Doctor Allison Cameron, clad in pink scrubs and a lab coat, entered Diagnostics with a manila folder in her hand. Her face held a neutral expression as she was mentally preparing herself for whatever her ex-boss would throw at her this time.
"New case." She set it on the glass table and only received responses from Foreman and Taub. House, on the other hand, was engrossed in his Playboy magazine. After briefly scanning the room, the blonde woman rolled her eyes at his behavior.
"I'm taking your silence as an 'okay'."
Looking up to squint his eyes at her, he reluctantly reached for the folder. "I bet it's someone with a damaged soul and this is another one of your plots to help me heal and become a better person." He opened it and scanned its contents.
Deciding that she didn't have the patience to deal with him today, she spun around without another word and left the office. As soon as she stepped out of the room though, she frowned. Thirteen wasn't there. As she headed back to her department, she took out her cell phone and dialed the brunette's number. Almost a minute of ringing and still nobody picked up.
That's odd. Where on earth...
Cameron waited a little, then dialed again. But all she got was the ringing sound of the phone, which soon went to voicemail. She tried calling the telephone to her house, but the result was the same.
Where could she be...
But before she could call again, a nurse caught her attention. "Doctor Cameron! We need you here!"
The ER head immediately rushed to her aid and helped her with a crash cart. She'll have to set her thoughts of Remy aside for now.
After dealing with the patient who went under cardiac arrest, Cameron took a break at the nurses station. She dialed Thirteen's number again.
Come on... Pick up already Rem...
But when she still didn't, Allison began to worry. Where was she? What was she doing? She couldn't have overslept...she rarely did, especially nowadays. Did she have any plans that Allison had forgotten, or didn't know about? Impossible, Remy made sure to tell her everything – they had promised.
But very soon, Cameron stumbled upon a not so comforting thought.
What if... what if something happened, and she had a breakdown?
She widened her eyes in panic. Millions of sequences of events played out in her mind...all the rash things that Remy would do and could do to herself with an unstable state of mentality.
Dropping all the files she had been holding onto a counter, she headed straight for Cuddy's office. She walked right past the secretary and knocked on the door, looking through the glass to search for her boss. When Cuddy looked up, she immediately saw the anxious look on Cameron's face and motioned for her to enter.
"Doctor Cameron. What's wrong?" The way she looked so distressed began to make her feel the same way.
"I need to go... It's... Thirteen... She didn't show up at work today, and she's not picking up her phone. I called her a couple of times and received no response. Doctor Cuddy, please give me permission to go to her apartment to check on her. If nothing's wrong, I'll be back at the ER as soon as possible. Please... It won't take long. I just –"
"Cameron," the Dean of Medicine interrupted. "That's enough explaining. I wasn't aware of Doctor Hadley's absence today, and her unavailability does worry me... I really hope that we're just being overly paranoid, and that she had only been caught up with something else. But yes, please do go check on her to make sure she is alright."
The two women exchanged a look of worry. Cameron nodded and thanked her boss before rushing out of the hospital, headed for Thirteen's apartment.
Once she reached her door, she didn't even bother to knock. She hurriedly pulled out a ring of keys and found the appropriate one for Remy's apartment. Once she unlocked it, the blonde woman almost bursted through the door.
She rushed past the glass divider and into the living room, only to find it empty. Her eyes rapidly scanned the room. Nothing seemed to be out of place. But where's Thirteen?
"Remy!" she called again. She dropped her purse on the table, and with her heart pounding in her ears, tears welling in her eyes, and a huge lump in her throat, she ran into the bedroom.
No words that exist can ever describe the intense wave of relief that washed over her when she saw the brunette's figure lying on her side on the bed, sound asleep. Allison wiped the few droplets that escaped her eyes and moved to sit on the edge of the bed, next to the sleeping woman.
"Idiot," she muttered affectionately, reaching out to run her fingers lightly through brown tresses. Her motions got her the reaction she wanted. Noticing her breathing change, she watched as Remy stirred and blinked her eyes open gradually.
"Hey you," Allison greeted, gazing into a set of blue eyes lovingly.
"Hi." Remy's voice was hoarse and barely there. At this, Allison furrowed her brows and frowned. She placed a hand gently on the brunette's forehead, and sighed when her palm met warm skin.
"You have a fever."
Remy wanted to roll her eyes and retort with a sarcastic remark, but had no energy left to do so. She merely nodded and closed her eyes again. Looking about, Cameron noticed her red nose and saw a pile of crumpled tissue paper on the nightstand. "And a cold," she added afterwards. In response, Thirteen only buried her head further into her pillow.
Watching her in such misery, all Allison wanted to do was to kiss it all away. But they both knew that that was not the best approach to dealing with sicknesses, especially if they were viral. After stroking Remy lightly on the cheek, the blonde left the room briefly, and came back with a thermometer in her hand. The younger woman automatically opened her mouth and let her place it under her tongue. It turned out that the fever got her temperature up to 101.6 degrees. Soon after, Allison went into the bathroom and brought back a wet towel in her hands. A soft pat on Remy's thigh said that she wanted her to turn over to lie on her back. Folding the cool towel neatly, she set it on the sick doctor's forehead.
They looked at each other for a while, both gazing deeply into blue eyes. Then Allison got up and headed over to the wardrobe to pick out a change of clothes; she was in such a rush that she hadn't changed out of her scrubs.
"You had me worried sick, you dummy." She stripped to her underwear and began to put on a pair of Remy's sweats. "I didn't see you up in Diagnostics... I called the phone and your cell so many times..." After pulling on a shirt, she headed back to sit on the bed. "I thought something happened..."
Thirteen looked up at her girlfriend and raised a hand to her cheek, tenderly caressing the side of her face. She knew she should've called, but she didn't think it'd worsen...and she felt so tired, she didn't even know that she missed the alarm and overslept. She kicked herself mentally, to know that she had caused the ER attending so much distress. "I'm sorry... I really didn't hear the phone... I think I pretty much passed out last night."
Allison took the hand on her cheek and held it tight. "It's okay." At that moment, the blonde had to fight the intense urge to kiss her. With her free hand, she reached for Remy's cellphone on the bedside table, and dialed the number to Cuddy's office.
After a moment of ringing, her secretary picked up and kindly connected her to head of the hospital.
"Doctor Cuddy, hi. I just called to let you know that Remy has a fever and a cold, so that's why she couldn't come in today." She heard a sigh of relief on the other end, attributed to being informed that her employee was only sick with a mild case of the flu and out of harm's way.
"Thank goodness. I'm glad to hear."
"But...um... One more thing, Doctor Cuddy."
"I want to take the rest of today off. I... I think I'm needed here."
Even though she knew that the ER head couldn't see it, Cuddy raised her eyebrows. One of her leading doctors has chosen to take care of a sick employee instead of saving lives at the Emergency Room. That was surprising, to say the least. But when Cuddy dwelled on Cameron's show of concern for House's duckling...she had a faint suspicion that the blonde cared a lot more than she appeared to on the outside. She carefully considered the traffic in the ER, and thought about the number of staff and nurses available.
"Please Doctor Cuddy." Though she didn't ask it in the form of a question, she still needed to hear the Dean's approved permission. But she didn't have to worry though, because at the sound of her voice, filled with such worry and concern, Cuddy folded.
"Tell Thirteen I hope she'll get better soon," she smiled into the statement.
Cameron released a breath she had been holding in. "I will. And thank you Doctor Cuddy!"
When she hung up the phone and set it aside, she noticed that the aforementioned sick person was staring at her. Allison smiled and pushed a lock of brown hair out of her face, before getting off the bed. "I'm going to make you some soup." When she found that Remy was still holding onto her hand, she set it back onto the bed and released her grip. "It'll be quick, babe."
With much reluctance, and a slight pout, Remy watched her leave the bedroom.
Moments later – and what seemed like an eternity of waiting for Thirteen – Allison returned with a bowl of soup and a spoon. After setting it down on the nightstand, she turned to help the brunette sit up, setting pillows behind her. A soft chuckle escaped her lips as she watched Remy hold the towel to her head in attempts to keep it from falling. "Don't worry about that, babe." Then she sat at her side and began feeding her soup. Not having eaten anything that day, Remy enthusiastically drank it up, despite a tiny part of her that had always disliked showing any signs of weakness. She hated to be taken care of; hated to seem powerless and to have someone else do things for her. But this was different. With Allison it was different. She loved her, trusted her, and felt no need to put up a false facade. It was difficult at first, what with Remy's skepticism and unwillingness to let anyone in. And truth be told, it took a while. But with Allison's patient persistence, the younger doctor finally gave in, surrendering to the tender loving care of PPTH's bleeding heart. At first, Remy didn't like it at all, having to set her pride and tough exterior aside. But Allison loved her, and she loved Allison. It was the only exception she was willing to make.
Besides, it wasn't so bad. Allison was always extra sweet to her whenever she got sick.
Remy licked her lips when she was all done with the soup. The blonde then proceeded to wipe her mouth with a napkin. "Thanks," Remy smiled up at her. Allison bit her lip in contemplation, then settled for kissing her on the side of her head.
"Have you been taking medicine?"
"Once, last night. For my cold."
Without another word, Allison went to fetch her some medication. When she came back, she saw her girlfriend pouting.
"That stuff is gross."
"I know. But you have to take it."
One tablespoon of cold medicine and a grimace later, both women found their way to the living room couch. They put on a movie and snuggled into warm blankets. The only thing that wasn't nice about it was that Allison couldn't sit too close to Remy. Unless she wanted to get sick too.
Right in the middle of the movie, the older woman suddenly got a phone call. She picked up her cellphone and saw that it was the ER calling.
"Doctor Cameron speaking."
"He came in again? That's strange..."
"...Right. I filed it yesterday..."
"It's in my office. Check the bottom-most drawer of the gray cabinet. I'm sure it's there."
A couple of minutes after the phone call, the blonde got up from the couch. At this, Remy almost panicked and grabbed her wrist. "You have to go?" she nearly whimpered. Allison looked back and saw the troubled expression on her face. She smiled. "No, silly. I'm just going to get you some orange juice from the fridge." Thirteen sighed in relief and let her go, watching her walk off to the kitchen. She soon came back with two glasses of orange juice.
Allison laughed and leaned in to give her a kiss on the forehead.
They spent the rest of the afternoon lazing around, watching movies on the television. In between, Remy took a nap, while Allison took out a book to read. She sat there, by the bed, and after every page she read, she would take a glance at the brunette out of habit. Even when she was sick, she couldn't take her eyes off her. What she didn't know was that the action was reciprocated. A few chapters later, she looked up to find a set of blue eyes studying her. Watching Remy sit up, she set her book aside and went over to the edge of the bed.
They stared at each other in silence for a while, hands caressing and touching.
Eventually, Remy spoke up. "I want to kiss you so bad, you have no idea."
Allison only smiled. "Oh yes I do."
Remy frowned. "This is the worst part of being sick, you know."
Allison didn't say anything and responded by pulling her into a warm embrace. "We probably shouldn't..." Thirteen began hesitantly. "Don't want you to catch it too."
"I'll be fine."
The sick brunette easily relented and rested her chin on Allison's shoulder, heaving a sigh. She couldn't wait to get better. The minimized contact was driving her a little insane.
A while later, Allison felt her pull away, the warmth of her skin being replaced by cool air. "What's wrong..?" she asked worriedly. Thirteen only grinned at her sheepishly. "I need to pee." She laughed and let her go.
They didn't do much that evening. After dinner, Remy plopped down on the couch with a magazine and Allison sat at the other end typing up a report on a laptop. A page and a half later, she felt eyes on her. Looking up, she found that she was right.
"Could you stay...?"
The poor thing. She was practically begging.
Allison took her hand. "Of course."
Even if she couldn't hold the blonde in her arms, Remy was still satisfied with having her sleep beside her. They held onto each other's hands and fell asleep like that.
Allison woke up the next morning with the feeling of someone's hand running along her back. She squirmed a little, being ticklish and sensitive in that area. She heard a familiar throaty laugh that always managed to set butterflies off in her stomach. Two sets of sleepy blue eyes met.
"Mrnnnn..." mumbled the older woman while rubbing her eyes.
Remy ran a hand through her blonde locks and smiled. When Allison felt more awake, she took a good look at her girlfriend. "You feeling better?'
Allison felt her forehead and noticed that she wasn't as warm as the day before. "Good."
After a moment of lying there, the blonde checked the time. It was 8:30 and she should be getting ready to head to the hospital. "I think you should go to work today," suggested Thirteen.
"You sure you'll be okay?"
The brunette nodded. "Saving lives is more important," she told her while she traced patterns on her arm. "And I doubt Cuddy would be nice enough to give you today off too." They smiled.
"I'll come over after work."
A brief pause and an exchange of glances.
"Yes, Cam, I'm sure," Remy laughed lightly. "I'm feeling better. And taking care of someone with a cold is no excuse to avoid working at the ER."
"Okay..." Allison went over to Remy's closet and changed. She also made a note to pick up her dirty scrubs from yesterday. "I'll try to get off early. Think of what you want to eat tonight and let me know so I can buy groceries on the way back."
Remy smiled and looked at her fondly. "Okay."
"And please, keep your cellphone with you. And call if you need anything."
"Yes, babe. I will."
Allison crossed her arms and looked down at her girlfriend, who, in contrast, was smiling up at her. Chewing the bottom of her lip, the blonde sighed. Who knew that Remy had the capability to look so damn adorable? Unable to fight the urge, Allison leaned down, gently placed her fingers over Remy's lips, then kissed them. It tickled a little as she felt Remy kiss back.
"You should get going. You're gonna be late."
"Yeah, I know."
"And you should wash your hands too."
"Yeah, I know. I'm a doctor too." They grinned at each other.
"So I'll see you later tonight?"
Allison picked up her things and began to head out of the bedroom.
"Remember, call me if you need something! Or if anything happens!" Remy heard her call from the living room. She laughed.
All day at the hospital, Allison couldn't help but think about Thirteen and how she was doing. She knew it was silly of her – she was a doctor and knew for a fact that the brunette's low fever would die down by tomorrow morning, and that her cold was way off at the opposite spectrum of life-threatening illnesses. But still, being her girlfriend, and being Cameron, she worried. So she decided to concentrate on work. It always helped to take her mind off things, because when you're re-starting hearts and stitching up patients, your attention really couldn't, and shouldn't, be anywhere else.
But when she returned to her office during lunch break, she checked her cellphone and saw that she had three missed calls from Remy, all from an hour ago. Panic shot through her as she immediately called her back, silently hoping that nothing was wrong...that it wasn't anything urgent.
Please don't let it be anything, please don't let it be anything...
After a while of ringing, and a minute of nervous waiting, she finally picked up.
"Rem, is everything okay? What's wrong? Did something happen? Tell me you're okay, Rem!"
There was a brief pause as anxiety filled her, before she heard the brunette laugh into the phone. She released the breath she was holding. Idiot...
"Um. We're out of orange juice."