AN: I wanted to make this a little bit longer, but I figured that everyone has been waiting long enough for a new chapter. Hopefully it won't take me so long next time...
Cameron and Marcus's parents stood in the room that was adjacent to the MRI machine as they attempted to get photos of Marcus's head. "Why are you taking pictures of Marcus's head?" his mother asked.
"We're looking for lymphoma but-"
The boy's mother shook her head. "Wait a minute. It's not Erdheim something and it's not his kidneys but his kidneys are failing? Where's Dr Cuddy?" she questioned. "None of this is making any sense."
"Doctor House mentioned something about another case," Marcus's father commented. "That is the same thing our son has. Is that true?"
Cameron shook her head as she pressed a few button on the controls. "No... not exactly."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"House had another patient a few years back. She had the same symptoms your boy has," Cameron explained.
"So, you know what's wrong?"
"No," Cameron answered.
"But... how is that possible?" the boy's mother questioned, getting frustrated. "What do you know?"
"We know the direction that the disease will go in," Cameron answered.
The boy's dad leaned against the wall and ran a hand over his face, in thought. "What happened to her?"
"She... she had multiple system failures. She died twenty-four hours after being admitted to the hospital." Cameron looked over at Marcus's parents, seeing a look of shock on both of their faces. It wasn't until Chase spoke; did they shake free of the news.
"Mr. or Mrs. Harried, could either of you give me a hand? Marcus is having a bit of an issue staying still and it's pretty impossible to get the images we need." Chase turned on the mic so Marcus would be able to hear his parents speak.
"Marcus? It's mommy, you need to sit still, and everything will be over with soon."
Marcus whined. "I'm scared."
His mother held back a sniffle as tears rose in her eyes. "There's no need to be scared. What you're in is like a big camera. All it's going to do is take your picture. You like when I take your picture don't you?"
"Yeah," Marcus answered.
"That's a good boy. Just stay still while they take your picture."
Foreman looked over and smiled. "Thanks."
Marcus's mother wipes her eyes of her tears and nods as the MRI began.
House stood in his conference room as he prepared a pot of coffee. Once it was brewing, he leaned heavily against the counter and ran a hand over his face just as Foreman and Cameron entered.
Foreman rubbed the back of his neck. "The base of Marcus's brain's been infiltrated by a small mass. We think-"
"His pituitary?" House questioned. "It would explain the low blood pressure." He watched Foreman nod in an answer. He walked over to his white board and began writing. "Should have started Rose on Prednisone... this pretty much screams Lymphoma."
Cameron sat in one of the nearby chairs. "Nobody saw the lymphoma?"
House shook his head. "We only saw a mass, the locations is consistent with -"
Chase walked into the conference room and put test results down on the table. "I didn't see any in the blood either. His white blood cells show no spindling, abnormal nuclei, or nothing on immuno-chemistries either. It's not lymphoma. It's something else."
With a defeated sigh, House lowered himself into a chair and ran his hand over his face. "We know one thing... we know where the train ride ends."
"Death is an advantage?" Foreman questioned. "How?"
"The fact that we know it ends in death, is the advantage," House clarified. "It means we can get ahead of it. The next stop is the liver. We've got about ninety minutes before it gets there. Hopefully we can get in the way before it makes it's way there."
Everyone nodded. "I'll order for an ultrasound," Foreman said, then turned to leave only for House to call out to him.
"Treatment would be faster," he said.
Foreman turned to House with a furrowed brow. "How would we do any treatment when we don't know what we're treating for?"
"Treat him for everything!" House said frustratedly. "Give him acetylcysteine, interferon and silymarin and... whatever else you can think of to protect the liver."
Some time later, Wilson takes a sip of his drink just as his cellphone rings. He looks down to see House is calling him once again. "What's going on?" he asks, answering the call.
"Oh, nothing sweetheart, just catching up on my favorite show, what about you?" House asked in reply.
Wilson rolled his eyes. "Well, thanks to you, the patient has improved dramatically."
Across from Wilson, Cuddy laughed. "Tell the patient that I'm about to kill the doctor."
House scoffed in the receiver before Wilson could reply. "I heard her. What've you got in your hand?" he asked.
"Cuddy just raised... umm-" Wilson began but House cut him off.
"You have a pair don't you?" he questioned.
Wilson furrowed his brow. "Wh-what?"
"Tens?" House asked again.
Meanwhile Wilson looked around him in amazement. "Who did you know?" he asked. "Wha?"
"If you had anything less you wouldn't sound so confident," House pointed out.
"What's going on? If you're going to mess with me, wouldn't it be more fun to do it in person?" Wilson questioned.
House rolled his eyes, but smiled. "Yes, it would. Now ask Cuddy if she can beat a pair of fours."
Wilson looked at Cuddy and watched her take a long sip of her drink. "Can you beat a pair of fours?" he asked, knowing House could hear her rebuttal. But instead of responding, she rolled her eyes at him and took another long drink.
"Is she drinking her seltzer?" House questioned, when he didn't hear Cuddy speak in return.
"Umm, I ordered for more fluids," Wilson replied.
House leaned back in his office chair. "Enough with the code, she knows that it's me. Is she or not?"
"She is," Wilson answered, watching as Cuddy stopped and looked at him, confused.
"Did she stop?" House asked again.
"Yes," Wilson replied simply, reaching for his own drink.
House smirked. "Go All In."
Wilson's eyes widened slightly as he looked down at his chips. "Umm."
"Just do it," House urged.
"You couldn't care less about this charity event," Wilson complained. "You claim not to be messing with me, obviously you're either trying to keep me-"
"Look," House said sternly. "Last time, I wanted to keep the game going, and I still do. This time, you get to win."
Wilson took a deep breath before he held his cellphone in the crook of his shoulder and silently pushed all of his chips forward, watching Cuddy while doing it.
Cuddy looked down at the chips then back at her own hand before she sat back in her seat with a huff and tossed her cards down. "I fold."
"Wh-woah!" Wilson beamed, then pulled all of the chips towards him and began stacking them neatly.
"Told you so," House said smugly, then hung up the phone.
House stands outside Marcus's hospital room, watching as Foreman and Chase begin running treatment on him. He bounces his cane against the tile floor, trying to bring any sort of idea to his mind on how to save the boy that was on the other side of the glass.
When Chase and Foreman emerge, they have downcast faces. "The treatment seems to be working, his liver is holding on." House nodded. "But his platelets are low and dropping."
"That's even better," House replied, making Chase look at him confused.
"Why is that better?" he questioned. "It means that he's getting sicker."
House nodded. "It's something new. Which is good. Death was the outcome of the old." He turned his head back to the hospital room to see the young boy suddenly grab at his neck as his monitors begin to beep like crazy.
Foreman and Chase rush back into the room, going to the side of Marcus's bed. "I can't breathe!" he gasped. Chase grabs what he needs from a nearby cart and intubates the young boy, using a bag to help him breathe.
House sighed as he wrote 'respiratory distress' on his white board under Marcus' column. Then on Rose's corresponding side, he wrote 'respiratory failure'. Then he drew an arrow pointing from pituitary failure down to respiratory distress. The arrow noticeably shows how Ian skipped Rose's Liver failure and Splenic Impact to get to the respiratory problems.
"I'm sure we'll figure it out," Cameron said softly.
He turned and looked at her, letting a ghost of a smile show on his face. "How long have you been there?"
"Not too long. I know this is bothering you just as much as it is the rest of us." She walked over and wrapped her arms around his waist.
He patted his hand on hers before beginning to caress them gently. "I keep wracking my brain, but nothing is coming to my mind. I'm missing something."
Cameron placed a kiss to his shoulder as she interlinked their hands together. "We'll figure it out. We always do."
House turned his head to place a kiss to Cameron's hair before completely turning to wrap his arms around her correctly. "I hope you're right. I don't know how I'll feel if I get this wrong all over again."
Foreman knocked on the door, gaining House and Cameron's attention, making them look over at him. "I hope I'm not interrupting, but we had to put the boy on a ventilator."
Cameron let go of House's waist just as he rubbed his hand over his face. "He's back on Rose's path. We managed to make the train skip a few stations which means that instead of twelve hours, the kid's probably got less than two. What did we do to make things go into overdrive?"
"We gave him acetylcysteine; it could have messed with the lungs," Foreman suggested.
Cameron quickly shook her head. "Mess with them yes, but it wouldn't have shut them down like it did. But Interferon modulates the immune system. It could affect a cancer of the blood like one of the leukemias."
"No," House said. "It slows it down. It doesn't make it go faster."
"All five hundred of them?" Cameron retorted.
House sighed and nodded, seeing her point. "Does anyone know how to get ahold of an Oncologist this late at night?"
House paced his office, his cellphone to his ear as he waited for Wilson to pick up. When he did, he didn't even give the chance for his friend to say hello. "What effects would Interferon have on Leukemia?"
"Um, it depends on which type that it is. It could make it better or worse. Why?" Wilson answered.
"If House wants to play cards, tell him to get his ass back down here and play," Cuddy interrupted as she took a drink of a new seltzer.
House grinned. "Did you hear that? She wants me off the phone. She's vulnerable, so go all in again."
"Well, uh, the party ends in less than three hours. I don't know if it will go in my favor," Wilson replied.
"All in," House countered, making Wilson scoff.
"You obviously want to bust me wha-"
"Go all in, or I will send a memo to the entire hospital that you wear toenail polish," House retorted evenly.
Wilson blanched and looked down at his chips before sighing. "I'm all in," he stated, then shoved all of his chips into the middle of the table with one hand.
Cuddy grinned mischievously. "I'll... call. I'm betting you have a pair of fours, but even if you have three, it's not going to beat Trip nines."
When Wilson flipped over the first card a look of mock horror crossed his face, making Cuddy smile gleefully. Then he flipped the second card with a mocking smile. "Oh! Ho ho ho! That has to hurt Dr. Cuddy," he grinned, watching as Cuddy's face turned from happiness to complete horror.
"What happened?" House questioned.
Wilson smirked and leaned back in his chair. "Oh nothing. I just killed two birds with one straight. Talk later House."
House let out a long sigh as he sat in his office chair. "Fine, keep playing, but I need you to recommend a good Oncologist because if I don't get one up here in the next few minutes, I'll have a dead kid here."
It didn't take Wilson long to join House and his team. They stood side by side in the lab, watching as the team looked at different results in microscopes. Wilson sighed and crossed his arms over his chest before looking over at his longtime friend. "IF you need help, why didn't you just ask? Playing games is pointless."
House smirked. "Games have a higher success rate."
Wilson rolled his eyes before he stepped forward and looked into the microscope that Cameron stepped away from. "Well... I don't see any signs of Leukemia. Have you looked into getting a bone marrow biopsy?"
"We don't have the time," House answered sadly.
"Even if there is an occult blood cancer, you wouldn't expect Interferon to make it worse, certainly not this fast." Wilson pulled away and looked at the paperwork.
"Then, what would move this fast?" House questioned, looking towards his team. "Any ideas? Rapid fire me."
"Auto-immune diseases," Cameron quickly answered. "His body's own defenses are attacking him and beefing them up just adds fuel to the fire, making it worse."
"What about Sarcoidosis?" Chase asked. "It could be in his brain and lungs."
House shook his head. "No, no enlarged hilar lymph nodes on his chest x-ray."
Wilson put the paperwork down and swiveled in his chair. "The systemic nature suggests juvenile rheumatoid arthritis or Kawasaki's disease."
Chase shook his head. "That doesn't affect the elderly, it wouldn't be Kawasaki's."
"Um... this is a child's Xray," Wilson pointed out.
"House had another patient," Foreman stated.
Wilson rolled his eyes. "Who may or may not have had Kawasaki's. This kid on the other hand, he makes antibodies that are eating the inside of his arteries, choking off blood to his major organs one by one. First the GI tract, then the kidneys, then the brain, now the lungs.
House huffed. "Can anyone think of a reason why Kawasaki's can't affect the elderly? Other than it doesn't?" He questioned, looking around the room. He watched as his team all glanced at one another, making him roll his eyes. "Perfect."
"We can confirm it with bloodwork," Foreman stated. "We can run a-"
Cameron shook her head. "Labs will take at least two hours. We don't have that kind of time on our side. Marcus would be dead before then."
Chase leaned back onto the counter. "What was Rose's sed rate?"
"Elevated, ninety eight," House answered. "Why?"
"You cannot use another patient's labs to diagnose Kawasaki's!" Wilson stated frustratedly.
House rolled his eyes. "Fine. Then go and find it where it lives. Marcus's coronary arteries." He watched as his team quickly left the lab to do as he asked.
Wilson looked over at House. "This other patient, Rose?" He watched as House only nodded in response to him as he tapped his cane on the floor. "Have you ever read Moby Dick?"
"The book?" House questioned.
"Obsession is dangerous, House."
House huffed. "Only if you're in a wooden boat and your obsession is a whale. I think I'll be just fine. Don't you?" House turned and left the lab with Wilson on his heels.
"It's just a metaphor, House," Wilson stated.
"Do you realize that the whole point of metaphors is to scare people from doing things by telling them that something much scarier is going to happen than what will really happen? God I wish I had a metaphor to explain that better. Go back to the game. I'll be fine." House pressed the button to the elevator with his cane and stepped inside, leaving Wilson standing in the hallway as it closed.
Cameron and Foreman frown slightly as they look at Marcus's heart with an ultrasound machine. "There aren't any aneurysms. His coronary is clear," Chase said.
"Switch the mode, let's check the flow," Cameron commented.
While Chase and Cameron were continuing with the ultrasound, Foreman was talking with Marcus's mother. "How did the other woman die?" she asked. Foreman began to explain the process, but the woman shook her head. "That's not what I meant... did... did she suffer? Was she in any pain?"
"I... I don't know," he answered softly.
Meanwhile Chase and Cameron Continued with Marcus's ultrasound. "There aren't any blood clots or ragged edges," Cameron commented, then sighed. "Damn it. Shut it down. We're just wasting our time."
Chase flipped the mode once more and began to look at something more closely. "Look," he pointed. "The right atrium."
"That's not Kawasaki's," Cameron muttered, making Chase shake his head.
"No... it's not."
House and his team circle around a laptop on House's desk. "It's small, but it's there," Chase states, pointing at the screen, making House nod.
"Rose didn't have a mass in her heart," Cameron commented.
"Marcus's younger. He can take more of a pounding. Rose died before the disease reached her heart which made a mass and made it fast," House sighed.
"It could be bacteria," Foreman suggested.
"Or just muscle or connective tissue," Chase commented.
"This kid can't take any more theories. The only thing we know is that whatever that mass is, that's what he's got. We need a piece of it. I'm doing a biopsy," House stated firmly.
House and Chase were in Marcus's room not too much later, preparing to get a biopsy of what they saw on the young boy's heart ultrasound. Glancing behind him as they prepared the equipment, House could see the parents watching them. "Close the blinds. They don't need to see this."
Chase walked over to the blinds of the hospital room and shut them before he returned to House's side. "They looked panicked."
"They'll be fine," House commented. "I'm passing through the superior vena cava now."
"You're in the atrium. Pull back. You've hit the wall of the heart," Chase stated, watching as House did as he asked.
"These procedures would be so much simpler if you could do them on healthy people," House grumbled as he removed the biopsy needle, only for the young boy to begin crashing. "V Fib!" he called, unable to fully remove the equipment.
"Call a code!" Chase hollered, knowing nurses would be in the room within seconds to help them. "Cardiac arrest!"
House quickly pulled apart Marcus's gown and was given charged paddles from the nurse and put them to the boy's chest with a jolt, but there was no effect. The Code Blue alarm was going off outside of the hospital room as House jolted Marcus two times more, trying to restart his heart. "Do you have a clock on this?" he questioned, not caring who answered him as he checked for a pulse.
"How much longer are you going to do this?" Chase questioned, feeling that they should call it on the boy.
"Again!" House stated. "Clear!" He pressed the paddles to the boy's chest once more.
"Wait!" Chase said, checking his pulse. "I've got something." He quickly hooked him back to the monitor, filling the room with the sound of his heart beating.
House moved to begin using the biopsy equipment again. "He's with us."
Chase's eyes widened. "What the hell are you doing?"
"What we came for," House answered, watching the screen once more.
"It almost killed him!" Chase exclaimed.
House rolled his eyes. "I know, I was right here. Give me a vacutainer."
"House, his brain was oxygen-deprived for over 8 minutes. There might be nothing left, he might-" Chase began, but House cut him off with a stern look.
"Go inform the parents," he said as a nurse handed him what he'd asked for so he could finish the operation successfully.