They all acted as expected the next day, like nothing had happened. The diagnostics team read the notes from the case, tossed around suggestions and creative ideas as they usually did, while House filtered the thoughts and fired off his orders for the course of treatment. The difference today was when they weren't in professional mode Cameron was prickly and avoided any other words or eye contact with both House and Chase. She only would casually talk with Foreman. Luckily Chase had filled Foreman in on the little setup from last night, so he knew what frame of mind to expect from her. He would have to do literal hand holding. He was only man left who didn't betray her trust.
Wilson walked in as the ducklings were leaving and got the same cold shoulder Cameron had delivered the other two. "Still pissed I see," Wilson said to House.
"No, she's a peach," House replied sarcastically. "How did you think she was going to respond?"
"Not well." Wilson sat down. He let out a deep sigh, still feeling some regret about the night before. "I like the companionship. I really don't care who she sleeps with."
"Yeah, well the only one of us that has a shot right now is Foreman and I think he knows better." House laughed at his own joke, while Wilson stared at him un-amused.
"Why are you that desperate? I've seen her type. She uses men for her own amusement and only gives herself to the hopeless causes that really shouldn't have her attention anyway. She's unhealthy."
"She smells nice." Wilson lamented. House couldn't believe what his friend was telling him. "Sorry, a lonely hotel makes one lower their standards. She was actually kind at times."
"She was kind until you got over the divorce and stopped being so needy. Then she started going to Chase. Hmm, sort of sounds like something you would do. Maybe you two do belong together."
"I just don't know what I would do without the support of my best bud." Wilson got up to leave.
"Where are you going?" House asked.
"I can abuse myself like this alone in my office. I don't need you for this."
"Come back when you come to your senses."
"You can't avoid talking to me forever." Chase told Cameron when they were in the lab. "You have to take what you dish out."
"I don't have to take anything." She replied bitterly finally breaking the silence.
"Okay, be that way. Remember though, we have to be able to work together. The same for Wilson. He isn't going away."
"Fine! You know what, you're right." She stormed away, leaving Chase very confused about what in the world that reaction would lead to.
Twenty minutes later it all made sense. He got a two word message on his pager. "Wilson's office." He couldn't wait to see what this was all about.
"I don't get it. It's as if my life has become one giant soap opera. So I don't know what I want." She told Chase and Wilson both as they sat side by side, rather perplexed by what was happening here. How was it that they were even having this conversation?
She made serious eye contact with both of them and let out a crooked smile. "I know what I like though."
Wilson couldn't believe her nerve. "You like both of us? Isn't that kind of demeaning?"
"Maybe you are right. Which one of you takes offense to this behavior and which one would like to be exclusive with me?"
Now Chase was the one appalled. "When did this become just about you?"
"No, I get it," Wilson said with a satisfied smirk. "You want one of us to choose so you don't have to."
Cameron folded her arms and turned her head away, confirming that Wilson had indeed found the hidden motive.
"What if we both tell you to bugger off?" Chase wanted to call her bluff, but he wasn't sure if he had Wilson's backing.
Cameron slinked up to him very close and this time gave him a sultry glare. "You could never do that."
Chase blushed slightly and avoided eye contact, knowing full well that she had him there.
"Why don't you tell us what is preventing you from making a decision?" Wilson asked noticing that Chase needed some rescue. "Is it only that you want your cake and eat it to?"
"I don't know," she said blankly trying to come up with the answer. She had nothing to lose here by telling the truth. "You make the better companion, while when Chase and I have sex its like a powder keg going off. We are sexually compatible, but he's not relationship material."
"You want your cake and eat it too." Chase was now backing Wilson.
"Yeah, but remember, she really loves House." If Cameron wanted to twist the screws, Wilson could do this to.
"It's irrelevant how I feel about House. Those feelings will never be reciprocated and we would be the most miserable couple on earth."
"I should come up with a million ways right now to argue how stupid that rationale is, but honestly, I can't fight it. You're right. He could never give you what you want." Wilson's tone was now incredulous.
"Yeah, but remember, she doesn't know what she wants. She just can't help it." Chase couldn't avoid mocking her as well. She was certainly showing her best derision to him and Wilson by even having this conversation.
"I'm wasting my time," she said throwing her hands up in frustration. "I don't want either of you, okay? There, I get nothing out of this. Are you happy now?"
Wilson and Chase both looked at her rather shamefaced. They really didn't know how to answer that, but it was probably the best decision she could make. They felt a little sorry making fun of her feelings, every though it was likely deserved.
Cameron saw the low key reaction and shook her head. She abruptly left the office, leaving the other two dumbfounded.
After a long pause Chase opened his mouth, but stopped any words from coming out. He didn't know what to say to Wilson. Finally, the words came to him. "Go be with her. I don't need her and she clearly only wants me for sex."
"What happens if she propositions you again?"
"Then we are stuck in the same mess. I can't turn her down. The sex really is that good."
Wilson pensively considered his options and stood up. "I can live with that. After all, it is only sex."
"She's got a big head start. Go find her."
Wilson quickly left the office leaving a smiling Chase. This had to be one of the most screwed up situations he had ever been involved with. Then again, he seemed to attract screwed up situations.
Wilson knew there was only one place to find her. He should have been there himself, but the incident didn't stop his flow of patients like it did hers. Chase and Foreman were following up with the patient with the swollen tongue. Broad spectrum antibiotics seemed to be working. All that was left was for him to make sure she was okay.
She eventually spotted him stoically standing in front of her when her eyes took a break from staring at the feeble and unconscious House. She stood up without hesitation and threw herself into his arms. She didn't cry, whimper, or utter a single syllable. She only clung on for dear life.
"He's going to be fine," Wilson said with his standard reassuring tone.
"I know, I just can't help but worry. I still have strong visions of him going down in my head."
He rested his chin on the top of her head and began rubbing her back. "How long have you been here?"
"About a half hour. I wasn't sure how much longer I was going to stay."
From her embrace Wilson didn't feel any sense that she was there for House out of desire or longing. She was there because she cared. This was the true Allison Cameron he first grew to adore. She often didn't let that side show, but when she did, he wanted to absorb himself in her vulnerability and be there to give her the tenderness she needed.
"He's going to be out for a long time. They know to page me when something changes. How about we get out of here to someplace quiet?"
She pulled away and nodded without question. Wilson wrapped his arm about her and guided her gently toward the doorway. She didn't bother to look back once or give hesitation in her movements. She really did want some quiet time with him.
As they headed to his car, he tried not to smile. After all, his best friend was in ICU. He had to at least pretend he was concerned. Oh why, House would never pretend. He let a small smile slip while she wasn't looking.
"House would find this so cliché and rip into me for even reacting this way. Almost dying doesn't change anything for too long was in a sense what he told Foreman." Cameron said while they ate Chinese takeout in Wilson's hotel room. "I don't care though because watching your mentor be brutally gunned down in a flash right before your eyes changes your perspective on life."
Wilson smiled, but actually had to side with House on that one. "I've seen House go through so much and it has changed him actually. His misfortunes have made him more bitter. He'll never admit it though. He will tell me he's the same cranky bastard he's always been."
"I need to be more responsible for my actions. I won't be perfect since I act way too many times with my heart instead of my head, but I need to admit when I'm doing something wrong. I'm so sorry about what I did to you with Chase."
"You don't need to apologize for that. We never said we were exclusive or really defined our relationship."
"No, you're right, we didn't. So let's do that right now."
Wilson's eyes grew very wide. "I don't want a commitment right now Allison. I'm still hurting from my marriage ending."
"I never said commitment. Let's call it an understanding instead. I like your company. I like your smile. I like your gentle character. I only ask for the opportunity to keep on liking that. I don't want to cheapen it anymore but having explosive sex with Chase every time I feel vulnerable. Hopefully that doesn't frighten you or make you think it's a relationship."
"It is a relationship," Wilson said firmly. "Don't try to make it into anything else. Still, we don't have to call it serious. Casual will work fine."
Cameron gave him a sweet and flattered smile. "Casual is good."
"I'm going to try and work harder on the sex though. I might not offer what Chase has, but with a little practice I'll learn to meet your needs."
"Do you smile during the deed and like to cuddle when it's over?"
"Then you will meet my needs just fine." She got up, glided over to him, pushed his plate of food out of the way and straddled herself on his lap. "I can prove it to you." Their lips met with such aching desire that for the first time they felt the fireworks between them.
"Wow," Wilson said as they broke the kiss. They shared an inspired smile before she amorously led him over to the bed. He teased her with his inspiring touches and slow soft kisses, slowly building up the intense excitement between them. No, this wasn't the fiery hot fit of passion that she often craved. It was something better and she could definitely get used to this.
a/n: I really couldn't come up with any better way to end this. I hope it worked! This is a big improvement over the original I posted over a year ago, but this is by far not one of my better works. Ah well, soap operas and inplausible situations have to be explored once in a while. Thanks to those that actually followed this story.