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Destiny In Deutschland: Chapter One

Title: Destiny In Deutschland
Author: cassandra_elise
Rating: PG-13/Teen for language and situation
Genre: Romance/Drama with Smatterings of Angst and Humor
Spoilers: Takes place following the Series Finale. Do not read unless you've seen "Everybody Dies," or don't care if you're spoiled.
Summary: When Cameron's brother gets a job in Germany, she thinks moving with him and his family will be the perfect distraction from House's death. Little does she realize she is about to come face to face with her destiny thousands of miles away from home...

This story is dedicated to all the amazing Hameron friends I've made on LJ, especially for ally_cam. I'm sorry we couldn't meet up this summer. So I'm giving you something even better: House/Cameron in Germany!



Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: Cameron’s POV


I looked up from my computer monitor in the bustling ER at Chicago Hope and feigned a smile at my subordinates bustling around me. Ever since I took over as the Dean of Emergency, the ER had become one of the most efficient places in the country, and I knew most of that efficacy could be contributed to the high morale of the staff. A happy doctor is a helpful doctor was my new motto, which was why every once in a while, even when I didn’t feel like it, I would smile encouragingly at my medical team, reassuring them of a job well done. Truth be told, of all the tasks I had to complete as Dean, this was the most daunting for me because I rarely felt like smiling anymore.

Unless you were intimately acquainted with me, you wouldn’t be able to tell that my bubbling, benevolent self was merely a façade to hide my inner convictions of pain, devastation and despair. It wasn’t something I was proud of, but I had grown exceptionally adept at lying. And why not? Everybody lies, as the old maxim from my former life so unapologetically stated. This should’ve been a comfort to me—that my lying skills had improved so dramatically since my duckling years at Princeton Plainsboro Hospital—but it only served as a bitter reminder that the man who had first uttered those words to me, the man who would’ve been most pleased with my new talent for deception, was gone. Taken from the world without a single magnanimous goodbye, and not from a drug overdose as his rivals (and many colleagues) had long predicted, but a fire. Nothing quick and painless, but a long, agonizing process as Gregory House either suffocated or burnt to death.

House was dead. It was something that was hard to accept even months after I’d been to his funeral, eulogized tearfully about his great capacity to love and then seen his urn lowered into an empty grave.

I should’ve had closure. Instead, a niggling doubt penetrated the dark corners of my mind—the sort of disquieting sensation you feel when you aren’t certain whether you locked the doors before leaving on your vacation. Every so often this doubt would fight its way to the forefront of my thoughts, and I would find myself thinking, surely that’s not all? House can’t really be gone for good, can he?

I shut down my work computer then turned my attention to my personal laptop. I felt a momentary pang as I surveyed the desktop picture of me and the original PPH team, plus House, standing around in our Christmas attire, grinning awkwardly at the camera. My eyes lingered a little longer on House’s statuesque form, his piercing blue eyes and his permanent 5 o’clock shadow outlining his steady chin. I closed the laptop with some finality and glanced up just as my brother and my beaming nephew Trevor entered the ER.

In the last several months, since even before learning of House’s demise, being with Trevor had become my one source of true happiness. There was something about his innocence, his unabashed acceptance of all people, his cherubic face that would alight with love whenever he spotted one of his closest friends or relatives (including his “Aunt Ally,”) that gave me hope that perhaps the world wasn’t as screwed up as I feared.

I let a genuine smile grace my careworn face and ran to embrace my nephew. “How’s my little man?” I crooned as I smothered his rosy cheeks with kisses.

“I’m doing well,” my brother Todd joked.

I gently laid Trevor back into his stroller and strapped him in. “This is a surprise seeing you two here.”

Todd shrugged. “We needed to talk to our Aunt Ally, and she wasn’t answering her phone.”

I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and switched it on. Sure enough, I had three new text messages and a voicemail all from my brother. “You know I can’t keep my phone on in the Emergency Room. What’s so urgent that you had to see me?” Todd never visited me at the hospital, so I was deeply curious.

He grew quiet for a moment, his face transforming into an unreadable mask. “Abigail and I wanted to invite you over for dinner. Tonight,” he added emphatically. Whatever he needed to discuss with me required the culinary creations of his wife to soften the news.

I felt a cold fear dig its icy fingers into my heart. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong.” His expression was still blank, but his dark brown eyes flickered briefly to Trevor’s chubby figure.

“Oh, God. Is Trevor ill?” my voice was a mere whisper.

“Come on, Allison. You have such an overactive imagination!” Noticing that I wasn’t convinced, he gave my shoulder a squeeze. “It’s good news, I promise. Now pack up your gear and head on over to our house. Abigail is preparing a veritable feast.”

I hurriedly raced to the locker room, where I changed out of my doctor attire and gathered up my belongings, including my precious laptop. I hopped into my car and made the 15-minute drive to my brother and sister-in-law’s house—a cozy brownstone in an older suburb of Chicago. As I made the commute, my brain mulled over various scenarios for this premeditated dinner meeting. Maybe Todd and Abby were expecting another kid. That would explain the surreptitious glance at Trevor while Todd had invited me to supper.

Or maybe Abby was going back to work. She had quit her job after discovering she was pregnant, citing the maternal need to raise her son without “interference from daycare or babysitters, thank you very much.” Perhaps she had grown tired of the wife and mother bit and wanted to return to work. But would that news warrant an elaborate meal?

By the time I pulled into Todd’s driveway, my brow was knitted together and my stomach was tied into an anxious knot. I didn’t use to be such a worrywart, did I? Somehow I managed to unclench my hands from the steering wheel and lug myself and my laptop into my brother’s home.

Abigail greeted me with a kiss and a hug, then swatted me playfully. “It’s been three weeks since you last visited me. What gives?”

“I know,” I said ruefully, “but work’s been really intense lately.” Work was my excuse for finagling out of any and all situations. A cousin’s wedding? Sorry, I have to take an extra shift at the hospital. A picnic with coworkers? I’d love to, but I have way too much paperwork to complete.

I could feel Abby’s scrutinizing gaze even as I turned to give Todd a hug. Abby wasn’t buying the excuse, and actually I was glad. The fact that she could read me so well was one of the things I absolutely loved about my sister-in-law. Unfortunately, at that moment she was making me extremely uncomfortable.

“I can understand you wanting to get out of a blind date or something, but using the work card on your family is just low,” Abby said to the back of my head.

I swallowed back my response. How could I explain to her that although I loved her and Todd dearly, I really didn’t like being with anybody anymore? Except for my savior Trevor. His sunny disposition melted away the walls of apathy and depression that ceaselessly barraged my heart. I hefted him out of his bouncy chair and amidst high-pitched intonations of “how’s my angel?” sat down with him in my lap. Just holding him I could feel the tension slipping away.

I asked if I could help with dinner, but Abigail insisted I sit back and relax. While she and Todd worked on last-minute preparations, I pulled out my laptop to check my email. With Trevor still squirming in my grasp, it was quite the accomplishment. As soon as my desktop booted, my nephew gave a squeal of delight and pointed at the screen. “Ow!” he exclaimed, his hand waving merrily at House’s visage. “Ow, Ow.”

I bit back a laugh. “That’s right. That’s Doctor House, the most incredible doctor of his generation. You remember me telling you the story of how House took me on a motorcycle ride, don’t you? Well, this other time, we…” I trailed off as I spotted Abigail giving me a withering glare, her hands firmly on hips.

“Honestly, Allison. It’s bad enough that one of Trevor’s first words was House, but now you’re going to fill his head with stories of that egotistical nutjob?”

Her comment rankled more than it should have. House had been an egotistical nutjob, as well as selfish, manipulative, rude...Yet hearing Abby’s accusation made me go on the defensive. Trying to appear nonchalant, I stood with Trevor in my trembling arms. “I’m going to give Trevor his bath.”

As I headed to the bathroom, I heard my brother say, “Give her some slack, Abs. Allison loved the guy for whatever reason.”

“I understand that, but she needs to get over him,” was Abby’s reply. “He’s been dead for almost a year, and she’s been gone from Princeton Plainsboro for almost three…”

I shut the bathroom door on their conversation, but I couldn’t shut out my thoughts. House was dead. I had loved him, but I had gotten over him years ago...hadn’t I? Yet if I had, why did it still kill me to admit that he was gone, never to show up again with one of his sarcastic quips about my cup size or lack-thereof, or never to offer his most brilliant medical advice for a difficult case? Why couldn’t I just accept the truth and move on?

I put all my concentration into bathing Trevor, and by the time he was cleaned and tucked into bed for the night, Abby and Todd were done preparing dinner. We spent the first half of the meal making idle chitchat until I finally plucked up enough courage to ask them, “So what’s your big news?” I pushed my mashed potatoes around my plate.

Todd leaned back in his chair, his palms pressed flat against the glossy, oak panel of his dining room table. “Well, as you know, over the last couple of months I’ve been gaining the respect of my boss, and he’s finally offered me a promotion.”

“That’s wonderful, but…” I waited for the real news.

“They’re moving me to Germany. I’ve got to be in Stuttgart about a month from now.”

I exhaled deeply. This announcement wasn’t has bad as I had anticipated. “And you want me to keep an eye on Abigail and Trevor while you’re overseas? Not a problem, Bro. You know I love them.” I immediately envisioned the play dates I could set up with Trevor. Maybe if Abigail was feeling especially lonely I could spend the night on occasion. If nothing else it would cure me of my own loneliness.

Most nights I could hide my loneliness with a carefully selected book or movie and a glass of Merlot or Pinot Grigio. But other times the formidable solitude consumed me, just as the shadows of the evening consumed the crevices of my apartment, transforming my furniture and bric-a-brac into unfamiliar, ghostly shapes. Then, like my disguised knickknacks, the ghosts of my past would rise up and haunt me—ghosts like: Watching my first husband lose his battle to cancer; going against my own ethical code and killing Dr. Ezra Powell; growing more and more distant with Chase, my second husband, until we finally separated and divorced; quitting PPTH three times, each time House never making an effort to stop me; and, of course, learning of House’s death.

I broke from my reverie to stare at my brother who had suddenly taken a vast interest in his green beans almandine. “Actually, the company wants me there for at least 2 years, so Abby and Trevor will be moving with me.”

I felt the blood rush from my face and an irritating buzz droning in my ears. They were leaving, all of them, including my beloved lifeline Trevor. The one person capable of making me feel alive was being dragged thousands of miles across the Atlantic. And when he finally came home would he even remember me? Would he even recognize his “Aunt Ally”?

I knew I was selfish and irrational in wanting my family to stay in Chicago just for my sanity’s sake, but I couldn’t help myself. Depression is rarely logical and always just a tad self-indulgent.

Abigail and Todd were saying something along the lines of “We know how attached to Trevor you are,” and “we’ll miss you, too,” and “We realize this will be hard on you,” but I heard their voices uncomprehendingly as if through a thick wall of glass. I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for my brother, and I couldn’t ask them to stay for me. But I wasn’t certain I could survive without them either. I didn’t want to be alone.

And that’s when the answer came to me as clear and distinct as a clarion. Before I could rationalize my way out of it, I found my mouth opening of its own accord and voicing my daft thoughts aloud, “You don’t have to worry, guys. I’ll be fine.” I looked from one disbelieving face to the other. “Because I’m coming with you.”

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
ally_cam
Jul. 17th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
Oh yay, that's a great start!!! I hope we can meet if you come to Germany again (or I come to the US, whatever happens first :D)! In the meantime I can't wait to read more about Cameron's new life in Germany ♥
cassandra_elise
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:02 pm (UTC)
I hope we can meet up sometime, too! :) I'm glad you're excited for the next chapter! :D
teruel_a_witch
Jul. 17th, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Yay, that's the fic you mentioned in May, this was a great start, I love your Cameron POV, it's very evocative and can't wait to see where it goes :D
cassandra_elise
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
Yep, this is that fic. Only took two months to post it. LOL Thanks for the lovely words.
teruel_a_witch
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
Better late than never, eh? ;)

And it looks like it's gonna be quite a journey so I can see why it took two months to start posting. I'm curious, do you have the whole thing planned out already? As in, regular updates or not?
cassandra_elise
Jul. 19th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
I have written several chapters already. My idea is to write and post weekly increments, so that I'm always one or so chapters ahead of what I'm posting at the time. Hope that makes sense. LOL
hughville
Jul. 18th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC)
This is a wonderful start. I can't wait to read more.
cassandra_elise
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and reviewing. :D
hectb
Jul. 18th, 2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
I wanna know more! Germany, huh? Let me guess....House lives in here too and they'll meet eventually! XD Come on, girl! I need more! <3 I want to see their meeting, sparkles all over the place AGAIN! *____*
cassandra_elise
Jul. 18th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
Gee, how did you guess? LOL Sparkles are coming soon. ;)
ditte3
Jul. 19th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
Great start. Please write more soon.
cassandra_elise
Jul. 20th, 2012 12:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!
dreamngofalex82
Jul. 20th, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
You got me :)
So excited, can't wait for more!!
cassandra_elise
Jul. 20th, 2012 12:59 pm (UTC)
Heh heh, glad to hear it. :)
sharp2799
Jul. 26th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
How did I miss this?!? *bounces* I'm really looking forward to the next chapter!
cassandra_elise
Jul. 26th, 2012 02:30 pm (UTC)
*bounces with you* It's coming ASAP!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )