Cameron's Choice: A Hameron House fan fiction
Summary: He forced her to choose. He just wasn't expecting her answer.
AN. Ok, so here it is the sequel to "5 People in a lifetime." I'm glad so many people liked it, it actually ended differently than it was supposed to. Originally, House wasn't supposed to kiss Cameron, just turn up on her doorstep and tell her to let people in and not end up like him. But it seemed stupid for him just to turn up, tell her completely random things and walk off. So... he kissed her. The sequel was actually based around one moment, which is Cameron's last line in this chapter. After I wrote '5 people' I realised I could make them fit together.
DISCLAIMER: House is the creation of David Shore, not me.
The atmosphere in the Diagnostic's department was thick with tension, and all within the department felt it's affects. Although Chase and Foreman could, and had, both admit that it wasn't uncommon for the office to become tense at times, usually due to a difficult case where a patient swerved closer to death than others; neither could remember a time when working in Diagnostic's had been this uncomfortable.
"It's different this time," Foreman observed to Chase in the cafeteria as they had a late lunch with Wilson, both attempting to convince the oncologist that there was actually a problem.
Chase nodded in agreement. "I know. For one thing, normally the tension ends when the case ends. It's been three weeks!"
Wilson was still sceptical. "You've both worked here long enough to know that House always becomes more of an ass when you lose a patient. He'll get over it."
Foreman and Chase exchanged glances- they had saved the most important information for last.
"Yes, he's always an ass. He whinges about the everything, and makes smart ass comments about our personal lives," Chase replied.
"But he always picks on all three of us. This time, he's just being exceedingly rude to Cameron," Foreman added, and this caught Wilson's attention.
"Wait, Cameron? Why? What do you mean, being rude?"
Foreman and Chase both paused thoughtfully, deciding on the right words to convey just how House was treating their friend and colleague for the past three weeks, a difficult task in the minds of both men.
"Well, for one thing, he barely talks to her," Chase began.
"He doesn't even look at her, let alone talk to her," Foreman corrected him. "He just talks around her, and it's usually orders to bring him coffee or to the mail or something."
This puzzled Wilson, who knew perfectly well for all his outward behaviour, his friend had a soft spot for the young immunologist; and whilst he had been known to mock her upon occasion, he had always fallen short of actually being offensive to her.
"How's Cameron reacting to this?" he asked them.
Chase and Foreman shrugged. "She's Cameron. Incredibly polite and gracious, acting as though nothing's wrong," Foreman replied.
"Although, she's not talking much to him either," Chase added, his tone one of slow thoughtfulness. "And I think whatever pole is up his ass is bothering her more than she's letting on. She's just been very quiet lately, even when House isn't around."
"And this case isn't helping the situation either," Foreman said glumly.
Wilson, who only knew bits about Diagnostic's latest patient from House, frowned in concern.
"How bad is it?"
"We've almost lost her about four times," Chase sighed. "It's a bad one. We haven't been home the past three nights, everyone's tired and grumpy...."
"Hence the four-thirty lunch?" Wilson said knowingly and they all grimaced.
"We should probably get back upstairs," Foreman said reluctantly, and Chase agreed.
"Where are Cameron and House?" Wilson asked, joining them as they headed out of the cafeteria.
Foreman rolled his eyes. "House is staring at the whiteboard, and Cameron was dealing with the husband. He wants to know what's going on."
"And we want to tell him, we just have no clue what is going on," Chase frowned. "Cameron volunteered to tell him everything we knew so far."
Wilson winced. "Was House in earshot at this point? He would've loved that."
"He did start to say something, but I interrupted. I had a feeling it would've had something to do with Cameron's husband, and I figured Cameron's heard enough of his opinion on that subject," Chase glowered at the memory, and Foreman exchanged looks of agreement with Wilson, who no longer doubted that something was indeed troubling House, and for some unknown reason, Cameron was bearing the brunt of that trouble.
What Wilson didn't suspect though, was that in House's mind, Cameron was the trouble. No, it was unfair to say that Cameron held all the blame for House's mood of late; but a good deal of House's frustration had been attributed to the immunologist, if only to avoid accepting the blame for himself.
Foreman and Chase were right in assuming that House's odd behaviour had begun three weeks ago; but they and Wilson were wrong in attributing the catalyst event to be the death of their patient. It had been three weeks since House had arrived at Cameron's apartment in the small hours of the morning; and assisted by the affects of deep reflection, personal revolutions and a large quantity of alcohol; kissed the young, beautiful immunologist, and promptly panicked immediately thereafter.
House's attempt at treating her with indifference which had come off instead as ignorance; was both embarrassment at having let down his guard enough to kiss her, and also frustration at his inability to forget the incident from his memory. He had found soon after the event he could not so much at glance at her without being reminded of his actions and feeling a rush of mortification at his recollection of it. His awkwardness, combined with his stress and frustration over their patient and his inability to find a diagnosis, had become anger towards Cameron, and cold civility.
Cameron, for her part, was feeling equally awkward about the incident; but didn't have the courage to even broach the subject. After constant analysis of her own recollections, Cameron had come to the conclusion soon after that House's actions were both result of too much alcohol and motivated by the intention of mocking her and her past feelings for her boss. Although resolved to act as though nothing had happened, Cameron couldn't help but admit to herself that the thought that House had kissed her only to mock her, had actually really hurt her feelings. She felt used and misled, and humiliated at the thought that she was nothing more than a joke to her boss. Since he had become aware of her crush on him during the first year of her fellowship, and their subsequent disastrous date, Cameron had hoped that House was able to look past that and see her as the valuable and confident doctor she was becoming. She was willing to overlook the snarky comments he made to her about her husband, or her "blind spot" (as House himself called it) where House was concerned; but she believed he still saw her as the naive doctor he had first hired.
Cameron had spent the past half hour sitting patiently with their patient's husband, and explaining everything they had done since taking his wife's case three days ago. He was by no means more hopeful about his wife's condition; but Cameron felt better that he knew they were at least putting their every effort into diagnosing her, although she was emotionally and physically wretched. She couldn't remember the last time she slept, or ate. Bathroom trips she could recall, but she supposed that was due to the tremendous amount of coffee the department had consumed as of late.
She approached the Diagnostic's department at the same time as Chase and Foreman returned from lunch, accompanied by Wilson who met her with a concerned frown, a warm smile, and a sandwich from the cafeteria, which she accepted gratefully.
"You look like crap, Allison," he greeted her and she gave a tired smile.
"Thank you," she sighed, meaning both for the salutation and the food, and the four of them headed into the conference room.
House was still standing in front of the whiteboard, his latest bottle of Vicodin sitting open on the table next to him. It was on one of the small spaces of the table not covered by files, coffee mugs, and medical textbooks, but Chase, Cameron and Foreman were oblivious to the mess as they sank wearily into their seats.
"We're missing something," House finally spoke after a few moments. "Wasn't she admitted to Mercy last month?"
Although he didn't mention her by name, or refer to her in any way at all, everyone in the room knew this question was directed to Cameron, who had memorised their patient's history inside and out. Pulling the file towards her to double check her information, Cameron missed the knowing look that Chase exchanged with Wilson.
"Yes, for severe abdominal pains. They told her it was appendicitis and sent her home with a prescription."
"But it went away didn't it?" Foreman asked her and she nodded, taking a small bite of the sandwich Wilson had handed her.
"Yeah, until now."
"And now we've got blood from nowhere," House sighed wearily. "How many transfusions have we given her?"
"Six," Chase answered. "We give her anymore and we risk blood poisoning."
"I know that, thank you Dr. Moron," House snapped impatiently.
The phone in the office began to ring and House glared at it for interrupting. "Get rid of the damn thing already, will you?"
Again, this order was subtly directed at Cameron, although she was seated at the middle of the table, was eating, and in the most difficult position to reach the phone. Nonetheless, she made to stand up when Wilson took pity on her and answered the phone himself.
"Hello, Diagnostics?... I'm afraid they're busy at the moment, would you like to leave a message?... can I ask who's calling? Just a moment."
Wilson turned to Cameron apologetically. "Cameron? It's your mom, she says it's urgent."
A slight frown crossed Cameron's face as she stood up and crossed the room to the phone, ignoring House's impatient look at this disturbance.
"Hi, Mom. Can I call you back in a minute?"
The others watched as Cameron's face abruptly drained of what little colour she had, and she actually had to grab on to the desk to steady herself.
"What happened?... Is he okay?.... Where is he?... Ferguson? ....When? ....Ok, I'm coming. Ok, bye."
She hung up shakily and turned to her co-workers, pale, shaking and with tears in her eyes. Wilson placed a reassuring hand on her back as she fought back tears to find the words to say.
"My dad had a heart attack," she finally got out, looking very young and scared. "A bad one."
She looked so vulnerable, standing there, trying desperately not to cry; that House had a sudden urge to comfort her. The second he recognised that urge, however, he pushed it away, furious at himself for feeling it, and furious at Cameron for making him feel that way.
"God, Cameron I'm sorry," Foreman said sympathetically, knowing how close Cameron was to her father.
"Is there anything we can do?" Chase asked in genuine concern.
Cameron shook her head wordlessly, and immediately began to gather her things. "No... I have to go to Chicago. My mom got me a seat on a flight, it leaves in an hour."
"Do you want me to drive you to the airport?" Wilson offered but Cameron refused gently.
"No thanks, I'll take a cab."
"Don't be silly," Wilson replied. "You shouldn't be driving anyway. I'll take you home, you can pack and then I'll take you to Newark. I insist," he added as Cameron opened her mouth to argue and she gave him a faint smile.
She grabbed her laptop and coat and she and Wilson turned to the doorway to see House standing in the way, glowering at them.
"Whoa....Where do you think you're going?" he demanded and Cameron frowned, both at being spoken to directly for the first time in three weeks, and at the stupidity of the question.
"I'm going to Chicago," she replied.
"No, you're not. I don't recall giving you permission to leave," House retorted and Cameron gaped at him soundlessly for a moment.
"You have a job to do, we have a patient to save, do your damn job!" he snapped at her, and Cameron bristled.
Her anger at House that had been building for the past three weeks was finally coming out. She was exhausted and worried about her father, and was incredulous that House thought he could order her around.
"You can't stop me, House," she glared at him, and he glared right back at her.
"Actually, I can. I'm your boss and I don't recall handing out early marks today. So, sit down and do your damn job. It's a heart attack- when he gets shot in the head, then you can rush to dearest Daddy's side. Got it?"
Wilson, Chase and Foreman were watching the scene in disbelief at House's behaviour and Cameron flinched like he'd slapped her.
"Are you seriously telling me to choose between our patient and my father?" she asked him quietly.
"No, there's no choice, but if I was, it would be between your father and your job," House retorted. "If this patient needs an immunologist and dies because you left, it'll be on your conscience. Can you live with that, Cameron? Do you want to have to tell the husband his wife died, because you left? I suppose you could always marry him, he'll certainly be damaged enough for you-"
"House!" Wilson cut him off angrily.
Cameron stared at her boss in disbelief. "Don't push me House," she said finally. "Because I'm telling you now, if you make me choose, you won't like my answer."
House met her gaze as she made her threat and felt a little smug. This was Cameron for goodness sake! The same Cameron who had quit, and come back in return for a date; who repeatedly defended him against patients, doctors and everyone else; Cameron, who kept coming back to him, no matter what he did or said. He felt quite confident as he leaned down to look her straight in the eyes and told her, quite calmly.
"You leave this office, and you're fired."
Cameron leaned in slightly and even smiled slightly as she answered.
"Don't bother. I quit."
House was rendered speechless. He couldn't think of a reply, and Chase and Foreman gaped at her in shock as Cameron pushed past House into the hall, followed by Wilson.
"Now you've done it," Foreman glared at House.