Sorry about the long wait. I've been really busy – college registration sign ups and what not, scholarship do-dads, AP exams are coming up, prom was a blast…but now that the school year is finally winding down, I'll hopefully be able to update more often. Forgive me? I recommend reading the last chapter again if the wait was too long for you lol…sry guys.
And as for the last chapter…ya'll aren't making my job easy, are you? I got reviews from all across the board, telling me the idea was cheesy, not cheesy, to hurt House some more, to leave House alone, to leave House but hurt someone else…yikes, guys! WHAT DO I DO?!? WHAT DO I DO! *hyperventilating, tearing my hair, trashing my room…*
Haha, I'll try and not disappoint though, how does that sound? XD
PS: melraemorgan was kind enough to point out that Ryan, in fact is NOT House's stepbrother. Try half brother. So let's pretend I never made such a stupid mistake, ok? ;) Haha, enjoy!
The lockdown had lasted twenty minutes and was now over. Yet the entire hospital was still debating whether or not it had been a drill or the real thing. None of the doctors were too excited about it since half of the patients used the lockdown as an opportunity to whine, complain, and beg for some sort of compensation for their discomfort. As if saving their lives wasn't enough.
"Is this a drill?" one of the more annoying patients asked Foreman, who did his best to remain civil.
"We're not entirely sure, which is why it's best to--"
"Damn it, if it's a drill, take me back to my room!"
Foreman rolled his eyes, giving up and had checked on another patient. As Cameron, Chase and Foreman made their way back to House's office, Chase asked aloud, "So does anyone actually know if this was just a drill. Or if some stupid teenager thought it'd be funny to pull an alarm?"
"I have no idea," Foreman admitted.
Cameron, on the other hand, looked much more worried than her colleagues. "It was all too abrupt for it to be a drill…there has to be something wrong."
"We'd all know if there was something wrong," Chase told her, suspicious of the worried look on her face. "Why, do you know something we don't?"
"No," she answered quickly, frowning at the accusation. "I'm just…anxious." Anxious, however, was an understatement. Lockdown was over, but she was still frantic, uneasy, concerned, frightened, worried all rolled up in one. She desperately hoped it had been a drill, but a small portion of her brain…okay, a huge portion of her brain, knew that there was more going on behind the scenes. And she was sure it had to do with House. After everything she had just discovered about her boss the day before, it was almost impossible for her not to at least consider the idea that House was somehow involved – and in a dangerous way.
Chase caught the uneasiness, but wasn't sure if she was just scared, or if her mind was somewhere else. There was something she wasn't telling him. Cameron glanced his way, noticing his suspecting glare.
"What?" Cameron asked abruptly, annoyed.
"What?" Chase repeated, frowning.
"You're hiding something," Chase immediately accused. "There's something you know that you're not telling either of us."
Foreman raised an eyebrow, wondering how Cameron would answer but secretly convinced Chase was just paranoid.
"Right," Cameron said sarcastically. "I know the truth behind the lockdown drill and I've finally discovered the purpose of meaning. Any other questions?"
Chase didn't answer her and Cameron dropped the subject. Foreman rolled his eyes, things weren't looking up for these two.
"House, you need to stay still," Cuddy warned him gingerly, as she attempted to dry off his cheek. It had taken her almost fifteen minutes thanks to his squirming just to clean the area. And she still had to bandage up his arm. The glass from the bathroom mirror had done its damage by grazing, cutting and embedding itself in House's skin. She was sure she had removed most of the glass but only time would tell…and if House would stop squirming maybe she'd be more successful.
"Stop squirming…" she told him to, trying to be as gentle as possible.
"But it stings!" he whined.
"I told you it would sting, now stay still," she told him, trying to take everything as lightly as he did. He still hadn't told her what the hell had happened in there. Lockdown had just been called off, a sign had been hung on the restroom door to keep people from entering, Weston and every other police officer in the state were on the look-out for Ryan, Weston's officers were chasing him as she took care of House's wounds and Wilson was helping the rest of the hospital transition back to routine. In less than twenty minutes, almost everything was back to normal. Cuddy couldn't help but be amazed at how quickly even the most severe circumstance could look like nothing important if you knew which buttons to press.
House grimaced a little and shifted just as Cuddy finished cleaning his cheek. "See, was that so bad?" she told him, throwing aside the sterilized towel. She couldn't help but roll her eyes at how ridiculous the scenario was – he'd been shot just a few months ago and managed to take it, yet he couldn't stop moving because of a few cuts on his cheek. As soon as she was finished with that, she took his arm and repeated the same procedure. Thankfully, she had already finished the sterilizing process and only had to apply the bandage.
"If you don't change the bandage often, I'm going to have to scrub it and that's going to hurt a lot more," she warned him, knowing there was no way in hell he'd actually change it himself.
"Like I'm going to remember that," House said as she tied the bandage. He took a moment to observe her expression since she couldn't do it very well when she was attacking his face with that demon burning cloth. She looked worried, almost as if she had aged in less than an hour. Just by looking at her, he could tell that she was barely keeping it together, and only for his sake.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
She glanced up at him for a split second before focusing on what she was doing, a little surprised. He was asking if she was okay? After the incredible bathroom shooting incident he had just gone through? Something was wrong with this picture.
"I'm fine, House," she told him, not entirely sure what he was getting at. "Why?"
He shrugged. "You look like the only thing that's keeping you attached as one piece is a couple pieces of tape."
She chuckled half heartedly. "I'm fine. And if anyone should be asking how anyone's doing it should be me." She glanced at him again. "How you holding up?"
He shrugged, passing it off as 'not much'.
"Great," Cuddy said. "Now that we've broken the ice I can ask what I really want to know. What the hell happened in there?"
"Have you ever heard of psychological whiplash?" House asked sarcastically.
"It's not funny," she told him, tying off the bandage and swallowing the lump in her throat, remembering all the bullets she had heard less than half an hour ago. She had been certain he was dead, and he wanted to make it a joke?
"You're right," he agreed. "It's not." What was he supposed to tell her anyway? So, Ryan and I had just had a little chit chat. Apparently he's my long lost brother…well, half brother, does that it make slightly more believable? But yeah, we have the same dad…whatever his name was (oh great. He couldn't even remember his own biological father's name) Oh, have I never told you this story? Yeah, I was convinced my dad wasn't my biological father and guess what? I was right! And I even have a wacko half brother to prove it! So Ryan hates me because his mom topped herself when she found out her husband had cheated and Ryan liked my dad better than his own so he felt I had cheated him. I'm evil for existing. I know – makes complete sense. That's me -plotting Ryan's misery when I was just a fetus in my mother's womb. I wasn't just born evil; I was created evil.
Still, House didn't have too much trouble accepting this new revelation. So Ryan was related to him. That's just another thing he could add to his "I bet you didn't know this about me" record. Was it annoying? Of course it was. Now if he said he wanted to kill Ryan, he sounded unnecessarily evil. Yet, this new revelation yielded so many unanswered questions. Did his father…er, adoptive father…know House wasn't his? Did Blythe know she was the cause of Ryan's mother's suicide? Did Ryan's dad - oh what the hell was his name? – know that House was his son?
Unfortunately, the only way House would be able to answer any of these questions would be…to talk to his parents.
Oh, hell no.
Cuddy completed tying the bandage in silence as House weighed his options. Should he just blurt it all out and tell Cuddy now? Or wait until later?
He decided to put off the inevitable conversation for a later time and instead asked, "So how's the chase for our favorite man coming along?"
Cuddy sighed, understanding that House simply didn't want to talk it about what was really important and went with it. "Not sure. But every police officer in New Jersey knows Ryan's bad news and that he should be arrested on the spot. A photo's been made public too--"
"Eric!" House suddenly gasped, slightly pleased with himself.
Cuddy said nothing for a moment. She just frowned at him for a moment before hesitantly saying, "Uh…House? His name is Ryan…"
"What?" House said, he hadn't been really paying much attention to the Ryan update she had been giving him.
"Are you okay?"
"No, I'm fine."
Yeah, that makes perfect sense, Cuddy thought to herself. 'No, I'm fine'. "What's going on?"
He shrugged. Again. "Nothing."
"House…" she pleaded. She felt as if he was isolating himself and placing her in a corner.
"It's nothing, Eric's…" okay, now how do I finish this sentence? Oh, what the hell—"my dad," he finished, sighing.
She didn't saying, opening her mouth and then closing it for a second. Why was he talking about his dad all of a sudden? "I thought…your dad's name was John," she started hesitantly.
"Yeah, well, that's what I thought too," House said, knowing that this was bound to be a long conversation.
She didn't interrupt. Not even once. But House could tell she wanted to – multiple times, and that much was true. It took everything in her power to not interrupt him, knowing that if she did, he'd use it as an opportunity to shut up all together.
"So," Cuddy started after a few moments of silence. "That's it. That's the secret…mystery as to why Ryan wants your head – you're related and because of that, you ruined his life."
House wasn't entirely sure if he should say something or allow her to process. Usually with Cuddy, the moment of silence and calm demeanor was followed by a mini screaming session—
"What the hell!"
--and there it was.
"So he wants to kill you for existing? What, so he wanted to take over your soul and become your alter ego?"
"I know. Because my life was just awesome," House said sarcastically.
"This is on the brink of insanity."
"I'd say he already passed that brink."
"Is this normal for you?" Cuddy squealed, suddenly turning on House, quite frankly annoyed at how nonchalantly House was taking this. "Do you usually discover you have a half brother that's out to kill you? Or am I missing something here?" Her annoyance was changing from anger and then to relief. Relief that she could be angry, relief that she could have the chance to be frustrated. He was supposed to be dead right now but instead she was here, talking, discussing, getting angry. The relief, the worry, the news – everything seemed to drop on her head all at one time. And before she knew it, the emotions found their escape through tears.
"Hey, hey," House said, taking her hand, internally hitting himself for making her break. "It's fine--"
"You almost died! Again! And you're sitting here…and it's not funny…" she didn't even know what she was saying anymore. She was angry and relieved. What one word emotion described that anyway?
"You're right it's not...and I'm fine…look, he's gone and now everyone's after him. We're going to be fine. It's over."
Cuddy inhaled deeply, trying to compose herself. "I know," she told him, running her hand along his arm. "But you still make me angry."
House laughed. "Me? What did I do?"
"You never take anything seriously."
"That's not true."
"Prove it," she told him, waiting for his answer.
House thought for a moment, twisting his lip from side to side. "I'm…wondering why Ryan didn't just shoot me when he had the chance."
Cuddy stopped massaging his arm and looked at him, wild eyed. "You…wanted him to shoot you…?"
"No…but he could've. He shot at the door, the walls, the mirror – he purposely didn't shoot me. Why wouldn't he if he had the chance? Unless not shooting me is supposed to mean something…" House's brain was running at a hundred miles an hour, trying to understand Ryan's point. "Unless he didn't want to shoot me, because he knew he would have the chance later…"
"He's coming back," Cuddy said, not liking where this was going.
"Says you. Apparently he was convinced he could scare the shit out of me now. Even give me a heads up, let me know he was going to come back and get the job done."
"Yeah, because he thought he was going to get away," she reassured him. "Now he has an entire state looking for him--"
"If they catch him in time before he jumps borders--"
"Yeah, state borders, Greg! He's not running to Mexico or Canada! And even then they can still catch him. They're going to get him, and send his ass to prison--"
House was about to interrupt her but the door to his room quickly opened as Wilson walked in, panting after running up and down the hospital. "Hey," he said to both of them and to House he asked, "How are you holding up."
House immediately jumped on the occasion to whine. "Mommy stuck me, stung me, burned me" he raised up his arm and pointed to his cheek "and now she's yelling at me!"
"Well, I'm glad you're doing fine," Wilson immediately deadpanned. He turned to Cuddy. "Lockdown's over. And the entire hospital is trying to figure out which teenager messed with the alarms. No one knows if this was a drill or if there's something going on."
"Good," Cuddy said, standing up. "And let them make up whatever they want, I don't care." She turned to House, cleaning up scraps of bandages that she hadn't used. "You can be discharged tomorrow morning," she said, smiling slightly.
"Isn't that…kind of early?" Wilson said, carefully, earning him probably the most frightening, death glare from House. Wilson smiled, hesitantly. "Just kidding," he said weakly.
"I think you can handle it," she told him, knowing that was exactly what he wanted. He had been hospitalized for four days. He was growing restless. "Besides, your team's been wondering where you've been and it won't be long before they manage to draw out the truth from Cameron."
"Good point," Wilson and House said simultaneously.
9 PM, House's room
Nothing remotely interesting had happened the rest of the day – there wasn't even an update concerning Ryan which was more worrisome than anything else. Cuddy had spent the last hour curled up in the chair beside House, her arms supporting her head as she talked with him about nothing particularly important which was definitely a change. For the last couple days, all they had talked about was Ryan. Now that he was finally out of the way, they could talk, smile, laugh.
Now, Cuddy was starting to doze off; exhaustion was finally catching up to her. And while she slept, House indulged himself in his own worry. The fact that Ryan hadn't killed him earlier that day still scared him. But he wasn't scared for himself. Ryan now knew for certain how much Cuddy meant to House, which was exactly what House had been trying to hide from him. Now Ryan had a new target – Lisa. And if the police didn't find him…he didn't want to think about the possibilities.
He moved a stray strand of hair away from her face and curled it behind her ear. "Hey…Lise…"
"What…?" she murmured quietly.
"You need to sleep," he told her.
"Not here," he said, smiling to himself. "Go home and sleep properly. You need it."
She sat up, knowing he was right, but not ready to leave – partly because she was tired and partly because she simply didn't want to leave him.
"I'll be here tomorrow morning," he reassured her.
"Alright," she told him as she stood up to leave. She kissed him and told him, "I love you."
"Me too," he told her just before she left the room.
"Good morning, Angels!!" House announced, slamming three blue files on the differential desk. Foreman, Chase and Cameron simply stared at him, wondering where the hell he had come from.
"Where have you been?" Chase asked, more curious than anything else.
House sighed. "I know I've been gone for a while but 'Good morning, Angels!' is code for 'look at the damn file'."
"What happened," Foreman said, referring to the scratches and bruises on his right cheek.
"Motorcycle accident," he said, acknowledging and dismissing the topic all in one stride. "Now, back to the pretty blue file."
It was really thanks to Cuddy he was able to get to work on time…or relatively on time. Cuddy had brought in a change of clothes for House to wear that morning, both of them deciding that the sooner he came in for work, the less talk there would be.
"Patient's a heavy drinker and was brought in half in a coma because he was so drunk, it could just be liver related – cirrhosis," Cameron said, referring to the patient.
Chase and Foreman glanced Cameron, and then at each other while Cameron looked up, making a face at both of them. House rolled his eyes, instantly understanding the hidden interaction. Cameron was more concerned with the patient than she was with House's latest disappearing stunt and the fact that he'd been in a motorcycle accident. Great – this was bound to raise suspicions.
Foreman took the hint and directed his attention to the file in front of him. "Cirrhosis wouldn't explain the irregular heart rhythms – hyperthyroidism is more likely."
"Go look for both," House demanded, making his way toward his office. He hung his cane on the sill above the door and went through the stack of paperwork ahead of him. Cameron's got a lot on her plate, House decided, knowing there was no way in hell he'd actually do any of it himself.
He sensed that someone was behind him and he quickly turned to find Cameron standing behind him.
"Since when were you not included in my "go save the patient" demands?" House asked.
"Cuddy told me what happened," she said instead. "With Ryan, and the restaurant…the pneumonia, the blindness…"
"I know," House said, bursting her bubble, having a feeling the conversation was going to end with Cameron feeling bad about a) something House said or b) the fact that House didn't care what she said.
"Yesterday, the hospital was put under lockdown. The thing is…no one knew if it was a drill or if there was really a problem…was there something going on?" Cameron knew without a shadow of a doubt that there indeed had been something going on yesterday and that it involved House and Ryan. She just needed the confirmation. And House could tell as much – she simply wanted to know. Yes, mostly because she cared but not because she wanted to talk. Thank God.
"I suggest you keep your mouth shut," House told her simply. There was no point trying to lie to her. She knew.
"Sure," she said simply, shaking her head slightly. "Is he…did they…find him?" Cameron asked hesitantly.
House didn't say anything as he shoved all the papers on his desk to one side. After a moment, he finally looked up at her and answered. "No." Why was he even answering her questions?
Cameron twisted her lip. "Alright…" She sounded worried. No, scared.
House sighed. "Entire state of New Jersey is out looking for him right now. He's not going to be here any time soon."
"Yeah, tell me that when they actually catch him and maybe I won't freak out as much."
He chuckled and smiled half heartedly. "That's pretty much along the same lines of what I was thinking sometime last night."
Cameron smiled a little and started backing out of the door. "I'll go attack/save our patient now," she said as she left him and his pile of paperwork. She didn't even realize Chase was waiting just outside the door and half ran into him.
"What the hell!" Cameron exclaimed, realizing he had been spying on her.
"What was that?" Chase asked simply, ignoring her outburst.
"What was what?" Cameron shot back as the two of them made their way toward the patient's room.
"You and him…you and House."
"Why are you jealous?" Cameron asked, honestly amused. "I told you I'm over him."
"You were smiling."
"It's true. We're sleeping together."
"He was smiling," Chase added, ignoring the joke. "House. Was smiling. At something you said."
"Chase you honestly need to stop--"
"Overreacting? I'm not overreacting."
"I didn't even say anything," Cameron quickly pointed out.
"If there's something you're not telling me."
"About what? Me dating House? It's not happening, there's nothing to tell!"
"You've been like this for the last couple days…I can tell you're hiding something and whatever it is I know it involves House. What do you expect me to think?"
"I expect you to trust me," Cameron said simply, hardly believing how serious Chase was.
"You don't even trust me enough to tell me what's going on."
"I…can't…" Cameron said, finally admitting that there was indeed something to tell. "I'm sorry, I can't tell you. But I am not dating House. I need you to trust me."
Chase didn't say anything for a moment. He just looked at her, trying to tell himself that there was nothing more to do. He had to trust her. "Alright," he said simply. But Cameron could easily translate that into, "I can't."
House was in the elevator on his way downstairs to the cafeteria when the doors opened and in walked Cuddy.
"Rumor mill is running at full speed," Cuddy told House, looking more amused than frustrated.
"About what?" House asked, preparing himself for the worst. Did they know about Ryan?
"About you…and Cameron," Cuddy said smiling now.
House immediately frowned. "What?"
"Apparently the two of you were seen in your office…together…smiling," Cuddy couldn't hold it in anymore. She had to bite her bottom lip to keep herself from laughing.
"When was this?" House asked, honestly trying to remember this encounter.
"I'd say…about three hours ago…"
House thought about it…Cameron had walked in, talked to him about Ryan and then walked out. Had he even smiled?
"You honestly don't even remember, do you?"
"I remember the encounter…" he said, still thinking about it. How the hell did something as simple as that become a 'are you dating?' flagship?
"You and Cameron…that'll be the day," Cuddy said, still laughing.
"Why are even laughing?" House asked, amused. "Aren't you supposed to be questioning me? Making sure I'm not really doing Cameron on the side?"
"Well apparently I trust you enough to not do your employees and flaunt it knowing that you're dating your boss."
"That's true," House said, pretending to think about it. "Are you sure it's not also because you trust me so damn much?"
Cuddy laughed and kissed him just before they reached their floor. "I guess that's another reason. Or because I love you."
House smiled. "Me too."
Immediately, the smile on Cuddy's face disappeared. "Why do you always do that?"
"Say that. You never say you love me."
"I do…" House whined.
"No, you don't, you always say 'me too' and it's not the same," she accused, looking more disappointed if anything else. At that moment, the elevator doors opened.
"You know I mean it," House told her.
"I want to hear it," she told him. And with that, she walked off, before House could even say anything.
Women! he thought to himself as he made his way to the cafeteria to look for Wilson. Lunch time.
Mkay so I'm pretty sure there are typos and stuff but I'm tired and don't feel like checking so you're going to have to read it and pretend there are no typos okay? LOL, bye! Review please and I'll try to update soon! :)