Part 3: To Helicon and Back
"Thirty-one year old female, wolfed down a bottle of Nembutal. Get us a room where we can do a lavage."
"Twenty-six year old female, cut her wrists. She has tachycardia. BP's 80/40. A transfusion is inevitable; get us some blood, stat!"
"Oh God, is that Dr. Cameron? Will there be a new boss?"
"Oh my God, it's Thirteen! Thirteen, can you hear me?"
"Shut up and move the damn cart, we've got to save her first!"
"Get out of the way, Dr. Kutner. You can't get involved in this."
"House! Cameron and Thirteen are in the ER!"
"So? Unless one of them got hit in the head while making sweet love to the other, I am not interested."
"They tried to commit suicide. Both. House? House!"
"Women are idiots."
Interesting how you can see random pictures on a snow white wall, isn't it? Why that is the first thing that comes to her mind when she wakes up, she doesn't know. She certainly wasn't expecting to see the reserved but familiar walls of this place anytime soon. Oh, that spot kind of looks like a stethoscope!
"Why did you do it?"
A simple five word past tense question, and a perfectly appropriate one at that. She starts to make up the words, trying to figure out a way to put this, when she realizes she doesn't know who's asking. She thinks she's heard the voice before but can't put a face to it. It's rather deep, calm and completely ingenuous. After a while she gives up and turns her head to look in the general direction of its possessor. For some reason, she doesn't find the situation weird. To her, it makes sense, like morning dew. There's nothing but two women in a hospital room. It happens.
A different thing surprises her, however. "There's no one here."
The brunette never averts her eyes from the whiteness, either. She isn't offended by the statement; she knows the meaning. "Would you expect someone to be here?"
It's quiet. Tick tock. Time runs in slowmotion but it still wins the race. "I suppose I would." Cameron's heart sank. Her eyes find the bandages on her colleague's wrists. "You…?" She lets the unspoken question linger in the air between them.
"Yeah. You too."
"How can you be so mechanical about it?" the blonde asks incredulously.
Suddenly it doesn't seem so natural anymore. There are two very confused women in a hospital room, trying to match up words and definitions. If it makes sense, it is nothing but a reflection of them giving up on trying to comprehend. But sooner or later, they try again.
Finally, Thirteen looks at her companion with the same stone cold expression, but the emerald green says otherwise. Cameron sees an image of herself; a dark, neverending maze of fear and uncertainty about the most trivial matters. A pandemonium.
"I don't know."
And they stare at one another for what feels like eternity, looking for someone, finding themselves. The important thing is that they're both watching, breathing, alive. 'Alive' seems like a relative term right now.
"You didn't answer," Thirteen speaks.
"Oh." Silence. Cameron opens her mouth a couple times, as if going to say something, then closes it again as she struggles to find the right sentences. Long? Short? Simple? Complicated? Does she even know? "I… I've lost hope." Frankly, she doesn't want to hear the younger doctor's response to the same question. She is curious, sure, but consideration prevents her from adding a 'what about you' to that sentence.
Thirteen looks away and chuckles. "I'm sorry, there's nothing funny about that. Can you imagine, though, that I, on the other hand, just wanted to decide something for myself? Now it sounds ridiculous," she says and continues to laugh a bitter, humorless laugh. Tears threaten to fall, but she holds them back. "And I couldn't. Not even once. There's nothing I can change about my life, and there's nothing I can change about my death." Her voice breaks.
"Do you believe in God?" Cameron asks.
Thirteen ponders the thought, twisting the sheets between her fingers. "I guess you can't be angry at him and not believe in him at the same time."
"And you think he's almighty and that he's got power over every aspect of your existence, so you need the illusion of control to feel free…" the blonde analyzes out loud. Thirteen looks at her with disbelief. "Remy," she pauses for a second seeing as she used the other woman's name for the first time, "You are free. You have wings to fly on."
"Look at me! I'm dying and I can't even slow it down. How am I free?" the brunette hisses angrily, her whole body shaking.
"'The lover wants what he does not have. It is by definition impossible for him to have what he wants if, as soon as it is had, it is no longer wanted.' You can live if you still want to. Your only enemy is your mind. Free it from its chains and you'll be free. You don't know whether God's there; he's someone you put the blame on. Say, hypothetically, maybe he doesn't influence everything or maybe he's not even there. Whom have you been fighting all these years? I'm not trying to impose my convictions on you. I just want you to realize that whether or not a supernatural being shapes our lives, as long as you're here, your actions and your thoughts are your decisions and yours only. Your responsibility. It's up to you what you do with that power; just know that you have it." She takes a deep breath. "Say if, for example, you wanted to kill me right now, not even God could stop you, because all it takes is one simple decision. Then again, maybe that's what he wants. You can't know why things happen. They just do. And every decision you ever make has an impact or something. I can't tell you if the result was God's intent or not, but it was you who acted. It was you who took a stand. No one else."
She feels exhausted, like she's said all she could possibly say in a lifetime.
Remy lets the words sink in, trying to understand Cameron's perspective. "I don't want to kill you," she whispers.
It is now that she realizes that somewhere during the last few minutes, while making the gears in her brain spin like crazy, Cameron has managed to move and sit on the side of Thirteen's bed. "And right back to the old Cameron you go, trying to set things right. Unbelievable. You know, you speak awfully wisely for someone stuck in the ICU."
It's Cameron's turn to chuckle for no apparent reason. "I'm upset because I think we are too free, and I know I can't set things right. Talk about irony." She reverts back from 'Messiah Cameron' to 'messed up Cameron' in a matter of seconds. She's hurting. She's heartbroken. She sobs.
And then, without thinking or saying a word, Remy tugs at her sleeve and pulls her down next to herself. She pulls the covers over her and looks into the cobalt blue orbs for consent. When she gets it, she embraces Cameron, who instinctively buries her head in Thirteen's neck. They hold each other, they look at each other, and then, suddenly, their lips meet. Time stops. They don't need to say 'I'm sorry' nor 'Thank you' nor 'I love you'. They already have.
It makes perfect sense, like morning dew. There's nothing but two women, shattered and put together again, wrapped up in a gentle kiss in a hospital room. It happens.
They don't care there might as well be half of the unit staring at the two of them through the glass; that's a whole different world out there. In here, the only thing left to say is that had they not both been broken, had they not gotten so miserable at the same time, had Chase and the random girl coming back for her jacket not found them, or had there been more rooms in the hospital, none of this would have happened. God works in mysterious ways indeed. God? Thirteen smiles slightly. Perhaps he's not all bad. Perhaps all they needed was a change of perspective.
Author's Less Important Note: You made it! I salute you, reader. Hey, at least I gave it a happy ending, that gets me some plus points, right?
The "you can't be angry with God and not believe in him at the same time" ideology stolen from House season 1 episode 5, Damned If You Do, one of my favorites. The "it is by definition impossible for him to have what he wants" part is... actually I have no idea where it's from, I heard it on The L Word. *cough*