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Consult, Chapter 5/?

March 21st, 2011 (09:32 pm)

Title: Consult
Author: NiiceLaady
Pairing: House/Cameron
Summary: In the indeterminate future, after Huddy has run its course, House seeks to recapture the past.
Rating: PG (so far). Not ruling out more adult content in later chapters.
Spoilers: None.
Disclaimer: I'm not Fox. I'm not David Shore. I'm not Harry and I don't own any bad hats. This is a labor of love and I'm laboring for free.



"I thought you put yourself in the 'booby hatch,' " she says. "Who are they?"

"My imaginary friends," he says. "But that's beside the point, which is: You're the crazy one."

"Maybe so ... but I'm the crazy one who loved you." She leaves the chair and sits beside him on the couch once more.

"Loved. Past tense." He looks away, then down.

"Well, if I was going to talk myself into loving Chase, I had to talk myself out of loving you," she says softly.

"But ... then you talked yourself out of loving him ... didn't you?"

"Uh-huh."

"Which means you could ... ," he begins, slipping an arm over the back of the couch and leaning in toward her.

"... talk myself ... back into loving you," she finishes.

And now there's nowhere to go but into his arms, into another kiss. This one is deep, lingering, and this time neither of them wants to end it.

The ringing phone on her desk takes the matter out of their hands. "Damn," she says.

"And that," he quips, "is why you need an assistant. Someone who understands those three little words that mean so much."

" 'I love you'?"

" 'Hold my calls.' "

She jumps up to answer. "This is Dr. Cameron ... . Yes ... . Oh, please don't tell me you're calling to bail on the meeting ... . Oh, thank goodness. ... Yes, I'm going to fight this; do I still have your support? ... Good. McEneny's on the fence. If we can bring her around, there's a good chance Marcotte and Jameson will follow. ... Yes, I think so, too. ... OK, see you there. And Russ? Thank you."

She hangs up and sighs heavily. House doesn't ask what's going on -- just raises his eyebrows.

She begins to pace. Again, he thinks of Cuddy.

"The senior member of our board wants to outsource our billing and collections," she says. "And he's got a majority on the budget committee agreeing with him. They think it'll save all this money, but they're not thinking about what it could cost us.

"Six jobs. All women, all over 50. Three divorcees, two widows, one with a husband on disability. Four of them with kids at home. One raising her grandchildren. They'll never find jobs like these again ... not around here ... not at their ages. They'll be lucky to get seasonal work flipping burgers and cleaning motel rooms. With no health insurance.

"You know what people without health insurance do? They come to the ER for their routine care. We have to treat them, and we eat the cost.

"And that's not even counting what those layoffs would cost us in good will ... which is a community hospital's most valuable asset."

She stops pacing and sits beside him again. "But I can't quantify that cost. They've got actual numbers -- 'We can save this much.' All I've got is a gut feeling that it's going to cost us a lot more."

"Then go with that," House says. "Play to the gut ... and the heart. You're good at that. But it couldn't hurt to have some alternative money-saving proposals up your sleeve. Have you thought about charging the patients for cable?"

Cameron snorts. "Says the guy who made my life a living hell for doing just that!"

"That was there. This is here. Where I don't work."

"Touche." She glances at her watch. "Meeting's in 20 minutes, and I have to change." She pulls a pen and a business card out of the pocket of her scrub top, scrawls an address on the back and hands it to House. "It'll probably last the rest of the afternoon. Why don't you go relax at my house? I'll meet you there when I'm done, and we'll see about dinner. We'll have to go out -- I haven't had time to grocery shop this week.

"Take a right out of the parking lot and then go left at the second light. It'll be the third house on your left -- white with green trim and the world's ugliest bird bath in the front yard. Key's under the mat."

House rises. An idea is forming, but he doesn't tell her about it. "Knock 'em dead," he says, squeezing her shoulder.

She watches him leave and smiles to herself before ducking into her private washroom to change for the meeting.

Chapter 6

Comments

Posted by: Loretta (pyewacket_1975)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)

Aww that kiss was nice :) Looking forward to more of that :D

Posted by: niicelaady (niicelaady)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 03:35 am (UTC)
House/Cam

I liked it, too. There will be more kissing, I promise. And if all goes well, that stuff that comes after kissing (you know, the stuff that dancing leads to!). Thanks for reading!

Posted by: ally_cam (ally_cam)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 08:44 am (UTC)
Hugh & Jen

More kissing? And more? Yay!!! Love the chapter!

Posted by: josgotglock (josgotglock)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
House n Cam - Like Gold

Hi - Ehem...yes, its been a lifetime since I've read anything "House-like". But, something poked me in the side tonight when I saw your new chapter posted. I went back to the beginning and just read it through to here. Woman, you make me long for the good ol'days so much. I enjoyed your story and hope to keep track of it going forward. Hope all is well with you!

*hugs* ~ Jo

Posted by: niicelaady (niicelaady)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 03:36 am (UTC)
House/Cam

Wow, Cameron gets a blast from the past and so do I! So glad to see you here reading and commenting. More soon.

Posted by: fanohugh (fanohugh)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)

Cameron is so sweet to fight so hard for her employees. Go Cam!!

Posted by: niicelaady (niicelaady)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 01:54 pm (UTC)
House/Cam

I wanted a scene that showed her doing something administrative, and I thought that setup worked because it shows her as a caring administrator. Thanks for reading!

Posted by: lunschen (lunschen)
Posted at: March 22nd, 2011 03:05 pm (UTC)

I am so sure Cam can talk herself back into loving him pretty fast ^^ Beautiful!

Posted by: niicelaady (niicelaady)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
House/Cam

I did! All it took was slaying that hideous Huddy monster. Thanks for reading!

Posted by: sharp2799 (sharp2799)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2011 03:08 am (UTC)
House/Cameron hallway

I like how strong Cameron is on a professional level! And can't wait to find out what House is up to.

;)

Posted by: niicelaady (niicelaady)
Posted at: March 23rd, 2011 03:18 am (UTC)
House/Cam

Thanks! I think you'll like the next chapter. Hoping to post it soon.

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