Luck of the Irish

A House fan fiction by phoenixgirl23

DISCLAIMER: House MD is property of FOX, not me.

AN. By the end of this story, you will realise why in GHOSTS OF THE PAST I decided against Cameron getting pregnant. Also, I don't know if there is actually a Danver Memorial in Ireland... I just like Ireland. Blame PS. I LOVE YOU (the book, not the movie. Although the movie is good, the book is a gazillion times better).

One

"Alright, kiddies. It's time for your final exam."

Dr. Greg House sat in a Princeton bar one snowy night in January, and sipping his beer, looked around the table at his companions. On his left was his best friend, Dr. James Wilson who was watching House with an amused expression. Dr. Allison Cameron, sitting beside Wilson was smiling sadly, but still looking extremely beautiful. Dr. Robert Chase, opposite Cameron, obviously thought so too, as he kept shooting Cameron glances when she wasn't looking. Dr. Eric Foreman, opposite House rolled his eyes in exasperation at House's antics, an expression Dr. Lisa Cuddy, sitting in between Chase and Foreman, shared.

After three years, Cameron, Chase and Foreman, House's "ducklings" as they had become known fondly amongst the nurses, were spreading their wings and leaving the nest. After a long emotional day, Cuddy and Wilson had persuaded House to come out with the five of them for farewell drinks, and House was surprisingly enjoying himself.

"Final exam?" repeated Chase sceptically.

"Yep. Now, your final grade will be based on where you're heading. Besides, if I don't know who's gonna be the most successful, how do I know who to keep in touch with? Chase, you're up."

Chase sighed and nodded. "Intensive Care, San Francisco General."

"Not Head?" questioned Cuddy.

"The present Head, Hillier, is due to retire in six months. I've got promise of getting the job if I'm lucky."

House cocked his head thoughtfully. "Not bad. B-plus. Foreman?"

Foreman seemed proud of his achievements as he answered. "Head of Neurology at Washington State."

Everyone around the table was impressed, House reluctantly so. "Good. A-minus. Ok, Cam, lucky last."
Cameron smiled teasingly and took a tantalising slow sip of her drink. "I had a few offers. Chicago, North Carolina, Virginia, Boston..."

"So, what did you pick?" Wilson asked her impatiently.

She grinned. "I'm gonna be the Head of Immunology..." the table waited with bated breath.

"Twenty bucks she picked Chicago," House whispered to Wilson.

"Deal," he replied.

"... At Danver Memorial in Dublin, Ireland."

A shocked silence met these words.

"Ireland?" repeated Foreman, shocked.

She smiled and nodded. "An old friend lives there, and the offer came in at the last minute. I thought why not?"

"I just lost twenty bucks!" House complained to her, to cover up his feeling of surprise.

"That's great, Cameron. Congratulations!" Chase said sincerely.

"Yeah, well done," Cuddy told her in disbelief.

Everyone added their congratulations, save House who remained silent, until they all looked over at him.

"Good job. A-plus," he told her gruffly. "Don't expect me to keep up international correspondence."

Cameron laughed. "Don't worry. I would have been impressed if you'd made interstate contact."

They all laughed, and Wilson flagged down the waitress, asking for a round of Guinness. When they arrived, they all picked up a glass and Cuddy announced, "I would like to propose a toast. To the only three people besides Wilson, myself and his parents, to ever put up with House for longer than a year."

"To the Ducklings!" Wilson added, laughing.

"To friendships!" Cameron added quietly, smiling at Chase and Foreman.

"To Ireland!" Foreman cried, and they all clinked glasses.

"So, whose this old friend?" Foreman asked Cameron as they all headed out of the pub at closing time.

Cameron hesitated, smiling before answering. "His name's Zach Donahue. He's been my best friend since we were thirteen, and then when we were twenty his Dad in Ireland died, and Zach had to go take over the family business. We've kept in touch ever since."

"What's his damage?" House asked from behind the three. Cameron turned to face him, walking backwards.

"That's really the last thing you want to say to me, House? Not good luck, not send me a souvenir, just how damaged is your best friend?"

"No, the last thing I wanted to say to you was gonna be the final scene from Lord of the Rings; but if you wanna do it your way, sure send me a souvenir. And tell me the damage."

Cameron laughed. "He's not damaged. Just Irish."

They reached Chase's car first, and he awkwardly shook hands with Foreman, Cuddy and Wilson; nodded vaguely to House, and hugged and kissed on the cheek a slightly teary Cameron, promising to write. By the time they reached Cameron's car, just down the road from Chase's, she was determinedly promising herself she wouldn't cry, and just as determinedly failing.

She had already received everyone's e mails and contact details earlier in the day, so there was nothing else to do but try to hold back her tears as she began to say good bye. Cuddy and Wilson both embraced her gently, being sincere when they told her they would miss her and keep in touch. Foreman, his eyes strangely wet, held her tight for a long moment.

"You'll write too?" she asked him, as they separated.

"Definitely," he replied. "You're not gonna get rid of me that easily."

She nodded and took a deep breath, turning to House. He paused and offered a hand, but she simply gave him a look of exasperation and hugged him tightly.

"Thanks, for everything," she said quietly so only he could hear. "I left instructions on how to use the coffee maker taped to the cupboard."

House smiled, a real smile. "Thanks. I thought I'd have to start drinking the cafeteria stuff again. My stomach's gotten used to finery."

"I figured. There's one last letter on your desk. Take care of yourself , House."

House nodded and she turned, and reluctantly got in her car and drove away. That night, Cameron finished the last of her packing. Most of her things were already being shipped across to Ireland, where her new apartment in Dublin was waiting. As she lay in bed for the last time, listening to the New Jersey traffic outside, her stomach twinged and she wondered if she'd done the right thing, leaving behind her family in Chicago, and leaving the letter on House's desk. Eventually, she rolled over and drifting off to sleep, knowing she couldn't change what had already happened.