Bad Ideas

Disclaimer: If I owned House, uh, well, there'd be more porn. Um. I might have a slight fixation on the cane. Anyway, the point is, I'm not making any money so please don't sue me.

/h

"This is a bad idea."

He had his hands on her back under her shirt, his lips fastened on a pulse point on her neck, and his good leg between hers. He had no intentions of stopping or slowing down whatsoever, and he didn't really think she did, either. She was trapped against the wall, head thrown back, one hand in his hair and the other groping desperately down his body, fighting its way into his trousers. "That just occurred to you?"

"It's been occurring to me three times an hour for the past four months," she answered breathlessly, winning her battle with his belt buckle. "I knew I wasn't going to regret wearing a skirt today."

He nipped at her earlobe, sliding his hand all the way down her back and under the thin fabric of the skirt. "You might regret it tomorrow."

The quiet rasp of a zipper being tugged down and she had him in her hand, stroking. "Life's just full of uncertainties." Somehow they managed to get over to the desk. He sat heavily, and she straddled him, sinking down and surrounding him with hot velvet.

It was fascinating to watch her face as she moved, the flush stretching from her cheekbones to her collarbone. "Unbutton your shirt," he demanded, and she complied without stopping, eyes lidded but fastened to his own. When her breasts were exposed he took them in his hands, kneading.

"Mmm, yes." Dark hair escaped from the confines of the usual ponytail, making her somehow more wanton, more desirable.

He started to ask a question, then for once was unsure how crude he could be. "Are you going to…"

She leaned down, brushing her lips against his for just a moment and giving him a spectacular view of her equally spectacular cleavage. "Am I going to come, Dr. House?" she finished for him, never stopping. She gasped when he flicked his thumbs over her nipples. "Why don't you tell me."

Dangerous, that's what she was. "Yes," he commanded, just as she started to shudder around him. "God, Cameron, yes."

"Dr. House-" Eyes closed, beatific expression

"House!" Why were the lights flickering?

"Hey! Wake up, would you?"

He snapped out of whatever it was- dream, nightmare- and nearly lost his balance in the chair. Swearing, he wiped the sleep out of his eyes. "Don't people knock anymore?"

"I knocked three times," Wilson said exasperatedly, flopping down in the chair across from him. "Cuddy was looking for you."

"What else is new." He desperately tried to calm his ragged breathing, wondering how long it would take Wilson to make a comment.

He should have known there'd be no mercy.

"Good dream?"

"Awful," he answered frankly, fighting the urge to tear his hair out. Was he crazy? Daytime fantasies about having his leg back, yes. Occasional indulgences in the privacy of his own home, thinking about Cameron's mouth (or other various physical characteristics), admittedly. Napping in his office and having a distinctly erotic dream? Bad news.

He'd crossed a line, he knew that. Conscious physical attraction was one thing- it was the unconscious kind that bothered him. Things you didn't know about couldn't be controlled, and that was dangerous.

"Your lips say no, but your pants say-"

"Save it, James." He reached for his cane. "Where's Cuddy?"

/h

"This is a bad idea, you know."

"Now where have I heard that before?" House asked, faux-curious. "What's a bad idea?"

Wilson had the grace to look uncomfortable. "Your little tiff with Cameron. Whatever that means, or for whatever reason. She's going to quit. You make her miserable."

Well, that was… unexpected. "I have no idea what you're talking about." He didn't really think it would work.

It didn't. "Of course you don't. That's why you don't avoid her and make it a point not to look down her shirt. And it's why she doesn't look like a kicked puppy every time you say something snarky about her opinion, her clothes, the way she does her job…. How could I have missed it."

"Wasn't it you who claimed that spying on your friends is unethical? Or does that not apply if you mean 'friend' as in 'limping twerp'?"

Wilson put his feet up on the desk, signifying that he intended to stay until he had an answer. "Misdirection is not going to work with me, you know."

House sighed, grabbed his cane, and headed towards the door. If he was going to be pestered by Wilson, it might as well be in a place where he could log clinic hours. "Cameron likes me." He said it like it was the juiciest piece of gossip he'd heard all month, which it probably was, and opened the door.

Wilson needed fifteen seconds to catch up to him after that, despite the limping. "She what?"

"It's like high school. Do you remember high school? I bet you were in the chess club." Misdirection was the key, whether Wilson thought he could zero in on him or not. The elevator doors closed behind them. "She like likes me. Do you think I should ask her out?"

He hurried out of the elevator as quickly as he could (not very), but Wilson couldn't take a hint and caught up with him again. "You say that like it's not a viable option."

"Well done, Watson. Here I was beginning to think you needed someone to define sarcasm. Now see if you can get this one: is it because of the leg, the attitude, the age difference or the fact that I'm her boss?"

This time when Wilson stopped, it was House that turned around. There was something definitely suspicious in the air. "You're not uncomfortable because she likes you," he said like it was some kind of revelation.

Uncharacteristically, House squirmed.

"You're uncomfortable because you can't figure out why."

Well, not the diagnosis he'd been fearing. Good. Apparently his façade was better than he thought. Or else Wilson wasn't as perceptive as House gave him credit for. Anyway, it was at least partially true. "Everything I do should theoretically be pushing her away," he said, signing in to clinic duty and taking out his Gameboy. "She's very stubborn. Or else very stupid."

"How unlike someone else we know," Wilson commented, shaking his head.

"Anyway, if I could figure out why, it still wouldn't solve the problem." He shut off the Gameboy and grabbed a file off the desk. "We'd still have to work together." Tucking the toy into his pocket, he headed for exam room two.

/h

"I was wrong."

"That's not what I like to hear," House answered grimly, swallowing a Vicodin dry. They'd just come out of a consultation with the rest of the dream team. "What, pray tell, were you wrong about?"

"You're not uncomfortable."

Oh. So now the good Dr. Wilson was going to tell him he was terminal. He supposed it had to happen sometime.

"It's worse than that. You discouraged her at first- that much is obvious. She's getting to you."

House faked a concerned look, stopped, and leaned forwards on his cane conspiratorially. "Hmm. That's an interesting diagnosis, doctor. But what makes you think it's not me that's getting to her?"

There was the predictable delay before Wilson caught up with him again. "You like her!"

"Are we going to revert to note-passing next? Should I get Chase to ask her out for me?" Misdirect, misdirect. He poured himself a cup of terrible coffee and took a sip. "I don't like her."

Wilson narrowed his eyes. "Does she know that?"

Fuck, he had really been hoping he wouldn't have to have this conversation. "She should. She asked."

The silence wasn't comforting.

/h

What House knew, and Cameron didn't, was that he hadn't answered the question she'd been asking. He'd answered the questions she hadn't been asking.

Did he like her? Of course he did- at least as much as he liked anyone, and she even got a little extra respect that he hid away for being nice, being unflappable, when she didn't have to; when he couldn't.

Did he like her in the way he suspected she meant? Who knew? Even if he did, nothing could be done about it. He was a bitter old man. He made her miserable every day. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes because it was habit- but he always did.

He was trying to make her see that he was, in fact, a bad idea all by himself.

I don't like her, he tried to think, tried to convince himself that a bad idea plus a really good idea didn't make for a sort of mediocre possibility.

He couldn't even believe himself. Everybody lies, he quoted, and finished off his coffee.

/h

The patient- twenty-one year-old male, Caucasian, track star- had a heart condition that no one knew about, including himself, his friends and his family. He died in his bed, grasping Cameron's hand in an effort to stay grounded in the material world, or maybe to reassure himself that there were beautiful things where he was going. There was no magic to be worked with the transplant board this time.

It was twelve-thirty at night when he finally sent Cameron home; the rest of them were staying for the post-mortem. She was young, the patient had been young. Maybe he had reminded her of the husband she'd lost. In any case her blue eyes had been startlingly red from some mysterious cause, and House couldn't look at her without thinking.

They were so different, he and the boy. He and Cameron. From different worlds, really.

How depressing.

He watched out the window absently as she made her way to her car, head down. She took failure too personally- even in cases when there was nothing she could have done. How she did it was a mystery to him: she came in to work every day, endured his biting comments, saw death and sickness and hopelessness on a regular basis, and still managed to be nice.

He wished she'd choose a branch of medicine where people didn't die so much.

In the shadows of the parking lot there was something moving that was not a doctor. It was also taking a good deal of care to stay in the shadows. House went cold. "Chase, page Cameron."

He tapped his cane on the floor as he watched. Cameron continued on her path to her car, uninterrupted. The shadow crept closer. "She turned it off," he said, turning around. "Call the police." Ignoring the befuddled gazes of Foreman and Chase, he limped towards the elevator as fast as he could. "Wilson!"

Fuck, fuck, fuck. He wasn't going to be there in time. Wilson appeared around the corner as he selected the ground floor. "Hurry up."

For once, there was no argument. "What's up?"

"There's someone in the parking lot."

"That's a new one. Tell me, are you always this neurotic?"

"Cameron is in the parking lot."

"I'd say Cameron qualifies as someone."

House ignored him as he limped out the front doors. "Get me that rock," he demanded as Wilson followed him down the sidewalk. He could hear the struggle now and fished in his pocket for his laser pointer, useful for irritating Cuddy. He traded Wilson for the rock.

"How's your aim?" he asked lowly, testing the weight of the block in his hand.

"Okay. How's yours?"

He tightened his grip. "It had better be perfect."

They came around the corner just in time to see a dark shape digging into the harsh white of Cameron's lab coat. The bottom dropped out of House's stomach.

"Hey!" Wilson shouted, flashing the laser pointer into the attacker's eyes.

A snapping noise, followed by pounding footsteps. House took careful aim and let the brick fly.

He didn't even check to see whether he'd hit him. Pulse, pulse, let her have a pulse.

Oh God. Cameron was bleeding profusely. Her lab coat was fairly drenched in blood, her limbs oddly akimbo. House dropped his cane.

"Three stab wounds," he said out loud, but Wilson wasn't listening, he was kneeling on the other man's back and shouting into his cell phone for the on-call paramedics to get their sorry asses out there immediately.

"Lung puncture," he continued, ripping the sleeve of her lab coat off and pressing it against her most severe injury. "Abdomen," he went on, hoping Wilson was getting this through to the paramedics that had arrived but not really listening.

"Thigh," he finished, staring as Cameron was loaded onto a gurney.

Wilson was watching him now, pale.

The police arrived, standing guard outside the assailant's room while the surgeons checked out his kneecaps. House had broken both of them.

Chase and Foreman stood by the glass doors looking terrified.

Wilson paced.

House held it together until Cameron got out of surgery. Then he was violently ill.