Summary: “It’ll be just like giving mouth to mouth,” she whispered softly, “Nothing more.” Caught in a hostage situation, things take a turn for the worse for House and Cameron…
Rating: M.. some swearing.
Other parts: Theoretical Inversions (Prologue) Part_1 Part_2 Part_3
Notes: Good luck to myself with continuity issues… All medical terminology and what such were taken from yahoo.health.com and really it was the research that took the loooongest time to get right- the other sections had been written from months ago… Struggling with where to take this- whilst wanting to start *ANOTHER* piece which is so a big no no right now. Folks, this fic could be turning into an AU… which is scary all in itself. No AU in this ch, but in those to come I'm... thinking about it ...
All comments/constructive criticisms and suggestions mucha welcome.
“You got a minute?” Cameron asked as she stuck her head through the door leading to the office of the head of oncology.
“For you? Always,” replied Wilson with a smile, pushing back from her desk, capping the pen he had been using. His ability to act as both mentor and confidant had brought them closer during recent weeks. She had often wondered if House’s inability to mentor his subordinates in a fashion that didn’t make them feel like a bug in a jar had forced Wilson to become an honorary member of the diagnostic department.
“I wish I had good news to give you regarding Katie,” began Wilson, motioning for her to sit on one of the patient chairs that were always set up opposite that of his desk.
“But you don't.” finished off Cameron softly, her posture changing immediately to one that voiced her discomfort.
“Unfortunately, Katie’s cancer is one that is extremely aggressive.” He paused, wanting to prolong the look of hope that she held in her eyes yet knowing it would be pointless. "Neuroepithelial Tumor of the Kidney, stage three at best, most likely stage four judging by the advanced stage these cells are at."
She gasped slightly at his words, catching her breath before exclaiming, "She's eight! Isn't this a cancer often seen in one to five year olds?"
"Yes, but she's within range. It's isn't untirely unheard of."
"It could be Wilms' tumor-"
"No," Wilson shook his head," its proximity to her liver rules that out. Not to mention it's anaplastic histology, Cameron, even you yourself commented that only something very aggressive could be ignored for any length of time to progress to such a stage."
She shook her head woefully before raising her eyes to meet his before asking seriously, "What do we do now?"
"Her only treatment option would be to find a clinical trial, Ewing's is really the only one available." Wilson shuffled a few papers on his desk, flipping through his rolodex as he looked for the number he knew to ring.
"Then that’s what we'll do." Cameron nodded with resolve, only to worsen the sinking feeling in Wilson's stomach that he had only served to raise, not lower her hopes.
"It's going to be difficult at best, not to mention the controls for these things are astronomical- and at the stage she's at. Cameron, you're going to have to start preparing them for worst case scenario."
“It's only been a week since Hal said he noticed something was seriously wrong-” Wilson shook his head vehemently, standing he walked to the other side of the desk, sitting on the empty chair beside hers. His chocolate brown eyes stared into her pale green ones and she found herself unable to hold the truth of his gaze without the feeling of guilt rise in the pit of her stomach.
"He's lying, something this serious; it's been ignored for months. They can't ignore it any longer, Cameron. Most likely, she's going to die, maybe in a week, maybe in a few months. Even if she does get accepted into a clinical trial, her last months will not be pleasant. They need to know this."
Cameron rubbed at her eyes in dismay, her fingers resting on the bridge of her nose before she asked, voice raised in pitch, “How long does it take for to reach this stage?”
”These days, it’s a rare occurrence, I admit, and indeed something for the health authorities to take up with this so called… ‘Bringers of Peace’” Wilson spat out the last part, placing the file on his desk into her hands and she rose to leave.
“Do you want me to break the news?” he offered in the silence, walking her to the door he leaned forward and opened it. She acknowledged his chivalry with a soft smile.
“No, no- she’s my patient. I’ll go do it." He heard a resolve in her tone that made him think back to the first time he had been called by her to consult. That day, he had taken one look at her stricken expression at the news she would have to deliver before he touched her gently on the arm and taking the folder from her, assured her that as the patient was now of the oncology department, that he would break the news. Cameron had insisted she be there, and Wilson knew she was trying desperately to over come the issue.
"I'll ring Dr Fawner for you and put my years of networking to the test."
"Let me know how that goes." With a nod he watched as she walked down the hall, shoulders hunched in defeat.
Wilson made a note to self that he would check on both her and the patient sometime before she was brought up to the oncology ward, where the sense of death waiting would only be strengthened.
Seeing it was someone he knew, Hal lowered the gun towards the cement floor and a slight releasing of tension could be both seen and heard throughout the room.
“So now you have to go round and make friends with terrorists too?” House whispered furiously as he glanced down at the bottle, whose lid had fallen open as it hit the floor, a small white capsule free from its confines coming to rest just beside his left leg.
“Why are you doing this, Hal? Things can’t be that bad…”
”Bad?” he spat out, “Those people you sent us to? The clinical trial? They’ve taken one look at Katie before deciding she wasn't good enough.” Hal spat out, a look of hatred marring his decidedly boyish features. His fingers itched irritably at the black woolen hood that covered his and his cohort’s head and bodies.
“Money is not an issue, Hal- Her cancer was too advanced for the trial to be of any benefit to her -“ Cameron began reassuringly only to be shot down before she could even finish her sentence.
”Uhuh. Sure, that’s all they care about, statistics and having results that look good for the FDA. Forget about those who really need the medicine, they're just too sick," his mouth was contorted into a snarl as he took a step closer away from Cameron, looking away as though unable to face the person who had delivered the most painful news of his life.
House glanced down at the pill. The verbal duel in front of him was interesting to be sure, he had always wondered how his prettiest fellow would handle a situation such as this, but also wondered how big a part her niceness has played in creating this mess in the first place.
”I wish, Hal I truly do wish there was something we could do for her-“
“But you said- You said that we shouldn’t worry, that everything would pan out-“ Hal’s voice was beginning to crack, his face turning red as he paced back and forth.
Ha! House thought to himself, perhaps this time she would realise the evils of false hope. Bending forward, He carefully tested his flexibility hoping to do so unnoticed, his eyes darting upward at each inch he leaned forwards, wishing fervently that he too could sit as Cameron did.
Hal suddenly turned his back, seemingly to hide the tears that threatened to spill forth from the corners of his eyes. Wasting no time, House took advantage of this and bent as far as he could, over his legs which were still stretched forward, tongue darting forth towards the pill, all thoughts trained on two thoughts: The relief he would receive from its reaching his mouth and the possibility and therefore consequences of his being caught in such a vulnerable position.
“You lied to me!” Hal spun around, face red and shining with salty tears. House quickly sat upright, yet realised that due to the state Hal was in he could have jumped up and done a jig, naked and still the gun man would not have noticed.
Suddenly, the gun was once again pointed towards Cameron’s head. All thoughts towards the little white pill and the mind blowing pain in his leg suddenly seemed trivial.
“I’m so sorry Hal,” Cameron pleaded, “You must trust me when I say that we did all that we could.” Her faced was screwed up in concern, and House would see that she herself was holding back tears.
“I trusted you!” he screams.
The smoking gunman emerged from behind a stack of dog food tins and came to stand next to Hal, his machine gun poking out from behind his back, this time with two cigarettes hanging out from underneath a soot infested moustache, “Jerry needs help out back,” he muttered gruffly, “I’ll take care of this lot.”
Nodding, he turned to leave, whipping his nose on his sleeve as though he was a child of eight.
All eyes glued onto their new captor, he scanned the bunch before him, settling on Cameron for a slightly longer period of time before sitting down on a crate of beer and continuing to puff away.
The gunman had turned towards the store owner slumped in the corner opposite them and had begun to ask a series of mindless questions.
“Little help here?” House rasped.
Cameron turned, caught up in the drama of the situation she had almost forgot about the Vicodin bottle and with little more than a glance down at the pill, lying innocently on the linoleum floor of the Food-Mart and the discomfort on House’s face, she knew there would be only one way to remedy the situation. For the thousandth time Cameron tugged at the binds which held her hands together.
No such luck.
“It’ll be just like giving mouth to mouth,” she whispered softly, “Nothing more.”
“I don’t think I have a choice,” he muttered and at the nod of his head, Cameron, still on her knees glanced quickly at their captor and once sure he was still engaged she bent down and took the pill between her lips.
House watched as she sat up and leaned towards his open mouth, the pill nestled neatly between her glossy lips, the smell of her soap reminding him of her simple nature and he couldn’t help but breathe it in as her lips nudged his gently in her efforts.
Feeling the warmth of his larger frame permeate her thin jacket, the smell of his cologne mingled with sweat assaulted her and glancing up at his piercing gaze she almost forgot the nature of their agreement.
“No kissing allowed.” A voice boomed from behind them. Cameron quickly leaned back, her face pink with embarrassment she sank as low as possible, kneeling to hide her difference in position.
The whole ordeal was over in less than a second and House found himself wishing that Cameron had demanded a kiss for her efforts. Swallowing the pill he closed his eyes in relief, savouring its bitterness as only an addict could.
Sure that all romantic notions were abandoned, the cigarette man returned to his seat whilst keeping a weary eye on the pair.
“Peach.” House stated glibly, licking his lips slowly. Cameron couldn’t help but turn her head away from him, a small grin gracing her lips.