Disclaimer: Not my characters, my idea, justa creative tale about my favorite show.
A/N: Okay so I was bored in my American Lit class the other day so I wrote a new fanfic. I've read more than once that people enjoy those fictions which involve illness of characters or some such trauma. I suppose the appeal is because of the added drama in a potentially life-or-death situation of a character which therefore brings certain characters together. I have a few of these in my head, but this one is thus far my favorite. It doesn't involve illness, but there is indeed physical trauma/drama.
Spoiler: None- a side-story post-"Control".

"Duetto-Sul Aria" played faintly in the background through the computers' speakers. From time to time, as the melody moved her, Cameron hummed or sung along in a soft, sweet voice. She stretched her toned arms above her head: it was late. Her hair, pulled back into a tousled ponytail, was out of the way of her concentration. Her shoulders were bare— her lab coat strewn across the nearby sofa, her suit jacket gracing the back of the chair in which she sat. The glow of the computer screen reflected in her wire-framed glasses.

She blinked, diverting her eyes from the bright illumination.

She yawned and glanced at her watch— 9:48pm. She hadn't noticed exactly how late it was.

In the adjoining room, Dr. Gregory House clicked on a desk lamp and shuffled through a stack of papers which cluttered his desk.

Cameron stretched her long legs and sipped coffee from her half-empty cup, grimacing at its' coldness. She rose, cup in hand, and strode to the nearby sink to drain the remaining beverage. Turning, she gasped, jumping back.

"Oh" she sighed, "you startled me. What are you still doing here?"

House stood across the dimly-lit conference room.

"I could ask you the same thing" he replied, nonchalantly, leaning casually on his cane.

Cameron knit her brow and returned to the computer, putting an end to the music. Suspended now in silence, House moved towards her seated at the computer.

"Intern initiation, downstairs, in the boiler room. Very exciting— there's a ring and everything. I lost $50 bucks on a blonde from Boston, though. Disappointing" he finally answered.

Cameron looked at him, puzzling. How hard was it to answer such a simple question?

House stopped in front of the computer and looked down at her, arching a brow. She gazed up at him, surprised by his sudden nearness.

House tilted his head, inspecting her.

"Alright, alright, I give" he said.

"I was in a meeting, forgot a book I've been reading, 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People'" he smirked at her, "I'm finding it very helpful".

Cameron laughed ruefully and rose, collecting her suit jacket and sliding it on over her cool arms. She reached up and untied her piled hair, letting it cascade gracefully over her shoulders.

"So" House pressed, "what's your excuse?"

"Research" she muttered.

"Just... editing some paperwork, that sort of thing" she answered lamely, suddenly self-conscious about her somewhat 'obsessive' work ethic.

House frowned mockingly and leaned his face closer to hers.

"It's Friday night, Cameron" he intoned.

"Shouldn't you be out partying or something?"

She laughed, briefly but genuinely.

"I... don't do much partying these days" she admitted, smiling.

House nodded, retreating towards the conference room door where he stopped,

"It shows." He was blunt, humorous.

"You should get out there. One night of drunken debauchery and topless dancing would do wonders for you current frigidity, not to mention my fantasies" he winked.

Striding through the doorway and down the hall, Cameron watched him go, chuckling weakly into the silence— never before had she known a man so utterly difficult to read.

Collecting her lab coat from the sofa she opened the wooden cabinet to the far left of the conference room and withdrew her long black cashmere coat and purse before hanging her lab coat on the empty hook.

She clipped her hospital identification tag to an outside pocket of her handbag and, because it was a warm March evening, draped her jacket over her arm and left the dimly-lit, empty conference room.

House was nowhere to be seen.

Cameron paused briefly in front of his darkened office and glanced down the hallway in the direction in which he had, only moments ago, disappeared.

"He makes fairly good time for a man with a cane" she mused quietly.

Walking down the secluded corridor her heels clicked loudly, echoing against the granite walls.

Outside, in the nearly empty parkade, Allison withdrew her keys as she approached her car. Head down, closing the clasp on her purse, she was startled by a voice.

"I'll take that" rang a man's voice clearly in the night air.

Lifting her head, Cameron half-anticipated House to be standing before her, trying to startle her for a second time that evening.

She smiled faintly.

Instead, the man who stood before her was unfamiliar.

Tall, quite tall, with long, shoulder-length brown hair, wearing a tattered black leather jacket.

Cameron's breath hitched as her pulse began to quicken.

"Ex... excuse me?" she croaked through parched lips.

"You heard me. Your purse. Hand it over". He withdrew a switch-knife from his jeans pocket and snapped the blade into view. The dim lights of the parking garage glinted off the metal blade held against her.

Cameron stood, frozen, gazing into the penetrating eyes of the man who stood before her— brown eyes, almost black.

"Hand it over!" His voice was more insistent.

Slowly, tentatively, Cameron extended her handbag towards her attacker.

"Oh... Did I miss the party?" came a man's voice from behind her.

Turning, Cameron saw Houses' face emerging from the shadows, just as the man took hold of her arm and pulled her to him, positioning his blade below her throat.

Houses' left arm was outreached, cell phone in-hand.

Cameron's assailant gripped her tightly as House stepped into the light. He let out an acidic laugh at the sight of the 'debilitated' man before him.

"What'cha gonna do, gramps?" he sneered, "pummel me to death with your cane?"

"While that was my first choice" Houses' voice was steady, serious. He met Cameron's eyes before looking intently at the being which held her helpless.

"I thought I'd let someone else do my dirty work."

He leaned forward a bit, knitting his brow, "makes things easier on me".

House revealed his hand and pressed "send" on his cell phone.

Cameron flinched as the man jerked her closer, tightening his grip. She searched Houses' face for.. something.. Anything!

Undeterred, the man angled his blade closer to Cameron's neck. She drew in a shaking breath as a single, burning tear slid silently down her flushed cheek.

"You're not gonna get me with that stunt, pops" he mocked.

"Now, why don't you hobble on back to the retirement home while I finish up my evening with this" he leered down at Cameron, licking his chapped lips, "lovely young lady here?"

House narrowed his eyes and slowly returned the cell phone to his pocket. He shrugged slightly.

"I guess you've got me" he said, feigning mock defeat.

"But, how, I wonder, will you explain all of this" he gestured to the three of them "to security?" he mused.

"Oh. And the police" he added quickly.

The jackal tipped his blade towards Cameron's chin.

House fixed his eyes on hers.

"Oh..." sneered the man, "I get it. She's pretty, ain't she?" he scoffed.

He tilted his head forward slowly and licked Cameron's tear-streaked face.

House watched in horror as his free hand slid upwards along Cameron's ribs, approaching her breast.

Cameron stretched her neck back as far as possible, shuddering at the touch. A fresh tear slid soundlessly down her face, eyes shimmering, fixed on House.

The attacker halted. Faintly, in the distance, a police siren grew steadily louder.

Visibly unnerved, the villain jerked his head in Houses' direction.

"You..?" he barked in shock.

House shrugged.

"I told you it might be hard explaining all of this to the police without me."

The siren grew louder. Over his shoulder, the assailant could see the radiant red and blue lights reflecting off the distant buildings, moving ever closer.

Glaring silently at House over Cameron's head, he stood silent, his ragged breath quickening slightly, a thin bead of perspiration visible on his furrowed brow.

In one swift movement he tore the handbag from Cameron's hand and thrust her violently into Houses' arms before taking flight between the sparsely parked vehicles.

Cameron released a brief cry as she met Houses' body. Dropping his cane as she impacted him, House caught the frightened woman, throwing his arms around her instinctively and stumbling against her nearby car.

Cameron drew a shaking breath against Houses' chest.

He sighed heavily, watching the man vanish beyond the hospital perimeter. Tightening his grip on Cameron he brought a hand to rest softly on the back of her head. He stroked her gleaming hair gently and felt her tense body relax slightly against him. Relief washed over him like the waves of an incoming tide.

"Cameron" he questioned, his voice husky, "are you hurt?"

Lingering this way for a moment, Cameron rested her flushed cheek against Houses' cool jacket, eyes closed.

Vaguely she heard a voice— quiet and muffled, as if reaching her through a thick fog.

Quickly she realized where she was. Her eyes snapped open suddenly and she shot erect, stepping back from Houses' comforting embrace. His hands gripped her waist nervously.

"Cameron", his voice was more insistent.

She could hear him clearly now as the buzzing in her head subsided.

"Are you hurt?" he questioned urgently.

Cameron shook her hazy head and brought her hands to her warm face, rubbing out the dim tear-lines.

She found her voice.

"No" she stumbled, then, more forcefully, "No, I'm fine."

She willed herself to smile and straightened, wavering slightly.

House, still perched against her car, steadied her fatigued body and bent his head to look into her large, dark eyes.

"You're sure?" he questioned again, the tension beginning to ebb from his voice.

Cameron nodded.

"How did you..?"

The corner of Houses' mouth twitched into a vague smile.

"Have you seen our 'security force'?" he joked wryly.

"I could out-run them, after I'd pummeled them with my cane". His smile brightened, then fell.

"I had no time" he sighed. "I walked out and..." he paused, searching her eyes, "found you here. I hoped he'd just take off, thinking I'd really sent that message..."


"I got lucky" he stated quietly.

"We got lucky".

Their eyes held and Cameron's already racing heart began to ache softly.

She felt House lean towards her slightly, his head bent over hers. Startled, her lashes fluttered.

He stopped. She could feel his warm breath on her face.

Clearing his throat, House bent to retrieve his cane.

Cameron drew an alarmed breath and gripped his wrist tightly, pulling his hand to her.

"You've been hurt" she gasped.

House gazed at his hand, red and wet, before looking intently into her eyes.

"This isn't my blood".

A/N: "Duetto-Sul Aria" is a soprano/mezzo-soprano, Italian aria from Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro". It can be heard in "The Shawshank Redemption" and is one of my favorite songs.