to keep from smirking at the pair.
"So, one of us has to quit," Hadley slowly states in a questioning tone.
"That's a fantastic idea!" House beams sarcastically, earning an eye roll from the brunette. "So, you two can discuss it and come to a decision…out of view from our benevolent ER doctor, of course," he exaggerates a wink in the direction of his female Fellow.
"Cameron? Why?" Foreman asks in confusion.
"So she wouldn't get jealous of course!" House exclaims, giddy over the impending blowout from Thirteen and Foreman's already volatile relationship. "So, go ahead and get on with it. You have until the end of this fake case to make a decision," he informs them seriously. The pair share a look before exiting the room.
"So…" Foreman trails off awkwardly as they head down the hallway and out of House's sight.
Once they reach the elevator Remy hits the down button before turning to the other doctor, her expression shockingly fierce considering how calm she'd been up to this point.
"We have nothing to discuss because you went behind my back and nearly cost me my life," she hisses at the taller doctor. "If - and that's a very big 'if' - you don't lose your license, there is no way in hell I am going to quit," she informs him with barely controlled anger, her rant coming to an end as the elevator doors open up. "I don't owe you anything Foreman," she adds, her voice back to being preternaturally calm before she steps into the elevator.
The other man stands in the hallway stunned by her vehemence. He searches for something to say as she pushes the button for the first floor and she stares blankly at him until the elevator's short delay times out and the doors close. Foreman stands alone and staring at the shiny metal doors, torn between acceptance because of how the situation is his fault to begin with and anger over the other woman making the decision for him without even bothering to consult him on the matter. With a sigh, he presses the down button again and waits for another elevator to come.
"So," House grins from behind his desk at the two doctors in front of him. "The priest is being discharged as we speak. This case is over. Your decision?" He questions them eagerly, leaving out the part about the priest not believing in god and how he molested a teenage boy. Allegedly.
Foreman glances at Thirteen for a moment, not quite ready for this decision to be made. He opens his mouth before closing it again.
"Foreman's quitting," Hadley states, not bothering to look at her, now, former colleague.
House looks between the pair and notices their postures and expressions. "Interesting," he states thoughtfully.
Turning his attention from the doctor beside him, Foreman narrows his eyes at the man in front of him. "I don't think it's fair for me to automatically be the one to roll over and play dead," he argues.
At this, Remy finally turns to look at him, albeit in utter disbelief. "How is this not fair? Your selfishness gave me a tumor and could have killed me or, at the very least, left me blind," she barks at him.
"So, I don't get any say in this? We never even discussed it. You just decided for us both that I should be the one to leave," the dark-skinned doctor snaps back at her, tired of being kicked around by her, House, the rest of the team, and Cameron.
"You know why I decided that?" The brunette asks rhetorically as she gets into his personal space. "Because there's no reason for me to have to quit since I didn't do anything wrong. You did," she elaborates, punctuating the word 'you' by angrily poking him in the chest with an accusatory index finger.
House watches them go at it as though he was watching a tennis match.
"Come on House," Foreman growls at his boss as soon as Thirteen finishes her tirade. "Isn't this about the time you admit that this was another one of your games? That you just wanted to see-"
"You're fired," the older man seriously cuts him off.
"How long are you going to keep this up? I know you're not-"
"Wrong. Again. In fact, in the last few weeks it's hard to remember a correct call you made," House interrupts.
"Wait. I can't believe you're taking Thirteen's side like this," Foreman protests.
"I don't take sides. If Thirteen had compromised her professional judgment to help Cameron, I'd have fired her ass too," he points out easily.
The other man seems stricken by this. "But, when my mistake blew up, you did everything you could to try and keep me from going to the drug company," he argues weakly, leaving it unspoken as to how he also helped with undoing the damage done to Thirteen.
"Yes, but you went to them anyways. I was trying to save your license, not your job. So, badge," House says, holding out his hand expectantly.
Foreman narrows his eyes at his former boss. "Fine," he barks out resentfully, tossing his badge on the desk and stalking out, not bothering to spare Hadley another glance on his way.
For her part, Remy just stares at her boss, not quite believing everything that just happened. She almost wants to thank House, but she is certain that it wasn't done for her benefit…not entirely anyways.
"So," House draws out after placing Foreman's badge in the top drawer of his desk. "Why don't you pay your girlfriend a visit and see if you can find us a real case?" He questions, his tone sarcastic but still significantly softer than is typical for him. Remy just nods mutely and leaves.
Diagnostics Office - An Hour Later
House is staring at the jar holding the priest's toe, only Taub and Kutner are in the office with him. "Must be my lucky day. New symptom means the old symptom was a real symptom, and I get to keep our pederast priest after all," the older man muses to himself.
"Where are Foreman and Thirteen?" Kutner wonders, not paying much mind to the patient's problems.
"They left," House informs him idly. "Leprosy can cause necrosis and hallucinations," he then states, getting back to the point. He tosses the specimen cup containing the toe over to Taub before writing 'necrosis' on the whiteboard.
"Why would they leave?" Taub can't help but ask, despite himself.
"Well, Foreman doesn't work here anymore and Thirteen is hiding in her girlfriend's office. Don't worry, she'll be back," House informs them. "Leprosy's a bad fit," he changes his mind.
"Why'd you fire Foreman?" Kutner wonders, not willing to let the topic drop.
"One of them had to go and they couldn't agree so I picked for them. What about ergotism?"
"He gave up his career for her?" Taub asks incredulously.
"Nooo. He gave up this career for her," House rolls his eyes. "No, normal white blood count. Carbon monoxide poisoning?" He continues on, hoping that they get the hint and stop talking about Thirteen and Foreman.
"They're good doctors," Kutner unnecessarily points out.
House sighs and rubs his eyes as he turns to face the pair. "Separately, they're great doctors, better than you…but they can't work together because it turns them into morons," he says with finality, indicating the conversation is over. "Go check out the house that they would've checked had this been a real case. And page Thirteen, tell her to run the blood for CO. And get the priest in a hyperbaric chamber before anything else falls off," he directs, dismissing them both.
Taub and Kutner exit the office. "I'll go get Thirteen," Kutner offers before disappearing down the hall.
"So Foreman's gone, huh?" Cameron asks her girlfriend, still not quite believing that her former boss would just fire the other doctor like that.
"Yeah. He asked for Foreman's hospital ID and sent him packing," Remy confirms.
There's a knock on the door to the office, interrupting their brief conversation. Both women share a confused look. "Come in," Allison instructs the person on the other side of the door.
Kutner opens the door, stepping into the office, almost uncertainly and hoping that he isn't interrupting anything. "Hey," Remy greets her coworker, wondering what House is up to now.
"Daniel's still a patient. His toe fell off. Taub and I are going to the church to look for anything that might help," Kutner explains.
"Okay. What did House want me to do?" She asks, standing up and preparing to leave.
"Run the blood for CO. Taub's getting him into a hyperbaric chamber now."
Remy nods and turns towards Allison to offer her apologies. "Go work. It's fine," the blonde smiles in understanding.
Hadley grins and leans over the desk to give the other woman a brief kiss. "I'll see you at home," she promises.
"Have fun," Allison smirks, chuckling and shaking her head when Remy sticks her tongue out at her before closing the door behind her.
The dark-haired doctor finds Kutner waiting for her outside of the office, with a thoughtful smile on his face. They easily fall in step on their way to visit the patient before Kutner and Taub leave to go to the church. Remy can't help but notice how uncharacteristic this companionable silence is with the Indian doctor.
"You've been unusually quiet today," she says off-handedly.
"Have I?" He asks absently. It takes a moment of silence from his companion before he actually turns to look at the other doctor, a self-conscious smile on his face. "Sorry, I guess I just have a lot on my mind," he apologizes with a small amount of embarrassment coming through in his tone.
Remy furrows her brows in concern at this admission. "Is everything okay?" She questions her friend, not sure of the nature or the severity of the source of his distraction.
Kutner's uncomfortable smile settles into something more akin to his trademark mischievous smirk. "Xbox just isn't the same without my favorite co-op partner by my side," he shrugs nonchalantly, trying not to laugh as he does so.
Rolling her eyes and chuckling and the man-child next to her, Hadley opts to play along this once. "Now, when you say 'favorite', who are you referring to, Alexis or me?" She asks, an eyebrow quirked with feigned harshness.
"Well, considering the level of your wrath when you saw Alex playing videogames with me, I have to say that you're my favorite. Not that this is just me sucking up out of self-preservation or anything," he quickly adds the last part, suppressing a shudder at the memory.
"Oh please! Kutner, come on, that had nothing to do with the fact that you were playing videogames with my daughter. I was pissed you were playing Left 4 Dead 2 with my eight year old," Remy vehemently defends herself.
"Your eight year old that can kick some serious zombie ass," Kutner is quick to point out so as to get the other woman to see it as a compliment.
Judging by the look on Remy's face, she is less-than-impressed by his effort. "First off, they are 'infected' and not zombies," she sighs in exasperation as though, as a doctor, he should have remembered that. "Secondly, I'm sorry that I, for some unfathomable reason," she emphasizes with ample sarcasm, "can't bring myself to be pleased by witnessing Alex hacking away at the hordes of attacking infected people with a chainsaw," she states reasonably, ignoring the curious – and concerned – expressions of those unfortunate enough to be around the duo at this point in their conversation.
"Yeah, but that's mostly because you prefer to pick them off in groups off by hurling Molotov cocktails at them," the other man grins.
"It makes more sense to not want to let them get that close to you because…" Remy trails off before shaking her head and sighing to herself. "Why are we even talking about this?" She questions, fighting back her smile at the absurdity of the conversation. "Besides, the point is that she had nightmares for two nights after playing that game," she informs him sternly.
"Yeah, sorry about that," he winces, sympathetic to his coworker's irritation over the incident.
Thirteen nods in acceptance to his apology. "So, I think we agree that if Lexi and I are coming over this weekend to waste several hours playing videogames while my girlfriend's at work, then it can't be anything that's going to traumatize her," she sternly states, doing a remarkable job of holding back her amusement.
The other doctor doesn't bother trying to hide his excitement as a grin threatens to split his face in half. "Would Call of Duty be cool?" He questions, wracking his brain for any somewhat acceptable co-op games he might have.
Remy considers this for a moment. "Not ideal, but it's a little better. At least it's more exciting than Wii Bowling," she cringes.
Kutner regards the other woman thoughtfully for a moment. "You know, you're surprisingly good at kickass games for being such a pacifist," he notes with a smirk.
"Ha ha," Remy rolls her eyes good-naturedly as they reach the patient's room. "Go get to work," she jokingly dismisses him.
"See you later," Kutner smirks before turning and making his way down the hallway towards the exit where he's due to meet Taub.
Cameron's Office – 15 minutes Later
It took several minutes after her girlfriend left the office for Cameron to be able to shake off the other woman's presence enough for her to be able to motivate herself to start back in on her paperwork. Just as she was finally starting to get on a roll with it, she hears a knock on her door. With a sigh, she begins to resign herself to the fact that she's probably not going to get through it all today.
"Come in," the blonde calls out to the person on the other side, trying to keep her exasperation to herself. The door opens cautiously and Cuddy steps in, closing the door behind her. Allison immediately gives the other woman her attention, expecting there to be some kind of crisis in the ER or something of that nature. "Is everything okay?" She immediately asks.
"It's House," the older woman deadpans as she ungracefully drops into the seat in front of the other woman's desk.
"Oh," Cameron says, her sense of urgency greatly lessened. "What did he do this time?" She questions, wondering why Cuddy's choosing to speak to her about it rather than Remy, her usual confidant.
"He's coming to Rachel's Simchat Bat on Friday," the older doctor sighs.
"You invited him so shouldn't that be a good thing?" Allison asks with confusion.
At this Lisa breaks eye contact in an almost sheepish manner. "Not if I only invited him so that he'd think I wanted him there and he would say no," she rushes out.
It takes the blonde a moment to decipher what she just heard, but her eyes widen in shock once it does. "I can't believe you did that!" She blurts out impressed, but not admonishing the other woman for it.
Cuddy huffs out an irritated breath. "He said no at first, then Wilson opened his big mouth. House cornered me a few minutes ago and said he'd be there," she grumbles with annoyance.
"Maybe he'll actually behave himself for once," Allison offers, not nearly as hopeful of that as she sounds. Cuddy scoffs accordingly.
"Not with plenty of wine and people around for him to mock," the older woman points out. "I spoke to Wilson and told him to fix it…and to leave my name out of it when he does," she informs the blonde.
Cameron nods in understanding and the office lapses into a not-entirely-uncomfortable silence, though it's far from being a comfortable one. "Did you really come all the way over to my office to tell me about House's latest drama?" She skeptically inquires.
Once again, the brunette dean averts her eyes. "Not entirely," she admits and Allison waits patiently for her to elaborate. "I didn't know how to approach Remy about this, or if I even should to begin with," she begins. "Foreman came to me earlier asking for me to give him a letter of recommendation and I had to turn him down," she watches the blonde for a reaction and isn't disappointed.
"You should have turned him down because he screwed up in every way imaginable and he put Remy's life at risk over it!" Allison is quick to agree with her boss' actions, her anger beginning to rise at the mention of the other man.
"There were more reasons, but that just about sums it up," Cuddy nods.
The ER doctor poises herself to go off on another tangent, but she refrains. "What did Foreman say when you turned him down?" She wonders suspiciously.
"Not much. He looked a little hurt and fairly angry. He stated that he couldn't get a decent position at another hospital without a recommendation and I apologized but told him that I had no choice. Then he left," Cuddy explains succinctly.
Cameron ponders this for a moment. "Why are you afraid to tell Remy this?" She asks softly.
Lisa recalls not using the word 'afraid' when she broached the topic, but she acknowledges that it isn't entirely inaccurate. "Because I know she's still livid over the ordeal and I don't want to upset her even more than she already is…especially considering how her therapy is going," she mumbles the last part mostly to herself.
"What do you mean?" A genuinely confused Allison asks.
"About what part?" Cuddy replies, hoping that it isn't about the therapy because she realized a moment too late that it wasn't something that she should've said.
"About how you didn't want to upset her because of her therapy. Remy said that things were going well," the blonde clarifies her initial question, suspecting that the other woman knows exactly what she had been asking.
With a sigh, Cuddy mentally kicks herself over the slip. "All I know is what her therapist has given me in her reports…which isn't a lot," is the carefully worded response. Allison folds her arms and leans back in her chair, her demeanor indicating her answer isn't good enough and that she needs to elaborate more. The older woman sighs in resignation to the fact that Cameron deserves a real answer, no matter how much trouble it might get her in with Hadley. "Apparently Remy is angry and defensive and she refuses to open up about anything," she hesitantly informs the ER doctor.
Cameron leans forward to rest her elbows on the desk and massage her temples to keep her impending headache at bay. For some reason, she isn't the least bit surprised by the news. "Thank you," she sincerely states, not looking up to meet her boss' gaze.
"I'm sorry Dr. Cameron," Lisa offers genuinely, not liking that she had to be the one to tell her about Remy's therapy.
The blonde waves it off as she looks up at the older woman. "Don't be. I'm glad you told me," she smiles weakly.
Sensing that the ER doctor needs her privacy, Cuddy stands up. "I'm sorry to have interrupted you Dr. Cameron. I'll let you get back to your work," she tries to sound as professional as possible as she dismisses herself from the other woman's office, earning an appreciative half-smile from the blonde. "So, can I still expect to see you and Remy on Friday at Rachel's Simchat Bat?" She finds herself asking, shattering the authoritative image she was trying to convey a moment ago.
"Only if you really want us there," Allison jokes, smiling openly at the reference to the other woman's insincere invitation to House.
The dean shakes her head and chuckles at the blonde. "Of course I do," she replies.
"We'll be there then," she confirms, earning a small smile from the older doctor before she shuts the door. Allison's smile falters once left alone to ponder her girlfriend lying to her about therapy and whether it would be a good idea to bring up the topic of Foreman or not. She doesn't want to risk sending the other woman over the edge again so soon after things started getting better.
Apartment – 8:45 pm
Allison and Remy are sitting side by side in the living room watching television with a sleeping Alexis sprawled over both of their laps, with her head resting in Remy's. The blonde isn't paying the slightest attention to the television as she's too busy keeping an eye on her girlfriend idly running her fingers through her daughter's hair, not sure how, or if, to broach the topic of Remy's therapy.
"How's your patient?" She finds herself asking, internally cringing at the cop-out.
Remy's somewhat startled by the randomly asked question after nearly an hour of neither of them saying a word. "He's an atheist priest that had a heart attack that wasn't a heart attack and may or may not be a liar…so pretty much business as usual considering who I work for," she smirks at her girlfriend.
"Point taken," the blonde chuckles at the truth in the statement.
"House is convinced that he'd want to be best friends with Daniel if the man wasn't a pedophile," the brunette rolls her eyes in annoyance at her boss.
"A pedophile?" Allison blurts out, shocked at the revelation.
"Allegedly," Remy shrugs noncommittally.
"Do you think he is?" She questions, curious as to the younger doctor's perspective.
Remy considers the question for a moment. "I'd rather not put too much thought into it because it's not my job to judge our patients. If I did, then I might not try to save all of them if I didn't think they 'deserved' it and I'm in no position to say what someone does or doesn't deserve," she explains thoughtfully.
"Fair enough," the blonde nods before keeping her expectant gaze trained on the other woman, curious if she's even wondered about the patient.
Catching the look, Hadley sighs before she gives in to her girlfriend's silent request. "I don't think he'd be so angry at god as to completely lose his faith if he was guilty," she responds.
Allison simply nods absently at the logic of the other woman's explanation, her thoughts beginning to drift towards the real question on her mind. "How did therapy go this morning?" She questions, carefully observing Remy as she does so.
The brief clenching of her jaw is the single telltale sign of the brunette's irritation over the inquiry. "The same as usual," she smiles affectionately at her girlfriend, not lying but not exactly giving her the whole story either…just wanting the conversation to be over.
"Remy," the blonde prompts, drawing the other woman's name out in a way that suggests that she isn't entirely satisfied by that answer.
Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, Hadley keeps her head facing the television, her jaw set in agitation. "As well as can be expected from having someone pry into every painful part of your past and your every insecurity," she elaborates.
Allison opens her mouth to respond, only to be cut off before she can speak. "What time is it?" Alexis groans from her position on both women's lap.
"Time for you to go to bed," Remy smiles gently at her daughter, glad for the interruption.
"But I'm not tired," Alex argues, punctuating that statement with a yawn.
"Of course you aren't," her mother humors her, not bothering to chance a look at the older woman next to her as she stands up and lifts the smaller girl into her arms.
"You're going to tuck me in, right?" The eight-year old asks on the way to her room.
"Don't I always?" Remy questions playfully.
"And tell me a story too?" The little girl pushes, wanting to delay sleep as long as she can.
"If you like," Hadley affirms, wanting to avoid the inevitable conversation with Cameron as long as humanly possible.
Allison watches them leave the room with a troubled expression, worrying over how easily the other woman can switch her emotions…or turn them off all together. She breathes out a sigh of frustration, knowing that she isn't going to be able to get anything out of her girlfriend tonight.
Don't fear, I still love this story and still know where I'm going with it. Inspiration, motivation, and time (as well as a still healing broken wrist) have all been issues with getting this finished. Between getting married and dealing with other general life things, writing has unfortunately taken a back seat. I would like to say that the next chapter will be up in a more timely fashion, but it's hard to say. It's my goal to update at least one of my other stories before this year is out, but it's hard to decide which one(s) to focus on.
I tried to incorporate one or two elements into this chapter that hint at future events. There's tension to be expected because this is still me writing after all (heh), but nothing too dire between Thirteen and Cameron (yet). Remember, after I finish with the Unfaithful storyline in the next chapter, we'll be getting into the Simple Explanation storyline…and also the final stretch of this story. I'm going to approximate that there will be less than ten chapters left, but given how some scenes and ideas tend to get away from me, it might be more.
As always, any criticisms or general comments are more than appreciated and they are also a good way to help the inspiration along (hint, hint). For those that prefer to not review, you can always feel free to send comments via PM. Every comment matters, even if it's to tell me that my writing is rusty and sucks now (or always did)…but don't feel pressured or obligated to if you don't feel like it.
Also, I updated my profile, check it out if you're interested, but it's no big deal if not.