Title: 18 Weeks
Rating: Teens only, because when your twelve...you just aren't ready yet.
Summary: Honesty is always the best policy, especially when paired with some innocent seduction.
A/N: This was written during the long House-less summer months, found, reworked, and presented for your reading pleasure. I really like it. I even read this one.
She cornered him early one morning, before anyone else had arrived. His back was to her, and as she approached and poured herself a cup of coffee he said nothing. She leaned back against the counter, stirring distractedly. "I have a question."
"No, I will not sleep with you. Even if you cover clinic hours for me. Well, on second thought..." He winked at her and gave a cheeky grin.
"Do you really think those things about me? What you said, last week at dinner. Do you really believe what you said, or were you just trying to come up with a defense strategy."
He looked away, and when he met her gaze again all of the prodding humor had left his face. "I'm the last one to admit when I've been an ass. That said, I was an ass. I shouldn't have said those things. At least not until after dinner. But I believe them, if that's what you want to know."
Cameron nodded. Neither spoke for what seemed like minutes. Finally, she spoke. "I thought I was going to spend my life with him. We were engaged before the diagnosis. What are the chances of a oncology major dying of cancer in med school?" She bit her lip. "Anyway, we had already set a date, and we went along as planned, but after the wedding we found out it had metastacized. After several failed attempts at chemo, we realized there was nothing to be done. He came home to die." She stopped, her breath catching and voice failing her.
"We had eight real months together as husband and wife. They were perfect months. He wasn't in the hospital, dying. He was with me, living."
"NO. Let me finish. I wasn't trying to fix him," she bit out through her watering eyes. "I was savoring every last second I had with him. And I didn't marry him because I felt some misguided sense of duty and wanted to make his last days happy, I did it because when I said yes to him I hadn't taken the vows yet, but I meant in sickness and in health I'd be with him. If I hadn't kept my promise I would have been abandoning him, and I don't give up on the people I love."
He stared into her tear-brimmed eyes. She was so full. Full of passion and love and feeling. What could she want from an empty shell?
"I don't care if you think I'm an emotional little girl, but don't accuse me of taking charity cases to my bed."
She set her mug down a little violently, sloshing coffee over the edges. "I can't, I can't keep throwing myself in your path hoping you'll stop and pick me up. I'm tired of it. So I'm trying a new approach. Blatant honesty. So try this on for size," she crossed the distance between them and stood so close she could feel the heat of his breath. Covering his hand with her own she continued, " I think you are incredibly sexy, and I think it's even sexier that you don't even know it. I love your sense of humor, your eyes, your taste in music...I just love you. And it kills me to see you walled away behind excuses and pain, not because I want to fix you, but because people in love should want to give everything to that other person. How can you take anything I have to offer when you won't even talk to me?"
She ended her tirade with a sigh and a look of expectation. He looked defeated, and tired. "I know what you'd like me to say. It'd be real swell if we could just go ahead and start dating. Share an apartment and play house? Get a dog together, walks in the park, weekend trips to the Cape? That kind of thing?"
"I know you too well to expect anything conventional from you," she smiled at him through hopeful eyes.
"Yea, well, there's something attractive about nice, healthy conventional relationships. Why not just get one of those? Chase is seeking you out desperately. Even Foreman could be convinced. If you'd like a challenge, Wilson's marriage is on the rocks."
"Be serious. I'm talking about us."
"So am I. Why the hell would you pick me over someone who you could just be with? Throw on your little his and hers iPods and go jogging? Get dressed up and go dancing with? Why this?"
"No, I'm talking about..."
"No, I know what you mean. Is that all your worried about? My alternatives and how they stack up to you? Your stupid leg? So you can't run around or win a dance off. I can't dance anyway, I have terrible coordination. And I hate running."
"Well, there's also the problem of us making out around Cuddy. You know she's a jealous mistress. And then there's the other ducklings. How can I not pick favorites when one of you comes home with me every night?"
"So at work, we keep everything separate. And as secretive as possible, as long as possible."
"Your family will hate me. They'll think I'm too old for you."
"That's a stretch, even you know you're running out of excuses."
"We'll hate it. You'll want things that I can't give and we'll start bickering. Over kids, living arrangements, work, who's turn it is to do the dishes."
She rewarded his valiant attempts with a mischievous smile, and snuck her arm under his jacket, resting her hand on his back. He was toned, and warm, and he smelled great. Oh she wished they were somewhere more private.
"Allison...stop." Even he didn't believe himself.
"Why? Convince me that you don't want this. Give me one, monumental reason why you won't let me in," at his silence she went on. "Please trust me? I never want to hurt you. I would never betray you. I only want what you'll give me."
Her closeness was making him heady. He wanted to believe her. He wanted to kiss her. He settled on just wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer. She buried her head in the crook of his neck and breathed him in. He smelled like a warm bed on a Saturday morning, with a hint of cinnamon and cigar smoke. She kissed him, a small, unassuming kiss below his ear, his pulse beat rapidly under her lips.
Just then, they heard the familiar swoosh of the office door opening. Cameron jumped back and whirled around to face the counter, busying herself with the coffee pot. House just glared at the intrusion. It was Wilson, a very surprised Wilson.
"No, no, no, no! Ignore me! I never came in! Go back to what you were doing! Do more of it!" With that, he spun around and sped back towards the oncology ward, leaving the two staring anywhere but at each other.
She let out a very unladylike snort of laughter. "You might be right about the work thing."
"What, four more months of your fellowship?"
"Eighteen weeks. I counted. I knew the deadline for seducing you was approaching," she chuckled, "Eighteen weeks is a long time."
He let out a groan. "Well, at least if we're going to make out in a hospital full of glass walls, we should wait until someone good's around to see it."
She carefully tucked a piece of hair behind her ear and turned to face him. "So, does that mean this is a go?"
"Trial run, trial run. The minute I find little pink hearts all over lab results, you're ass is to the curb."
"So, that's it?"
"I suppose. Has hell frozen over? Should I grab my ice skates?"
"I just expected it to be a lot harder to convince you my intentions were noble."
"Oh don't kid yourself. You know you're just going to use me for sex."
Hmm, she thought, the idea has merit.
Judging by the look on her face at that last comment, it was probably best that Foreman arrived just then, followed closely by Chase.
"What's on the agenda for today?" Chase inquired cheerily.
"I'm covering clinic hours for Dr. House," she said innocently, "You know where to find me if you need anything." With a wink only he could see, she was out the door and sauntering down the hallway.
It was going to be a very long 18 weeks.