Remember that this takes place just after the House
season two episode "The Mistake" - that's what Cordelia and Chase are talking about.
Also, it flows more naturally if I call him "Chase" in the prose instead of "Robert" - I hope that's not confusing to anyone, even though it's Cordelia's last name too. DISCLAIMER
I own nothing from Buffy
. Chapter Four
With Chase’s help, Cordelia climbed up onto the cold hard table. She kept one hand clasped around the gap in the back of her hospital gown and glowered at the tinted glass as she lay down. “Why are we doing this?” she asked.
“It’s an MRI,” Chase said.
“I know what it is!”
He put his hands up. “Sorry. We need to get an image of your head to see what’s causing your collapses.”
With a groan, she cast her eyes to the ceiling. “Fine. Let’s just get this over with.”
Chase smiled sympathetically. “It shouldn’t take too long. Just be still, okay?”
He gave her a pat on the shoulder, but got no response. Foreman and Cameron were waiting for him when he entered the console room. “She all set?” Foreman asked.
“Yeah. Start it up.”
A hum echoed through the room as the machine lit up and the table slid Cordelia slowly into the tube. Chase idly tapped a pen against his temple as he watched the initial images come through onto the screen. He jumped when his pager went off loudly. “Oh great,” he said.
“What’s up?” Cameron asked.
“It’s House. Apparently important.”
He got up and headed for the exit. “Let me know what you find, okay?”
Foreman nodded. “Sure.”
Cameron watched him leave, concern written across her face. “Do you think he’s okay?”
Foreman shrugged. “Why wouldn’t he be?”
“His cousin is lying inside that MRI right now!” Cameron said, gesturing out toward the machine. “We don’t know what’s wrong with her. And it sounds like they were really close when they were little.”
Foreman chuckled dryly. “Cameron, Chase is a big boy. And Cordelia is not in any serious danger.”
“We don’t know that yet. House has no idea what’s wrong with her.”
“Well why don’t we wait until we know before we start worrying about her or Chase’s feelings.”
Cameron rolled her eyes, but said nothing further. She did not see Foreman’s face darken. “What the?” he muttered.
She turned to see him staring intently at the image on the screen. “What?” She pushed herself away from her console and rolled the chair over next to him. Her face fell. “Oh no.”
Chase found House playing with his gray and red tennis ball in his office. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
House looked up. “Nothing’s wrong.”
Chase frowned. “Then why did you page me?”
Standing up, House limped into the conjoining conference room. “Is your cousin having her MRI?” he asked.
As he followed him, Chase said, “Yeah.”
“Oh good.” House poured himself a cup of coffee. “Wouldn’t have wanted to page you at the wrong time.”
Chase sighed and rubbed his temples. “What are you talking about?”
“The last thing I need is to have you hovering over my patient while she’s having her insides photographed.”
Angrily, Chase said, “Oh, so she’s your patient now?”
“Well she’s certainly not yours!” House saw the wrath coming and added, “Chase, you’re her cousin. There is no way you can look at this case objectively! I’m sorry, but you can’t be her doctor.”
Chase was afraid that if he opened his mouth, he would quickly lose his job. So instead he shot House a death glare as he stalked out of the office, nearly colliding with Foreman as he went.
Foreman turned to watch him go. “What’s up with him?”
House shook his head. “Not important.” He nodded to the file Foreman had. “What’ve you got?”
Foreman sighed. “Bad news.”
Chase wandered toward Cordelia’s room. She had propped herself up against the plastic headboard and was filing her nails with a fiery vengeance. She looked up when Chase knocked on the doorframe. “Hey,” she said.
“Hi Cordy. How’d the test go?”
She shrugged and stayed focused on her nails. “Fine.”
He sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. “What’s wrong?”
Cordelia put down the nail file and stared at her cousin. “What was Dr. House talking about? What happened to get you and him in trouble that no one will talk about?”
Chase ran a hand through his blonde hair. “Cordelia, I don’t want to talk about it.”
“No!” Cordelia snapped. “You and your friends are holding me here against my will when there’s nothing wrong with me, so you don’t get to hide things from me!”
Chase stood up and began pacing. “Why do you always do this? Why do you always push and push until you get what you want?”
“Why are you letting your cronies keep me captive in this hospital bed?”
“We’re worried about you, Cordelia!” Chase yelled. “Normal people do not collapse in blinding agony!”
“Normal people do not keep deep dark secrets from their favorite family members,” Cordelia spat back.
“You don’t get it, okay?” Chase said. “I screwed up and someone died because of it!” He sat down heavily in a chair next to the bed. “She had two little girls. I killed her.”
“You – you made a mistake,” Cordelia stammered. “Everyone makes mistakes.”
Chase rolled his eyes. “And have you ever killed anyone because of a mistake you made?”
She took a deep breath. “Yes.”
It wasn’t the answer Chase was expecting. His eyes widened. “What?”
Cordelia nodded. “Part of my old job was providing information to my boss,” she explained. “He was a private detective. Once, I gave him the wrong information. Someone innocent was killed.”
“I…” Chase started.
Cordelia interrupted. “Just because you made one mistake once doesn’t mean you’re a bad doctor or a bad man, Robbie. Just suck it up, learn from it, and don’t do it again.”
Chase chuckled to hide how choked up he was. “It’s hard to take you seriously when you’re calling me Robbie.”
“What, you mean Dr. House doesn’t call you Robbie?”
That made him laugh out loud. “No.”
Cordelia raised a devious eyebrow. “Would you like him to?”
Cordelia laughed. “Fine. I like that I’m the only one who calls you that anyway.”
“That’s not fair,” Chase said.
He grinned. “I don’t have an embarrassing nickname for you.”
She smiled back, but her smile soon faded. “Look, there’s something I should tell you.”
Chase frowned. “What?”
“In my bag – ”
Her words were cut off by a strangled scream as she clutched at her temples and her eyes rolled back in her head. “Cordy?” Chase said. He jumped up and ran to her side. “Cordelia!” he shouted.
She continued to wail in agony and curled into the fetal position as Chase rolled her onto her side and pushed the alarm button on the wall next to her bed. “Cordelia, can you hear me?”
A nurse ran in and stopped short at the door. “Oh God,” she said.
Chase looked over his shoulder. “Get in here, I need help!”
She ran to his side, but at that moment, Cordelia fell still under Chase’s hands. “Cordelia?” he asked. There was no response. Her vital signs were stable, but she lay limp on her side, her dark hair covering half her face. “Oh no,” Chase whispered.
“Dr. Chase?” the nurse asked. “What happened?”
“Another episode,” he said. His heart sank as he did a quick exam and looked back up. “She’s in a coma.”