Author's Note: It's the week of midterms and what am I doing? Yeah, ridiculous, I know. I've been writing this on and off for a few weeks now. Yeah, stupid irresponsible college freshman... But I got this idea and couldn't resist. I swear I need to restrain myself sometimes. And yet... 'detox just to retox'. (Fall Out Boy)
After finishing all my work this week, I'm gonna finally have time to catch up on all the House episodes I've missed. Olivia Wilde's back... OLIVIA WILDE IS BACK. What more can I say? She's so beautiful, it's ridiculous.
Disclaimer: I don't own House M.D. and its characters.
Okay. So here goes.
The glass doors of Princeton Plainsboro slid open as the Dean of Medicine strutted in, head held high with an aura of determination that only a woman like her could muster. But like all the other mornings lately, she was followed by a limping man close behind.
"Do I have to go?" he whined.
"Yes. This is one of the most important conferences of the year! We are required to attend."
They stopped next to the station at the lobby and turned to face each other. "No..." House droned. "You are required to attend."
"Each hospital requires at least two representatives. So you are coming with me."
"Take Wilson," he responded with a wave of his hand. "The man needs to get out sometime. Sheesh."
Cuddy sighed. "Unfortunately, people seem to have this crazy impression that Greg House is a brilliant genius..." she trailed off a bit. "And...your attendance was requested by a number of other doctors," she added with a bit of reluctance.
"Aw, how touching. Glad to see that I'm still popular in the world of medicine. I told you I had amazing bedside manner."
The woman cleared her throat and chose to completely ignore his previous statement. "We're leaving on Saturday, early in the morning. We have to be at the airport by 9, and we're returning to Princeton in the evening. I booked the plane tickets already."
"Although touched and very much flattered, I didn't say I planned to go."
"You. Are. Going." The look she was sending him told him that she was very serious, and that if he were to question her, she'd wave that "no sex" card in his face again. This seemed to be their usual routine nowadays. House squinted his eyes at her but remained quiet.
Cuddy then turned her heels and headed for her office, motioning for her boyfriend to follow. "I need you to help me find a babysitter for Rachel. I've tried to call the nanny but she's going to be out of town this weekend. I've been asking every other possible person I know but no one is available."
"Oh yeah, just let me check my phonebook. I'm sure I have pages of nannies's numbers... Is it okay if they're hookers by night?"
The dean rolled her eyes. "This is important. We need to find someone soon, or else you will have to stay and take care of her yourself."
A panicked expression flitted across House's face, before suggesting, "Wilson."
"I asked already. He's visiting family this weekend."
"I'd prefer somebody I can trust who actually knows how to take care of a child."
At that thought, both of them paused. "She's perfect. Okay, I'm going ask her. But in the meantime, help me find other people. Cameron might not be available too." Cuddy set down her briefcase and began looking through files on her desk while House stood motionlessly there in the center of her office, watching her.
"Yes. Other people you know who would be free on Saturday."
"The only other people I talk to are my team."
"Then ask your team," she shot back distractedly.
House's eyebrow shot up. "Do you even know my team?" When he received no response from the busy woman, he continued. "A guy with a criminal record, a guy who has fidelity issues, and a dying bisexual." He watched as Cuddy looked up from her desk angrily.
"Don't you refer to Doctor Hadley like that. She's your employee, and a person, for that matter."
They paused for a moment, exchanging looks. "Sorry..." House apologized, bowing his head down. He hated apologizing. Rarely ever did, never really cared to. But with Cuddy he learned the long and hard way that sometimes, he just had to give in – even if it meant wounding his enormous ego.
"I actually think Doctor Hadley's another good choice. Go ask her if she's willing to take care of Rachel for a day."
"For some reason I'm getting this feeling that Thirteen would much rather spend her weekend at a bar."
"Go. Ask." She pushed him out of her office.
"Heart rate is back to normal. He's stable."
Doctor Cameron scribbled away on a patient's chart after recovering him from cardiac arrest. She then handed it off to a nurse and moved to the next bed where her attention was needed. That was how she often worked at the ER, going from patient to patient with barely a break in between, working hours and hours straight.
She was stitching up a bloody leg when she heard her name being called from behind. She turned and saw her boss waving her over at the nurse's station. After motioning for a nurse to take care of her patient, she wiped off her hands and approached the dean.
"Yes Doctor Cuddy, is there a problem?" She rarely came to the ER to find her, so Allison assumed that this must be urgent.
The dark haired woman seemed hesitant at first. "Cameron, are you busy this coming Saturday?"
The blonde ran her schedule and recent plans through her head. "Um...no, I don't think so. Why?"
"House and I need to attend the conference in D.C., and I haven't been able to find a babysitter for Rachel... I was wondering if you could do me a huge favor and watch her for a day."
"Umm... Well..." Cameron shrugged. The request was kind of out of the blue and unexpected. She mentally regretted answering so honestly to begin with. The truth was, she was very much looking forward to having a relaxing weekend with no disruptions of any kind. The long hours at the ER definitely wore her out.
Sensing her reluctance, Cuddy tried to persuade her. "Please. It's only for one Saturday. I'll give you a day off to make up for it – any day of your choice."
The ER head looked up at her boss, who's eyes were practically begging. She looked off to the side and thought for a while.
"...Alright. I'll do it."
Cuddy smiled gratefully. "Thank you so much for doing this Cameron."
"As long as I get a day off," she reminded with a small smile. "So...Saturday?"
"Yes. We're leaving in the morning, at around 8:30. It would be great if you could come a bit earlier."
"Sure." Cameron nodded.
"How many times do I have to repeat myself and tell you that I am not a lesbian?"
"You still responded, didn't you?"
Thirteen growled in frustration and turned her head back to the magazine she was reading. Unfortunately, she was soon interrupted with a cane jabbing her leg repeatedly. "What?" she snapped irritably. If she had any other job, that tone would've gotten her fired. But working for House was different.
"What are you doing Saturday?"
At this, all three ducklings ceased whatever they were doing and looked up at their boss, very much interested in where this conversation was heading. "Why?" the brunette slowly asked, already suspicious.
"My girlfriend needs a babysitter for Rachel." Thirteen saw her colleagues snicker, but ignored them.
"Why don't you watch her?"
"Because... Cuddy is dragging me with her to that boring conference in D.C."
The young woman connected the dots. "So now, you're asking me. And you thought I would do this...why?"
"Couldn't find anyone else. And I'm definitely not asking these two." The comment made them roll their eyes. Remy, however, fell silent.
"Is that a yes?"
Although she was secretly fond of kids, she would never admit that in front of her boss. She thought about it carefully. She really wouldn't mind doing Cuddy a favor – but she was just a little nervous about her abilities to take care of a child, and her boss's one at that. There was also the high possibility of her being hungover from the night before...and the fact that Saturdays were cherished as a chance to catch up on hours of sleep lost to this very job. "Anything in it for me?" she asked, not seeming too eager.
"I'll tell her to give you a day off."
"And by a day off, do you mean no calling me in the middle of the day asking for my opinion during a ddx?" she asked curiously.
House eyed her for a moment. "Yes."
Remy continued looking at her boss for a while longer, then returned to her magazine. "That was such a lie. But I'll take what I can get."
"Be at Cuddy's house Saturday morning. 8:30."
House was tapping away at his controller with his gaze locked intensely on the television screen.
"Watch it," Cuddy called from the bathroom.
"It's not like the kid's around," came his retort in a mumble.
Cuddy rolled her eyes as she blew dry her wet hair. "Oh, I forgot to tell you, Cameron agreed to babysit Rachel on Saturday," she shouted out to him.
On his video game, House narrowly avoided being shot at. In all his concentration, it took a while for his girlfriend's words to process. "What? Cameron?"
"Yes. She's coming over on Saturday to watch Rachel."
"I told Thirteen to come."
Cuddy turned off the hair dryer and walked out into the bedroom. "Remy said yes?" That was surprising, and a little puzzling.
"I told her she'd get a day off... Dammit! Get outta the way you little fuckers!"
"Well... I've got Cameron. So you can tell Thirteen tomorrow that she doesn't have to come over anymore."
"Uh huh... Yeah, sure." He repeatedly pressed several complicated combinations of buttons on the controller and... "Shit!"
- end of chapter -
Sooo...this was all just the set up - the framing for the main plot. Lots of fun to come, I promise.
Oh, by the way, I've been meaning to share. I did a few Camteen screencap-comics a while back (I was bored over winter break...). If you're ever interested:
I know, I know. I'm such a dork.