Allison Cameron-Chase walked down the hall towards House's patient's room. She hadn't met the girl personally yet, but she wanted to do some clotting time tests. She saw a beautiful blonde man who looked in his mid-twenties and reminded her a little of her husband. He had a little girl on his hip who had darker skin and hair than her father, but the same sparkling blue eyes, and smile. The man looked down at the girl and smiled a beautiful smile as bright as the sun that lit up his whole face.
“Hey, Sunshine,” another man said from across the hall.
“Going for coffee, you want some?”
“Yes please. Oh, hello, are you one of JR's doctors?” he asked looking up at her.
“Yes,” Allison said. “I haven't actually met her yet since we're a whole team of doctors. Are you family?”
“Not directly,” the man said. “My husband is the biological father of her brother Gus. I'm Justin Taylor.”
Allison stopped for a moment to think of where she knew that name. “Justin Taylor the painter?” she asked. He nodded. “Oh my God I love your work. I was given one of your pieces years ago as a wedding present and it hangs happily on the wall. I'm Dr. Allison Cameron.”
“Thank you,” Justin said, smiling that beautiful smile.
“You've certainly got a lot of people with you,” Allison noted, observing the different people milling about.
“Well, in families as fucked up and crazy as ours, it has to be all about the kids. They become the center of our world. They give us a reason to keep going through all the shit,” he looked down at his daughter again and then back up at Cameron. “When are you due?”
“Five and a half months,” she said. “Am I showing?” she asked, looking down at herself.
“Not much,” he said, “but you have that glow about you, and you keep looking at my daughter with that 'I can't wait until it's me look.' Anyway, have you figured out what's wrong with JR yet?”
“Not yet, still need to run more tests, it was nice talking to you.” She smiled and slipped past him into Jenny's room. The little girl was sitting on her bed, talking to a teenage boy while a blonde woman Cameron assumed was her mother brushed her hair and a tall, effeminate man decorated the room with pink sparkly accents, much to JR's quiet giggles.
“Jenny?” Allison said, “I'm Dr. Cameron.”
“Ah, the hot doctor's wife,” the effeminate man remarked.
“Hot doctor's wife?” Cameron asked, amused.
“You must have noticed it,” Emmett said. “Your husband is smoking hot.”
“Yes, yes he is. So,” she looked at Jenny, “Clotting test time.”
“Ugh, I hate this part,” she wrinkle her nose. “Hold my hand?” she asked Gus.
“Of course,” he promised, “What else are big brothers for?”
“I always wanted a big brother,” Allison said conversationally as she set everything up.
“I've got two,” Jenny said proudly. “They're awesomesauce.”
“You fail at life,” Gus said. “Lose five internets. That word is made of fail.”
Jenny stuck her tongue out, and then changed focus to her mother, who'd finished braiding her hair and stepped back. “Mom, can you change the CD?”
“Sure, which one do you want?”
“Lord of the Strings,” Jenny said. “Auntie Em?” Jenny directed to the man decorating the room who turned and smiled at the nickname. “There's going to be blood. You should leave the room.”
“Thanks for the tip princess. I'll go for a walk and maybe I'll meet a hunky young doctor,” Emmett Honeycutt waved at the girl on the bed and disappeared.
“He's certainly...” Alison started, but words failed her.
“Fabulous?” Jenny supplied.
“He lets his flame burn bright, that one does,” Lindsay said.
“So, do you know my brother Hunter?” Jenny asked as she pointedly looked away from the woman cutting her arm.
“Not really,” Allison said. “He's been working with my husband more, since his first post is pediatrics. I've heard a lot about him, though. He definitely has spirit.”
“That's my boy,” Ben said from his spot in a chair in the corner of the room. “He's definitely spirited.
“Is spirited another word for smart ass?” Gus asked “Because that's what you usually call him.”
“You're the smart ass,” Lindsay said, ruffling his hair. He'd been growing his hair out so that his reached his chin.
“Is it better?” Jenny asked, her eyes closed while she tried not to watch the blood.
“It looks like it's a little faster than before,” Allison said smiling.
Hunter paused at his locker, making sure absolutely nobody was in the room before pulling his pills out and taking them with a swig of water. He'd been positive for eleven years now, and he knew that as long as they kept coming up with new drugs and new research, he had a good chance of living longer. Still, Ben progressing to full-blown AIDS two years ago scared him shitless. And now Jenny was sick. Hunter sometimes didn't know why he kept going. He hated how out of his control his life was. And he hated that he had to trust an asshole like Gregory House to fix his little sister. Apart from seeing him across a crowded hospital, Hunter hadn't seen House since he'd serviced him twelve years earlier. To be fair, House had paid him $500, and Hunter was able to sleep in a bed that night and have warm food. But recognizing House had made Hunter sometimes wish he had chosen a different teaching hospital. He tried so hard to move beyond his past, but sometimes is felt like he just couldn't escape it. Especially when he took his pills. He put his pill case inside a black toiletries bag, zipped it up and shoved it to the far back of his locker, got his stethoscope and lab coat, and then locked his locker again. Time to go to work.
“How many viruses did you test for, Taub?”
“About fifty,” Taub said. “And of the thirty tests that have come back, they're all negative We're still waiting on the others.”
“So what do we know?” House asked. “That we didn't know before?”
“Her blood is clotting faster than it was recorded in Toronto, but still much slower than normal for a ten-year-old girl,” Allison said.
“One of her dads has AIDS,” Taub said.
“Do we have any evidence that he's diddling his daughter?” House asked.
“No,” Taub said slowly.
“Then I think it's pretty likely she doesn't have HIV. Have we come up with any diseases that have both seizures and poor clotting as symptoms?”
“Five,” Chase said, and he listed them.
“Test for them all,” House said.
House blathered at his fellows for several minutes and then chased them out of the way. James had withheld sex that morning, and House was cranky. He decided to get some coffee. God his leg hurt. He was extra grumpy. He made it halfway down the hall and stopped for a minute. Sometimes being drug free really sucked.
He saw an intern he didn't know. Must be new. He looked strangely familiar though; young, pretty, soft brown hair. He was actually quite beautiful.
“Hey, kid,” House called to the intern, who looked up with a scowl. “I'm Dr. House. Get me a cup of coffee.”
“Get it yourself, asshole,” the intern replied. “I'm working.” He didn't even look back at House as he strolled out of view.
“Well, that was interesting,” House said to himself. “Got to keep an eye on that one.” House sighed as his pager went off. He'd get some coffee first, then check on his patient. There was something very strange going on with this girl. Somebody was missing something. Every family had secrets, and House wanted to know all this family's secrets.
When House got to his patient's room, he saw a ton of people standing outside, crying, and his whole team inside the room.
“Clear!” a voice yelled, and House heard the paddles zap, and the beeping as a heart restarted.
“Who are all you people?” House asked. There were at least eight men in the hallway, five women, a teenaged boy, and a toddler.
“We're her family. Who the fuck are you?” a loud, redheaded woman asked.
“I'm her doctor.”
“Oh, is this the great and powerful House?” one man asked in an acidic voice. “The doctor who should be treating JR, and hasn't seen her since she got here?”
“The bastard who's supposedly a more arrogant asshole than Brian?” another voice asked.
“Hey, I resent that. Nobody's more arrogant than me,” the man called Brian said. He held a crying blonde woman in his arms. It must have had some significance, because a few of the crying women hiccuped and smiled a little. There was a sound from the room of the heart monitor beeping regularly.
“Get you ass in there and fix my grandbaby,” the redhead said. “Or I'll shove that cane up your ass.”
“Deb, let's go get some coffee,” an extremely flaming man in a pink shirt said.
“Fine,” the woman said, scowling. The crowd in the hallway shifted so that House could get into the room to check on his patient. She seemed to be stable now, but had gone into cardiac arrest for no apparent reason. They needed to cure this kid before she keeled over, but the problem was they had not clue what was wrong with her.
“I had the weirdest encounter with an intern today. Actually, now that I think about it, he was dressed like a resident not an intern. He looked so young, though.” House said as he slipped into bed with James. The two men had been together for years now, but still kept it a secret from everyone. It was nobody's business but theirs.
“How was it strange?” James asked, pulling House against him. He kissed the side of his lover's neck.
“Well, I asked him to get me a cup of coffee which, if he was a resident and not an intern probably wasn't too reasonable, but he called me an asshole.”
“Greg, you are
“Yeah, but I usually don't get called that by residents who've never met me before.”
“This is true. Maybe you met him earlier and forgot,” James suggested.
“Possibly,” House said, running his fingers through Wilson's hair. “He did look awfully familiar.”
“Well, I'd suggest you could ask him where you've met him before, but knowing you you'll probably come up with some elaborate scheme to piss him off and reveal his secrets,” James said, pushing House over and straddling him.
“That sounds like me,” House said. James leaned down and kissed him passionately. House kissed his lover back. Yep, keeping this relationship a secret was definitely the right way to go. He didn't want to share James with anyone, ever.
“Hunter, tell me a story,” JR said. Most everyone was either at home or at a hotel. Michael was taking the night shift watching JR, and Hunter had just come off the second shift and was spending a little time with his sister before he went back to his tiny apartment.
“Alright, what kind of story do you want?” Hunter asked, smiling.
“What was it like when you found out you’re positive?”
“Jesus, don’t you want a happy story or something?” Hunter asked.
“No,” Jenny said.
“Alright,” Hunter said. “Haven’t I told you all this before?”
“Not all of it,” Jenny said.
“Well, you’re not old enough for all of it,” Hunter said. With an HIV-positive dad and brother Jenny knew all about the different ways you could catch it. She knew that both her dad and her brother had caught it “the sex way,” but she didn’t have a lot of details about Hunter’s past. She didn’t really know what a hustler was, and they wanted to keep it that way for a while.
“Well, I wasn’t living with Daddy and Pop yet,” Hunter said, using JR’s names for their dads to make her more comfortable with the story. “I was homeless. I told you that part, right?”
“Yeah,” JR said. She had been scandalized when she found out that Hunter used to sleep in the street or in stairwells.
“I’d been sick, and at the hospital I’d given them Ben’s name as my next of kin, so they called him when I showed up. They tested my blood, and told Ben I was positive. I’d run away from the hospital in the middle of the night, and was back on the street. They looked for me all night, and when they found me, Ben told me I was positive.”
“Did you cry?” Jenny asked.
“Not at first,” Hunter said. “I pretended it didn’t matter. Ben convinced me to come home with him. Told me all sorts of stuff I didn’t know, and some I wished I hadn’t.”
“How did it feel?” JR asked.
“Scary,” Hunter said. “I thought it meant I’d die right away. I didn’t want to think about what it meant. At that time I was still living on the street, so I didn’t have a lot of hope for the future. Are you sure you want to know this?”
“Yes,” Jenny said, nodding.
“Alright. After I moved in with Michael and Ben, and started going to school again and hanging out with normal people it really started to sink in. I tried to pretend it didn’t matter, but I couldn’t hide forever. When Callie broke up with me I wanted to die. I thought nobody would ever love me.”
“I love you,” Jenny said. “You’re one of my two favorite brothers.”
“You only have two brothers,” Hunter said, tickling her.
“Was I born yet?” Jenny asked.
“Nope. Your mama was still pregnant with you.”
“And you were in Canada when I was born?”
“You already know this,” Hunter said. “We were on the Liberty Ride. It's when Daddy and Pop got married.”
Thirteen walked into the room.
“So, we're pretty sure we know what's wrong with Jenny,” she said. She explained the disease they thought she had to Michael, and got her started on treatment. “If our theory is correct, we'll see results within a few hours. This disease stops the production of platelets, which is what's stopping her clotting. It's also affecting her brain, and causing the seizures.” Thirteen smiled, a little awkwardly, and then walked out of the room. Hunter followed her out.
“So,” he started, “How long were you out in the hall?”
“A while,” Thirteen said. “How old were you?”
“Fifteen,” Hunter said. “I tested positive eleven years ago, and so far, apart from the occasional cold, I'm healthy, knock on wood.”
“Is that why you became a doctor?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Hunter said, “I may not have forever, but I refuse to curl up somewhere and wait to die. I'm gonna live my life as long as I can.”
“I said the same thing,” she said.
“Are you positive?” Hunter asked, surprised.
“No. I have Huntington's disease,” she said.
Hunter winced. That wasn't a nice way to die. He didn't envy her at all, but he understood what it felt like. “So you understand,” Hunter said. “What it's like to have something inside you, something dangerous, never knowing when it's going to rear its ugly head and take away what time you have left.”
“Yes,” she said. “But I try not to think about it too much.”
“You try not to,” Hunter said, “But you do anyway.”
“Yeah,” she said. “Anyway, I'll be back in a few hours to check on Jenny. You should stay with her. I've learned after doing this for a few years that the first thing we diagnose is usually wrong. I don't think we are this time. This disease really does fit with her symptoms almost perfectly, but you never do know.”
“Are you going to tell anyone? About me I mean?” Hunter asked.
“Does Dr. Cuddy know?”
“Yes,” Hunter answered.
“Then nobody else needs to know, if she doesn't think so.”
“Especially not Taub?” Hunter asked. “I saw the nasty looks he's been giving my dad. That guy's a homophobic asshole.”
“He really is,” Thirteen said.
“What would he do if he knew his boss was gay?” Hunter asked.
“House?” Thirteen said, “No way.”
“Absolutely,” Hunter said. “Have you seen the looks he and Dr. Wilson give each other? They're so totally together, and I've only seen them together once or twice, from a distance.”
“I'm going to have to keep my eyes peeled,” Thirteen said. “Go stay with your sister.”
She turned to walk away when Hunter stopped her.
“You didn't ask the question. Everyone asks. You didn't ask how
I got it.”
“None of my business,” Thirteen said, then she walked away.
That's the end of the quick updates, I'll have more coming soon, hopefully, but that's all that was already finished. Please review?