a/n: I'm rehabilitating an old shameless fic of mine. Granted, the topic is still rather shameless as it is a Wilson/Cameron/Chase love triangle. I expect this to get a little sudsy, but the old fic was not doing the fluffy name any justice so I had to try. This will take place starting after the Sex Kills episode and will progress to current day. The premise, Cameron clings onto those that need and are willing to have her. Its harmless fun, no one gets hurt, right? Well, we all know the answer to that one.
He had it coming. The punishment had to fit the crime. One does not spend arduous effort with tactics designed to pull apart from a spouse and not have that person find comfort in the arms of another. Natural law is ruled by the instinct of running to safety when threatened. He had been here before. He had seen this yet instinctually he again reacted the same. This time though, Julie was the one to flee first and not him.
His friendship flourished with House for years for one primary reason. He hadn't left. His brother left. His three wives left. Other friends and countless patients left. House always stayed. The destruction of yet another marriage didn't seem so bad knowing that his friend would be there to back him up. House wasn't a shoulder to cry on or someone that would offer tea and sympathy, but he was still there when no one else was.
That was his consolation at the time he was neglecting his wife anyway. Now that the marriage is over, the complete emptiness surrounded him much like water of the ocean consumes a boat. Or like a brown leather couch in a one bedroom apartment swallows him whole. His feelings of remorse were bad this time, if not worse.
Why is it worse this time? Was it because he was now a three time loser? Was it because he has no legacy to show in those marriages other than alimony payments? Was it because he again was reminded that only true love in his life was a misanthropic vicodin addict that only cared for himself? Was it because yet again he was a failure?
He didn't know the answers, but he suspected that yes could be muttered to all those questions. His berating of his own qualities justified the action of retrieving yet another beer. It didn't bode well that the highly renowned head of oncology was dealing with his personal issues by slowly intoxicating himself into oblivion on his friend's couch, yet he continued the act anyway. Cuddy ordered him to take some time to deal with his personal issues since it was affecting his work. It may not be very constructive, but at least he was dealing with it somehow.
He wondered if it was human or not to weep profusely in these situations. Isn't crying what humans do? He had seen his share of crying in his office while delivering the crippling news to various patients and their families. He empathetically would internally cry with them, even though an actual tear was never shed. Was he internally crying here and not realizing it? No, because in cases of his own affairs, he was too numb. The beer might also be playing a role in his current apathy.
Shortly after 5:00 the main occupant of the home arrived. He cut out a little early to see how his recently despondent guest was faring. The discovery of a passed out Wilson on the couch confirmed his suspicion. He wasn't doing well.
House gazed at his slumbering friend, not envying the pounding head and queasy stomached that he would likely be plagued with later that evening. Wilson was allowed to do this once in a while. This wasn't the first time his comrade fell into a moment of distress and drank himself through it. He always trusted his instinct though and somehow this time was different. He actually needed reassurance and comfort this time instead of temporary escape.
Why is it different this time? In his last two marriages, House only needed to provide his couch and some really decent beer. The diagnostician inside him kicked in, trying to perform a differential on his best friend's mental and emotional state.
Differential diagnosis for depression and loneliness. Three busted marriages are bad, but he did everything he could to destroy this one. He either fell out of love or was never there to begin with. It was no secret that House didn't like Julie and vice versa, but then again he didn't like any of Wilson's wives. Wilson didn't like any of his wives. Once they stopped needing him, they were doomed to become exes.
Chemical imbalance? Three busted marriages by his mid forties and the fact that his specialty had one of the highest burnout rates in medicine. Surely all that has to mess with the brain's serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Of course, other symptoms would present like agitation, trouble eating and trouble sleeping. He has none of those things.
Hypothyroidism? No, that one is plain ridiculous. Some of the obvious symptoms there are weight gain, impaired memory, constipation and fatigue. Abnormal menstrual cycles though, that could be happening.
House had to stop once he laughed at his own thought. He wanted to find some miracle cure to help his friend, but he realized that Wilson was just facing one too many failures in his life. He understood misery, but basic depression from adjustment disorder was a little beyond his realm. All Wilson really needed was a friend to talk to and sympathize. He was so not that friend. It's not that he wasn't willing. He just wasn't capable. Any such attempts would only make things worse.
House was at his desk, having a quiet moment in between clinic hours and General Hospital. He couldn't help but still think about his bestest buddy. He was not the person to be giving advice about the breakup of a relationship. Heck, he wasn't the person to be giving advice about anything. He had seen Wilson at his low moments before, but this time was pretty low. He knew things were bad, but he didn't realize how bad until Wilson wouldn't even get up off the couch to make breakfast. Cooking meals was always his way of coping with reality. He seemed to have lost touch with it.
Cameron walked in needing to talk about a test result for their newest patient. She could tell that something was troubling her mentor. "Is something the matter?" She asked with great concern.
"I assume you are here for a reason other than to annoy me," he barked at her.
"Something is bothering you." She wasn't about to let this go.
"You are here because…"
"I'm looking for Dr. Wilson. I need him for a consult."
"He's taking some time off. I'm sure there is another oncologist in this freaking hospital."
"He's taking time off? Does this have to do with the fact that his marriage just fell apart and he's on your couch?"
"It's nothing of your concern. He's not available."
Cameron all of a sudden got a look of real worry. "Something is really wrong with him. He wouldn't miss work."
"Don't give me that Saint Cameron saves the world look. He is not one of your charity cases."
"House, what is wrong."
"Okay, if he's okay he won't mind if I stop by your place for a consult. I'm sure he's bored out of his mind with your TIVO selections."
"Fine, if you must know, Wilson isn't right. He is taking the breakup of this marriage hard, and it seems that my hard edged sensibility isn't enough to knock into his head that this is the best thing for him."
Cameron gave him a condemning look. House can't even be sensitive about his best friend when he is in pain? "Hard edged sensibility? If that is what you want to call callous arrogance."
House realized there might be an opportunity that could come of this. "Okay, if you care so much, he needs someone to talk to. Someone who has the capacity to actually show they care. You are nice but you won't baby him either and will set him straight. It seems way too cynical coming from me because I don't have those touchy-feely skills."
Cameron knew that all Wilson had was House and that was pretty sad. Still, he cared enough to want to help. She would be getting in the middle of such a strange relationship though. House and Wilson constantly berated each other for their mistakes, but in the end when they hit rock bottom they somehow managed to pick each other up. No wonder this is the only relationship either of them have had that has lasted. "I'll do it. I can go after my clinic hours."
"I'll talk to Cuddy if you can go now. She has a thing for noble causes."
Cameron nodded. "Okay, but no calling or interrupting while I'm gone. Neither of us needs your insensitive disrespect for personal boundaries."
"No funny business or you will never hear the end of it and you get all of Chase's abuse."
"Deal." Cameron grabbed her coat and purse and left without saying another word to House. She wasn't in the mood for anymore mocking comments.
Who could be visiting House at this time of day? Wilson thought as he heard the knock on the door. It was likely a salesman or a delivery or someone serving yet another subpoena.
He opened the door and was thrown back to see Cameron there. Oh great, is she going to give a lecture about the virtues of keeping a marriage together? He didn't need the moral high ground right now. House was a pain in the ass, but he didn't push the morality of the situation.
Wilson was too polite though to slam the door in her face. He cleared a wider path to let her in as they both shared awkward glances. "Did House send you to check on me?"
"He mentioned you were feeling a little down and I thought I might be able to help."
"House worried that I needed a friend? That doesn't sound like him. Are you sure this wasn't all your idea?"
"Dr. Wilson, as long as we have known each other I have always been honest with you. I am here as a friend. Does it matter who sent who?"
He nodded and pointed toward the couch where they could sit and carry on the conversation. He immediately picked up the beer he was working on and waited for Cameron start.
They sat there for ten minutes and said nothing to each other. Finally, Cameron broke the gridlock. "Did you leave or did she throw you out?"
Wilson reacted rather intensely much like the same reaction he gave House when he asked him something outrageous. "That was the best you could come up with in ten minutes? Okay, if you should know, I left."
"What about with your first two wives?"
Wilson couldn't believe the questions he was getting even if this was very typical of Cameron. "They left me." Yeah, she is so trying to help.
"Why did you leave this time? Since you were on the other end before, couldn't you have sympathized and tried to work things out?"
"It isn't that easy." Wilson replied in his defense.
"It is never easy. That is called marriage. You work it out."
"Sure, that is easy for someone to say who married a dying man. You knew there was a quick way out of that one."
Cameron turned away, obviously hurt by that remark. He was right, but it still hurt.
Wilson realized he had gone too far. "Cameron, I'm sorry. There were no good answers here. We just grew apart. We didn't have much time for each other and when we did, we became strangers under the same roof. It wasn't fun."
"Then why are you so down by it being over? What's different about this time?"
"I'm near 40 and I have been married and divorced three times. I can see my epitaph now, 'Great doctor, lousy husband. Can heal patients, but never his own relationships.'"
"Mine would say 'Nice woman with a kind heart, but too uptight,' Cameron countered jokingly. They both laughed at their break in the tension.
"Would you like a beer?" Wilson asked.
They drank House's beer and talked all afternoon. They talked about everything under the sun covering medical school, hospital staff, Houseisms, literature, and then got into a contest over who more badly could imitate Chase's Australian accent. They both were very bad as they giggled through it.
Cameron realized finally that she had to get back to work. She completely lost track of time. House would have a field day with this and certainly fling all sorts of accusations her way. She got up and headed toward the door.
Wilson took her hand as she stood by the entrance. "Thank you, friend. That was exactly what I needed." Cameron smiled and walked through the doorway. "I'm not trying to get anything started here, but would you like to have dinner tomorrow? It would not be a date. Just two friends." Wilson asked humbly.
"I would like that." Cameron replied with a pleasant smile. "Let's just not tell House. We would never hear the end of it."
"Agreed." Wilson watched her casually leave the building. He knew he better not tell House. The last time he even joked with House about hitting on Cameron he received a jealous glare. Dinner among friends would be something he just wouldn't understand.
"Cameron!" shouted House from the office. He knew she was trying to sneak in quietly. She reluctantly walked into the office. "Being a friend took all afternoon. I hope to God you were a really damn good friend."
"He had a lot to talk about. Things that you would never want to know."
"Trust me when I say I know many things about Wilson that you would never want to know. So, all you did was talk?" House threw a suspicious glare her way.
"Look at me. Do I look like I got laid? Even if I did, would I tell you about it?"
House took another long stare and realized she was telling the truth. "I don't see anything yet, but remember I'm always watching."
"That's such a comfort. Under the watchful eye of House, we can all feel safe tonight. Cameron replied in a very biting tone. "How about it is none of your business?"
"Yeah, but it is more fun being my business."
"Why thank you Cameron for doing me the favor I asked you to do." Cameron said in a sarcastic tone. "He is doing fine by the way, because we know what a great, overly concerned friend you are." She stormed out of the office before giving him a chance to reply.
House sat back throwing his BOUO in the air with a smile on his face. He just got a win-win. Wilson would get the friend he needed, and he would get plenty of amusement at the expense of a team member. He couldn't pay for better entertainment
"I have no regrets." Wilson said to Cameron at dinner the next evening.
"That is what I don't understand. You cheated on your wives. How do you not regret that?"
"We all have our temptations, our vices. Some behavior is just innate. Some turn to overeating, some to alcohol, or like House to drugs. For me, I seek comfort with other women. It is what makes me human."
"Don't you think that House's drug addiction is self-destructive?"
"Then how was your infidelity not the same? Doesn't House try to fix that part of you like you try with his Vicodin?"
"No because he knows where the line is drawn. That is why I don't push him to change. You can't change who someone is. You can get awfully frustrated about it though."
"I don't understand. Why are you so upset about your marriage breaking up? You should know from experience the consequences of your actions."
"I hurt an amazing woman and don't see anything wrong with that. I'm broken."
"She hurt you too. Do you think she has any regrets?"
"That's the other troubling thing. I really don't know. I stopped knowing who my wife was a long time ago."
Cameron put her drink down looking away, not really sure how to respond to such dysfunction. She had trouble grasping the insanity of the situation.
"Cameron," Wilson continued, "life is not so black and white. There is a lot of grey, especially with marriages. Right and wrong aren't as clear cut as you would like to think."
"Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open."
"Is that from you or someone with a point?"
"Arnold Glasgow said that. His quotes on basic human psychology have helped me with grasping basic concepts of humanity."
"Yes, didn't he also say 'the fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion.'"
Cameron smiled. He had a good point with that one. "Okay, you got me there. I'm backing off now. Let's change the subject. Tell me what it is like to live with House."
"You don't quit, moving from one painful subject to another. Are you really sure you want to be exposed to that type of horror?" Wilson replied in an amusing tone.
After a brief chuckle over that comment their eyes met and they stared at each other with a long, intimate glance. They turned away as soon as they realized what was happening. Wilson saw for the first time how lovely she really looked. Cameron for the first time saw him as something other than House's strange side kick.
The rest of dinner progressed with more light hearted conversation laced with an underlying tension from their newly found attraction. They were really enjoying each other's company in more ways than one. As Wilson handed the waiter the check, he decided he had nothing to lose. Rejection was beyond his realm of worse case scenarios at this point.
"So, would you like to go somewhere else?"
Cameron hesitated, but recognized that she was doing nothing wrong by accepting his offer. "Okay."
"You aren't freaked out?"
Wilson hung his head down in slight shame. "Then maybe we both are broken."
Cameron grabbed his hand and gave him a flattered smile. "Or maybe we both know exactly what we are doing."
a/n: So, what do you think? Is this fic worth resurrecting, or should I just hit delete? Next chapter would start with the Chase angst. I only chose to try since I haven't seen a Wilson/Cameron/Chase love triangle done yet. Maybe there is a reason for that. Thanks for reading!