Mar. 28th, 2009

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Cuddy reached across her desk and grabbed another file folder. She opened it and rolled  her eyes at the title: Never Events. Great. Who came up with these names? Yeah, it meant events that should never have happened but it sounded like events that hadn't happened. Like imaginary events. Well, whatever. It should be a short report, and if it wasn't, someone was going to have some serious explaining to do.

It kept her busy. It kept her mind occupied...mostly. She hadn't talked to House since Saturday. Based on the way he'd sounded then, she wasn't sure they ever would talk. She wasn't sure anymore if they should talk. Maybe it was possible to love someone with all her heart and not be able to be in a relationship with him. She hated that thought, absolutely hated it. But she was beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be better for both of them to find some other kind of relationship, a sort of something more than friends but less than lovers. She wasn't happy about the idea but she'd rather have a non-relationship with him and still love him. Losing the relationship would suck but going on tearing each other apart until love turned to hate would be worse.

"Dr. Cuddy? Need you in the clinic."

Cuddy looked up with a mild frown. Brenda was in the doorway, holding onto the handle and leaning in just far enough to talk to her.

"Don't we have doctors on duty?"

"Dr. Chase is in the middle of a pelvic exam in room 1 and Dr. Wozniak hasn't come back from lunch yet," Brenda said, her expression clearly showing what she thought of Wozniak's absence. "Campus cops brought in a kid who was wandering around campus talking to the birds or something. Scaring the natives. It's a tin hat case."

"So page psych," Cuddy said, picking up her pen again and leaning over the never report.

"Already did. They won't see him until we get a tox screen and prove he's not just stoned."

"So get a tox screen," Cuddy said with exasperation.

"Kid won't let us touch him."

"What do you think I'm going to be able to do?" Cuddy said, but she'd already capped her pen and pushed herself up from the chair. Brenda just shrugged as Cuddy walked past her. Yeah, yeah, Brenda was just covering her ass not to mention she didn't think it was her job to supervise a case. And she was right, damn her. Cuddy crooked her finger at one of the security guards out in the main foyer as she rounded the clinic desk. Psych patients were generally dangerous only to themselves but that was enough. She didn't intend to let some delusional kid slit his wrists in her hospital.

"Tin Hat have a name?" she asked as they approached Exam Room 2.

"According to the cops, Kyle Conley," Brenda said. "And I already checked. He's not in our system so if he's under treatment, it's with someone else."

Cuddy stopped in the open doorway to take in the scene. On one side of the room was a another nurse. Young. A new hire, if Cuddy remembered correctly. The nurse was simply watching the patient,  her expression a mixture of puzzlement and wariness. The patient himself was pacing up and down the other side of the room. He was thin, disheveled and he couldn't be more the twenty-five, poor kid. He was muttering to himself while his right hand plucked ceaselessly at his wrinkled clothing.

"Mr. Conley? Kyle?" Cuddy moved further into the room but the patient didn't respond to her. "Kyle, have you taken any drugs today?"

"Pills. Pills. Poison pills. Poisonpoisonpoison."

"Ooookay," Cuddy said as his voice faded off into random mutterings again. Whether he'd taken any drugs or not, he was clearly not compos mentis and she had a strong feeling it was going to take drugs to bring him back to this world. She gave the young nurse a sharp nod. "Page psych again. Tell them to get their Freudian asses down here or I'm going to turn their doctors' lounge into a patient activities room. And send the security guard in. He can babysit until psych shows up." 

She turned to Brenda, standing just behind her. "It's not worth the risk of making him more agitated just to draw some blood. Psych can do that once they've got him under control." She looked up as the security guard appeared in the doorway, then she heard a panicked shout from behind her and the next thing she knew, the whole world seemed to tilt. She heard a sharp crack as pain exploded in her head and fireworks went off in front of her eyes.

For a while, all she was aware of was a lot of noise and confusion and people talking to her but she couldn't make sense of it. Later, there was still noise and people talking to her...but it was starting to make sense again. She was lying on her side on a gurney and a nurse was approaching her with a pair of scissors.

"Cut my clothes off and you'll be scrubbing bedpans for a month," she mumbled. Didn't people realize how difficult it was to find stylish maternity clothing? 

"Dr. Cuddy?" Chase crouched down by the side of the gurney and pulled out his penlight, flashing it in her eyes and making her wince. "Do you know where you are?"


"Actually,  you're in the ER now, but close." He tucked the penlight in his pocket and began moving his hands over her head, gently palpating over the bones. "Do you remember what happened?"

"There was a patient.... Not really," she admitted.

"Yeah, apparently something set him off--hard telling what with a schizophrenic," Chase explained. "I don't think he meant to hurt you. He just wanted to get away and you were in the way. Brenda said you cracked your head pretty good on the way down, though. We need to get a couple x-rays and you're going to need stitches in this scalp laceration." 

"No x-rays," Cuddy said immediately, her hand going to the bulge of her belly.

"We have to," Chase said. "The risk to the baby at this stage is minimal and if you've got a skull fracture or bleeding in your brain, it won't be just you at risk. The baby will be as well." 

"I'm fine."

"Probably, but we need to be sure. Besides, you're the boss. If something happens to you because I didn't do a thorough work-up, I'll be handed my head. And I rather like my head right where it's at."

"One film," Cuddy insisted, eyes closed in an effort to minimize the throbbing in her head. "And I want the baby checked, too." She had no clear memory of what had happened so she couldn't be certain she hadn't gotten hit in the stomach or fallen badly. If she had to have a complete work up, then Junior did, too.

"That's fine. Who's your OB?" Chase nodded and made a notation on a notepad. "Okay, I'll step out for moment while Nurse Anne here helps you out of your clothes, and I'll page Dr. Patil."

It took some uncomfortable and awkward moving around--uncomfortable mostly because moving her head made it pound and her stomach roll in sympathy--but she finally got out of her clothing and into a lovely hospital gown. She lay down again on her side and closed her eyes, her face pale. God, of all the stupid, inconvenient things to happen, she had to get taken out by some scared kid who probably had no real understanding that she was there or that she was a real person.

"All right then," Chase said as he returned to the trauma bay once she was settled. "I'm just going to clean up this gash a bit while we wait to get a head film shot." He grabbed a bottle of saline and some gauze pads before pulling a stool around to where he could work on the back of her head. "I paged Dr. Patil. And House."

October 2010

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