“Jenny Marcus?” Robert Chase asked as he walked into.
“That's me,” the little girl on the bed said. She had a fluffy pink robe on over her pajamas, little rainbow pom-poms holding her hair into pigtails, and oxygen tubing across her face. “You can call me Jenny or JR.”
“Alright Jenny, I'm Dr. Chase, and I need to ask you questions . Your parents can stay if you like, but everyone else should leave for a while,” he looked at the several men and women.
“We're all her parents,” the older man said.
“Yep,” Jenny said. “Mom, Mama, Daddy and Pop,” she pointed one by one at Lindsey, Melanie, Michael and Ben, her parents, “And before you try all that 'biological parents only' crap, they all have custody, and they're all my parents.” The ten-year-old sent her jaw, preparing to glare at Chase, which caused him to smile. He tried to hold in a laugh, and caught all her parents smiling a little at her assertiveness. It was clear from the two couples' positions that they were both gay couples.
“Alright then, you're the boss,” Chase smiled at the girl, and she smiled back, “But some of the questions might get a little personal or embarrassing, so if you don't want everyone here, you just say so.”
“Okay,” Jenny said. “I'm good for now.”
“Okay,” Chase said, and started with his questions. The questions took a long time. About halfway through the list of questions, Chase saw his new intern from pediatrics just walk into the room without asking him first.
“Bruckner, I'm doing a patient interview right now. Did you need something?” Chase asked, irritated.
“Yeah, did they tell you that when she was five she tried to ride my skateboard off the trampoline, cut her leg open and had to get tetanus shots along with eleven stitches?”
“The tetanus shots got mentioned, but the details were left out,” Chase said, slightly confused as the new intern sat on the bed next to the patient, who promptly laid her head on his chest.
“She's my baby sister,” Hunter said, kissing Jenny on the top of the head.
“I am not the baby,” Jenny protested. “Aisha's the baby.”
“How many siblings do you have, Jenny?” Chase asked, checking the file.
“Technically Aisha's not my sister just like Gus isn't technically Hunter's brother, but I don't really care. Mama and Daddy had me,” Jenny said pointing, “Gus's Dad is Brian who's married to Justin, and Justin and Daphne had Aisha. Hunter was adopted by Daddy and Pop.”
“Jenny, I'm sure Dr. Chase doesn't need our entire family tree,” Ben said gently.
“He said he wanted to know everything,” Jenny said, looking up at Chase's sparkling blue eyes. He kind of reminded her of Uncle Sunshine.
“Everything about you
,” Dr. Chase corrected. “I don't really need to know anything about your family members who aren't biologically related to you.”
“Oh, okay,” Jenny said. “Do I get to meet Dr. House soon? Hunter said he's the best fucking doctor in the country and if anyone could make me better he could.”
“Jenny!” four parents scolded her at once, causing Chase to smile again.
“What? Hunter said it first,” Jenny said innocently, and then giggled when her Mama smacked Hunter upside his head.
“Alright, alright, I've still got more questions, Jenny,” Dr. Chase said. This was certainly one of the most interesting families he'd ever interviewed. The interview had to stop, though, when Jenny's body went rigid and she started seizing in her brother's arms. Hunter held her loosely, not wanting her to hurt herself. Chase ran to the cabinet, pulled out a drug and was injecting it in Jenny's arm when the nurses showed up and chased the parents out of the room. Hunter stood and followed them out, leaving Chase and the nurses to tend to Jenny. He needed to deal with Jenny's four, terrified parents.
“Mel, she'll be okay, I promise,” Hunter said, wrapping his arms around the lawyer who once helped safe his life, and forcing her into the hall.
“10-year-old girl, born completely healthy, gets in a playground fight and suddenly has a seizure,” House said, writing all of Jenny's symptoms on the board. “They get her into the hospital, decide she has epilepsy, start her on anti-convulsants, and she develops a clotting disorder. They put her on clotting agents, and her lungs start to fail. What's the cause?”
“Well, the lung failure could be result of the other medications,” Allison Cameron-Chase pointed out.
“True,” House said. “So lets look at the first two symptoms.”
“I want to be sure she actually has epilepsy,” Foreman said. “We should confirm that diagnoses first, since it was the first symptom.”
“Go do an MRI,” House said. “Chase, what did that family have to say?”
“They were quick to relay Jenny's every injury, sickness, bloody nose in her life. They're very tight-knit. All four parents wanted to be by her side at every second.”
“All four parents?” Thirteen asked.
“Her parents are two gay couples,” Chase said. “She and one brother live with their moms in Toronto during the school year and with their dads in Pittsburgh during the summer and school vacations. The other 2 siblings that don't have the same moms live in Pittsburgh full time. Well, except the oldest who's moved out and actually lives here. He's the new resident in Pediatrics.”
Chase, Thirteen and House all watched Taub visibly wince at the mention of two gay couples. Allison was completely oblivious, and Foreman couldn't care less.
“Bruckner?” Thirteen asked. “I met him yesterday. Is that why Cuddy insisted we take the case? Her brother is one of Cuddy's shiny new students?”
“That and her family promised a massive donation if we, and this is a direct quote, 'figure out what the fuck's wrong with JR',” House said. “So, back to the patient, any more ideas?”
“If they travel a lot it could be an infection,” Thirteen said. “We should check for everything.”
“Good. Thirteen, Taub, draw blood and test for infections. Foreman, you and Chase do the MRI after Taub & Thirteen turn the girl into a pincushion. Cameron—”
“I have clinic duty, actually,” Cameron said. “Then I should look through journals cross-referencing seizures with clotting disorders?” she suggested.
“What a wonderful idea!” House said with mock enthusiasm. He chased his minions away, and went in search of Wilson.