Obligatory Disclaimer: Don't own. Oh, and I couldn't remember if we knew Cameron's husband's name or not so I just made one up.

The silence of the lounge which she usually considered drab and wasteful of time was now welcome. Chase and Foreman had gone home, and she figured House would follow once the necessary paperwork was finished. The lights in the lounge were off, and Cameron sat alone in the dark, resting her head in her hands.

This was stupid and she knew it. She'd had patients flat line before. They'd died before. It was an inevitable part of life. What she could never stand were the sad, brimming eyes of the husbands, the wives, the parents, the children when she had to tell them. Sometimes they slept in the hospital for weeks on end, and when the time got close, Cameron often wished the patient would pull through if only for those who would miss him once he was gone. If only so she didn't have to see their eyes.

"Lights burn out?" The harsh florescent lights were switched on. Off. On. Off again. "Darn, looks like we won't have to fire a janitor. I was hoping. Those guys are so cocky."

"What do you want, House?" Not in the mood for his sarcasm today. Not even in the mood for his icy perfect blue eyes.

"I just thought I'd remind you your shift was over. Unless you already know that and were just planning on staying here, you know, get a jump on tomorrow. I like that. Good work ethic."

Cameron chose to ignore him.

He sighed dramatically, "Are you going to tell me or do I have to ask?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

House limped across the room and sank down beside her on the couch. "Patient gets sick, gets put under our care. You figure out the best treatment; we give it to him. Patient dies; you feel guilty. Did I leave anything out?"

"What do I have to feel guilty about?"

"Nothing. Unless his wife decides to sure me. Then you can feel guilty."

Cameron glared at him, "She won't sue."

House looked around in feigned shock, "Why not? We killed her husband."

"She's grieving, House. If she's thinking of suing us five hours after her husband died, she needs to be institutionalized."

Clucking his tongue on the roof of his mouth, House shook his head, "Bit harsh tonight, are we? But then again you always get overly emotional about patient death."

"You say that like it's wrong. I think the only one with the problems is the one who isn't affected by it." Damn, she hadn't meant it to come out like that.

"And here we all thought you were the damaged one." Had he really called her that? Once upon a time he could have believed it, but now all the damage House could see was caused by himself. Cameron, however, took the snark and criticism with a chunk of salt and ignored it. Humoring him maybe because she knew he was really the one with all the problems.

"He reminded me of my husband," Cameron lifted her gaze from the ground for the first time since he walked in as though to make sure he knew not to make a sarcastic comment about it. "The patient did. We couldn't treat him, and it just made me think of Jeremy and how there was nothing the doctors could do."

Jeremy. So that was the husband's name. For a moment, House wanted to curse him for dying and leaving this beautiful girl to mourn him, but quickly recovered almost before the thought had time to register. "I could tell you I'm sorry, but I doubt you'd believe me."

Locking her eyes with his, "I would."

House looked away. Why did she always have to do that? Why couldn't she act like a normal nice girl and treat him like something that had just crawled from the swamp? Instead she had to look at him like he was a friggin' teddy bear with a missing arm. Something you could piece back together simply by loving it enough. House was sick of telling her that wasn't the case.

"I hate to be the one to break the news," he told her. "But sitting alone in the dark isn't going to bring Jerry back from the dead." Inwardly House cursed himself for making a distinctly snarky comment about the deceased husband. Clearly it was a sore point, and why wouldn't' it be for a normal person?

All Cameron said was, "I'm not alone."

And here we go again. "Why do you always have to do that?"

"Do what?" Was that feigned innocence, or did she really not have a clue?

"We were having a perfectly civil conversation and you have to go and bring your feelings into it."

Cameron couldn't help but notice how he spat out the word 'feelings' like the mere sound of it left a bitter taste in his mouth. "Listening you make derisive comments about me and someone who deserves to rest in peace isn't my idea of a civil conversation."

Since when had Allison Cameron learned how to stand up for herself?

"Secondly, if I recall, you were the one who came to find me. I didn't walk into your office, turn the lights off, and proceed to sulk. I wanted to be alone so I came to a place I thought I could be." She paused long enough to note that for once House didn't have a withering retort poised on the edge of his tone. Good, she wanted him to listen for once.

"If you hadn't noticed, House, you are the reason I'm not alone., You could say it's because of some sick desire to irritate me just to see how far you can push me, but let's be realistic. Whatever lie you decide to tell yourself, your feelings had something to do with this."

Greg House: 0, Allison Cameron: 1

It had been hard dealing with this when she was content to gaze at him like he was the greatest thing ever to draw breath, harder still when she'd decided she actually wanted to talk about those feelings. Now that she'd grown a back bone along with the rest, it was going to be damn near impossible. "If you're expecting me to pull you into my arms and kiss you senseless, you've been reading too many romance novels," he said dryly.

Cameron shot to her feet, "I'm not expecting anything of you! I don't expect anything; I don't want anything; and I'm not planning on trying to fix you. I just want you to acknowledge that and admit you don't find the idea of being with me that repulsive."

"I already told you I don't like you," House growled.

"Everybody lies," she shot back, throwing his own mantra back at him.

House: 0, Cameron: 2

"Didn't anyone ever tell you to play hard to get?"

With a roll of her eyes, the corners of her mouth turned up in a humorless smirk, "Hard to get wouldn't work on you and you know it. That's not what you want."

"And now you're an expert on what I want?" He stood up, leaning heavily on his cane. Much better, he could tower over her this way.

"I never said-"

"But you implied. Don't perceive to know all about me just because you read about it in some medical book. It puts your intelligence into serious question."

"Calling me an idiot isn't going to make this go away."

If he didn't win one soon, House was going to have to storm out, and his pride wouldn't let him do that. Plus the bum leg wasn't exactly beneficial to storming anywhere. Her doe eyes were determined and waiting for him to try another approach just so she could shoot him down. She was spending far too much time around him. Next thing you know, she'd be popping Vicadin and hiding in the bathroom to avoid clinic duty.

Cameron was stubborn as hell, much more so than he'd originally anticipated. She was so sure she knew what she wanted, the only thing to do was to prove to her that she didn't. And the only way to do that was…

The feel of House's lips on her was something Cameron was entirely unprepared for. His scent was that of foreign cigars and coffee, no cream but four sugars. She ought to know that by now; she made his coffee almost every day. Eager for more, she opened her mouth slightly to brush his lips lightly with her tongue while reaching to find his hand in hers. House pulled back so suddenly she nearly lost her balance.

That was not supposed to happen. Greg House was unable to prevent a look of pure horror mixed with confusion from crossing his features. This was wrong. He'd been the one to kiss her true enough, but only to prove to her this was not the fairy tale she clearly dreamt it was. He wasn't supposed to have enjoyed it.

Coyly, "Something wrong?"

House observed her, snark and sarcasm failing him for once. "Yes," he said finally.

Nervous habit prompted Cameron to chew on her bottom lip while twirling a lock of dark hair around a finger, "Oh."

Inwardly House groaned. This girl clearly had no idea just how much feminine charm she was actually endowed with. "Stop," he ordered.

Cameron quirked an eyebrow, "What?" Or maybe she did have an idea.

"Right now. Or you'll make me want to do that again."

Smiling she took a step forward. He couldn't step back. "Is that such a bad thing?"

Less confident, "Yes. This other ducklings are going to attack me in a dark alley with scalpels when they get wind of this."


"Or worse, Chase will just pay for a couple of hit men to take me out. Top notch hit men. Friends of Al Capone."


"What?" He snapped.

"Kiss me."


House: 0, Cameron: 3