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Wounded Love
Like the asthmatic struggling for breath, so the lover must struggle for words.
A House is Not a Home (3/9) 
9th-Oct-2008 09:53 am
fear
Title: A House is Not a Home
Author: Kristen Elizabeth
Rating: T
Disclaimer: Characters contained within do not belong to me.
Special Note: CSI and House Crossover
Summary: "You don't need to tell us that people lie, Dr. House. We know. We hear more lies in one day than you will in a month..."

Chapter One

Chapter Two



Author's Notes: This is my first time posting in this community; it was recommended by ashspark. The first two chapters, as you can see, were posted on another community, but I'm hoping that I can post here, too;) Seems like a good community!

A great big shout out hug to Lisa and Cinco. And even bigger hugs to everyone who's read and/or reviewed the first two chapters. Thank you so much!

PS: Less than tweleve hours to go before new CSI!!!!!!!!!! Like I have to tell you;)

*****

A House is Not a Home
by Kristen Elizabeth

*****

“They are a couple, right?” Foreman held Sara Sidle’s X-ray up to the light. “But they’re not married?”

Chase polished an apple on his sleeve with a scoffing look. “Nah, no way. They’re just co-workers. Friends, at the most.”

“What makes you say that?” Cameron asked coolly. “Did you see how he couldn’t take his eyes off of her? Not to mention that whole power of attorney thing.”

“Did you see how much older he is?” Chase shot back. “You of all people should know…that never works out.”

Cameron stared at him for a second. “That was low.”

Foreman shook his head, still staring up at the X-ray. “You hang around House too long, it’s inevitable you’re going to end up sounding just like him.”

“Didn’t your mother ever tell you it’s not nice to talk about someone when they’re not there to defend themselves?” House limped into the room. “Are you waiting for that X-ray to come to life and tell you that there’s nothing wrong with her arm other than a couple of half-healed fractures?” he asked Foreman.

“You’ve already seen it?” Foreman asked, lowering the film.

“I can see it from here.”

“Is there any particular reason we’ve taken this patient?” Chase asked all of a sudden. “She has a cough and a fever. She’s not exactly at death’s door.”

House lifted his eyebrows in mock surprise. “You don’t think it’s interesting that a thirty-five year old woman is coughing up blood for no apparent reason?”

“No. I just don’t believe you find it interesting.”

“Did I say I find it interesting?” House countered.

Chase folded his arms. “If you don’t find it interesting, then my question stands. Why have we…”

“She’s in pain,” Cameron cut him off. The men looked at her. “She could barely walk to the bathroom.”

House reached for her chart and pretended to flip through it. “I don’t see ‘pain’ listed anywhere in her symptoms. Vague it up a little bit, and maybe we’d have somewhere to start from.”

“Why wouldn’t she want her doctors to know she’s in pain?” Foreman wondered.

House glanced at his team. “Any guesses?” When they said nothing, he sighed. “This isn’t any fun if I have to do all the work.”

“It’s not listed because she doesn’t want anyone to know about it,” Cameron said, ignoring him. “Especially her boyfriend.” She shot Chase a significant look on the last word.

“And the reason she doesn’t want him to know about it?” House prompted, as if he was speaking to a group of toddlers.

Chase returned Cameron’s look with one of his own. “Because she’s stupid and trying to tough it out.”

“Name-calling.” House clucked his tongue. “Haven’t I taught you better than that?”

“Where do you think he learned it?” Foreman stood up. “Here’s a radical idea. Get the boyfriend out of the room and ask her.”

“Talking to the patient isn’t something any of you should have learned from me,” House declared. “But since we’re only going on Cameron’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it observation, it’s better than nothing. Foreman, you tackle the boyfriend, and try not to enjoy it too much. Cameron…” He looked her up and down. “Narrow the pain down to an area, at least. Nothing really specific, though. Nobody likes an overachiever.”

Cameron was the last to leave the room. She paused at the door and looked back at their boss as he pulled out his Vicodin bottle. “You never answered Chase’s question,” she said. “Why did you agree to take this case?”

“Would you believe it was out of the goodness of my heart?”

“I would. If I still believed there was goodness in your…” She stopped, shaking her head. “No. I refuse to start sounding like you. I don’t care what Foreman says.”

House popped two pills. “Does it make you a better person to just think stuff like that and not actually say it?”

“I don’t know.” There was a long pause. “All I know is…a few years ago, I wouldn’t have even thought it.”

When she was gone, he swallowed his meds with a rueful smile. “I remember.”

*****

“‘If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust; the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and…’”

“Gil.”

Stopping in mid-sentence, Grissom lowered the leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre and took off his reading glasses. “What’s wrong? Should I call a nurse?”

Sara shook her head against the starched hospital pillows. “No. I just want you to stop reading for a minute.”

He frowned. “But you told me…”

“I know. I’m sorry.” She blew out a ragged breath. “I want to talk to you. When I was in the desert, I told myself…”

“You’re not in the desert anymore, honey.” Grissom reached for her hand. “I’m right here.”

With a harder edge to her voice, she tried again. “To keep going, I told myself there was so much we still hadn’t talked about. Well, we still haven’t. And I..”

He closed up the book and stood. “Sara, you can’t dwell on all of that and have the strength to get through whatever’s making you sick.”

“So…what?” Her eyes burned with unshed tears as he walked to the window. “We can’t even talk about it now? It’s all off…” She stopped when a cramp suddenly seized her entire lower body. Somehow she managed to only let out a silent gasp. She gripped the edge of the bed as tightly as she could, mindless of the IV in the back of her hand.

By the time Grissom glanced back at her, the pain had faded back into the ache to which she was accustomed. “Why do you need to talk about it?” he asked softly. "It's over, Sara."

She never got to answer as her phone suddenly rang. Because she started coughing right then, Grissom answered. “Greg,” he said with a touch of relief at the interruption. As Sara coughed, he listened to his youngest co-worker talk. “Why would I do that?” he eventually asked him.

“Do what?” Sara choked out.

Grissom put his hand over the receiver with sigh. “He wants to know if you’re okay and if you’ve taken his picture yet.”

Sara hadn’t known it was possible to laugh and cough at the same time. As she struggled with it, Grissom moved his hand from the phone. “Greg, she’s going to have to get back to you on that.”

Just as Sara had regained the ability to talk, Cameron entered the room with another doctor in tow.

“Are you Dr. House?” Grissom asked the new arrival.

“No, I’m Dr. Foreman,” he introduced himself. “I’m the neurologist on Dr. House’s team.”

Pure fear gripped Sara, wiping away any leftover amusement from Greg’s call. “Do you think something’s wrong with my brain?”

“We’re not ruling anything out, but considering that you had a clear CT in Las Vegas, it’s doubtful.” He offered her a smile. “Actually, I’ve been sent here to separate the two of you so that Dr. Cameron can talk to Sara alone. Dr. House thinks there’s something she isn’t telling us that she might if you weren’t in the room,” he told Grissom.

Grissom shook his head. “Excuse me?”

Cameron rushed to cover. “What Dr. Foreman means to say is…”

“Dr. House hasn’t even seen fit to meet Sara yet,” Grissom protested. “If he had, he would know that she doesn’t lie about anything, especially her own health.” He looked back at her, but she refused to meet his eyes. “Sara?”

“Gil.” She glanced up for half a second before looking away again. “Maybe you could go get some coffee?”

A minute dragged by as Grissom stared at her, waiting for her to look back. When it became clear that she wasn’t going to lift her gaze up from her hands, he walked out the door without a word.

Cameron glared at Foreman. “He’d be so proud of you right now.” With only a regretful shrug, Foreman left the room. As soon as he was gone, Cameron turned to Sara. “I am very sorry about…”

“It's all right. Subterfuge wouldn't have worked with him, anyway." Sara let out a pent-up breath. “And you don’t need to ask, Dr. Cameron,” she said, pushing a tear out of her eye before it could fall. “It’s my lower abdomen. I have cramps. All the time.” She paused. “Bad ones.”

“On any particular side?”

“I had my appendix taken out when I was twenty-two.”

“How long have you been experiencing the pain?”

“Ever since this happened.” Sara indicated her arm. “Another fun side-effect of being kidnapped, put under a car and left to die in the desert.”

Cameron put her hand to her mouth. “That’s where I know you from! We watched your rescue on TV awhile back.” She frowned as the wheels in her mind turned. “Maybe your doctors at the time missed a fracture in your pelvis or…”

Sara shook her head. “They ruled out everything. Even did exploratory surgery.” Her lip trembled. “I think Gil got every doctor in the hospital to take a look at me before he let me…” Her voice cracked. “…let me come home.”

“You live together then?” Sara nodded, composing herself. “But he’s also your…?” She waited for Sara to fill in the blank.

“Boss.” Off the doctor’s look, Sara said, “I take it you don’t believe in inter-office relationships?”

Cameron blinked. “Not anymore. Not real ones, at least. But I also don’t judge the people it…you know…works out for.” She cleared her throat. “Is there anything else we should know about? Any other pain? Odd symptoms?” When Sara shook her head, she hesitantly added, “Could you be pregnant?”

“No. We haven’t…not since the desert.” Sara glanced at the door as if she expected Grissom to walk back through it at any second. “He’ll forgive me for lying. He won’t forgive himself for not noticing that I was.”

“Dr. Foreman was wrong to…”

“The truth always comes out,” Sara murmured. “I’m just not usually the one hiding it.” When Cameron started to go, she stopped her. “If you see Gil, please tell him…”

Cameron didn’t need her to finish the thought. “I’ll do my best.” She smiled softly. “Get some sleep. I’m sure I’ll be back soon.”

*****

“What’s the differential diagnosis for acute abdominal pain?”

“With bloody cough and night sweats?” Chase shrugged. “Nothing.”

House threw a ball into the air and caught it a second later. “At least I’m pretending to care about this case. You should try it out, too.” He turned his focus to the other two members of his team. “Question stands.”

“Don’t forget confusion,” Cameron said.

“According to the file, that only happened once and it didn’t last very long,” Chase pointed out. “Can we really count it?”

House threw the ball in the general direction of his desk. “I’m sure your high school prom date said the same thing.”

“What about simple appendicitis?” Foreman guessed.

“With a cough?” Cameron shook her head. “Besides, she’s already had it removed.”

“Tumor?” he guessed again.

House pointed at Foreman. “See, Chase? That’s how you pretend to care. Come up with a bunch of really dumb suggestions.”

“The doctors in Vegas didn’t find anything when they did exploratory surgery after her…ordeal,” Cameron said for lack of a better word.

House swiveled in his chair until he was facing her directly. “Pardon moi? Surgery? Ordeal? My ears…my, how they perk up.”

“Sara is the cop who was kidnapped and left to die in the desert. Remember?” Off his blank stare, she sighed. “She preempted Passions. Try not to hold it against her.”

“That certainly explains her fractured arm. Could explain everything else, too,” Foreman said. “Post-traumatic stress.”

“I don’t think it’s all in her head,” Cameron said with a frown. “She’s in real pain.”

Chase shook his head. “Confusion and night sweats can be symptoms of PTSD.”

“She’s been lying to her boyfriend…and he is her boyfriend, by the way…knowing full well that keeping it from him would hurt their relationship. She wouldn’t do that if there wasn’t actual pain to hide,” Cameron argued.

Foreman folded his arms. “Which leads us back to the question, why is she hiding…”

“It never ceases to amaze me how you never cease to ask stupid questions when you can’t answer the one put in front of you.” House leaned back in his chair. “Acute abdominal pain that’s not appendicitis.” Cameron opened her mouth to add something, but House waved her off. “Or PTSD. Sheesh. One-track mind today.”

“What about an ectopic pregnancy?” Chase suggested.

“Doubtful. They haven’t had sex since her incident,” Cameron said.

House made a scoffing noise. “If you buy that, I have some magic beans I’d like to sell you. How much older is the boyfriend?”

Foreman shrugged. “Fifteen, twenty years?”

“And is she hot?” House looked at Chase.

He blinked. “Um…she’s attractive. I suppose.” He shot a nervous glance at Cameron. “Not exactly my type.”

House looked at Foreman, expectantly waiting for an answer to the same question. “She’s hotter than he is,” Foreman offered.

“So, he’s a middle-aged fart with a reasonably hot trophy girlfriend who works for him. Unless he’s an idiot, there’s no way he’s not hitting that as often as his blue pills let him.” Avoiding Cameron’s eyes, House stood up, leaning heavily on the table for support. “Get a pregnancy test and ultrasound her belly. Let’s see if we’ve got ourselves another patient.”

*****

To Be Continued
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