A/N: Not my usual, but it's fairly close. Those of you reading my numerous other WIPs should not worry. Nothing has been abandoned. Am strangely nervous about this one, so reviews will be helpful. Thanks in advance!
Disclaimer: Not mine
House is one smug bastard tonight and he knows it. He has saved a boy's life and slayed his Goliath. He has relieved Wilson of most of the money he won in the poker tournament. And he has done it all in one night. There is little else that can make this any better for him. Or so he thinks.
Walking into his office, he finds Cameron curled up in his chair in his office fast asleep. He stands there in the doorway as he debates whether to come in and possibly disturb her or leave. The fact that his keys are in his desk drawer helps his decision. A chance to gaze at her in her red dress some more is another mitigating factor.
It is hardly possible, but he thinks she looks even more gorgeous in her red dress with her shoes kicked off and her hair tousled and tumbling over her shoulders and onto the arm of the chair.
He contemplates waking her up, telling her to go home, or at the very least vacate his chair. But he can't bring himself to do it. As if of its own volition, his hand reaches out, and very gently he takes a strand of hair between his fingers. It's soft, just as he imagined, and it slides against his skin like a soft caress. He lays it back down, conveniently brushing against the smooth texture of her arm.
She stirs, and he pulls back, ready with a response if she wakes to find him standing over her. But she just mumbles, "Grgggmmmm"
With a couple of vowels in there, it might almost be his name. Except, he thinks, that she never calls him by his given name. But who knows what she might call him in her dreams. It could be anything from arrogant bastard to Dr. Greg House – God of Sex. Or is that his dreams? He shakes his head. He is too tired and not medicated enough to deal with Cameron in his office, dressed to kill and looking so vulnerable.
Shuffling over to his desk, he sits and watches her sleep. He notices the rise and fall of her perfect breasts, the lines of her legs that go on and on, the way the hem of her dress has edged upward as she shifts to find a comfortable position.
A long moment passes and he realizes he's not breathing. He reaches into his pocket for his pills. Two more should clear his head. She wakes just he finishes swallowing, and he mourns the loss of the quiet moment. Now he has to talk to her.
"What are you doing?" she asks mid-yawn so that it sounds more like "Wharedoin?"
"I'm charting," he answers, picking up a pen to lend his excuse some weight. He isn't about to admit to her that he's spent the last ten minutes watching her sleep.
"But you never chart."
"I want to remember this one," he says, the corners of his mouth creeping upward into a smile. He feels vindicated and triumphant.
Expect patient to make a full recovery, he scribbles.
He looks up to find her smiling at him. It is a dreamy smile, the kind that any other day might irritate him, that he might feel tempted to wipe off her face with some cutting comment. But at the moment, he's too giddy with success to care. And then there's the dress of course. The longer he's nicer to her, the longer he gets to see her in it. He tries not to think of seeing her not in it. That's not a possibility.
"Do you have a ride home?" he asks.
"Chase," she answers. "He was supposed to take me home."
"He left over an hour ago with a blonde and a wicked smile on his face. Some men become doctors to help people and some become doctors to get laid."
"And which are you?"
"Which do you think?" he asks with a smirk. Her wry smile indicates she guesses the latter, but the truth is he hasn't been with a woman since Stacey. He too easily believes that any woman who might sleep with him would only be doing it out of pity. And he doesn't want pity.
"Will you take me home?" she asks. "I'm too sleepy to drive. It's why I came in here in the first place."
He nods, watching as she reaches for her shoes. The view of her breasts is fleeting but he catches a glimpse, craning his head the slightest bit in order to make the most of the moment. She raises her eyebrow at him, catching him at it.
"You look – nice – tonight," he stammers. He's not accustomed to handing out praise, not sincerely anyway. He's out of practice, but she doesn't seem to care, and his pathetic effort at a compliment is received well.
"Ready?" He doesn't hold out his arm for her, but she takes it anyway, resting her head on his shoulder as he leads her through the hallway. He ignores the baffled stares of the night nurse they pass on their way out.
Neither one speaks a word as he hands her the extra helmet and climb onto his bike. And it feels more like a dream than reality when she wiggles closer and wraps her arms around his middle, holding on tight. He purposefully drives a little faster so that she'll cling to him tighter, and he likes to hear her squeal as they take a tight corner.
But his plan backfires in that they get to her apartment building much too soon for his taste. To make up for it, he insists on walking her to the door. She fumbles in her purse for her keys and then turns to him. She raises her free hand and fingers his lapel. His heart beats faster.
"You look so handsome in this tux," she says, stepping closer.
"Thank you," he says, somewhat uncomfortable. He tries tapping his cane to see if the sudden noise will stir her from this reverie. He's not disappointed when she ignores it. She leans closer. Her eyes drift closed and she brushes her lips against his. It takes him by surprise and leaves him without breath. Just because he has imagined kissing Cameron doesn't mean he's ready for the reality of it.
"I've wanted to do that for a long time," she says, her voice soft and breathy. One arm wraps around her waist and pulls her flush against him. She kisses him full on the mouth this time. She tastes like chocolate and wine. Her tongue finds its way into his mouth, and it is with great reluctance that he pulls away.
She doesn't take the hint. "You make me a better person," she says, kissing his Adam's apple and the line of his jaw.
"Better?" he snorts. He challenges her to be a better doctor, it's his job, but a better person? He doesn't know if such a thing is possible.
"Mmhmm." She's barely coherent, falling asleep on her feet. He wonders how she will feel about all this come morning.
"If you can't handle your alcohol, you shouldn't drink it," he admonishes, sounding more like himself. Her brow furrows and she tells him that she hasn't had a drink since the beginning of the night.
"Get some sleep then," he says because he doesn't know what else to say. She has caught him off guard and he doesn't like this feeling of being out of control.
He drops his arm from around her waist. She frowns, but smoothes her dress out. It looks even better slightly rumpled because now he can clearly imagine what it would like balled up on his floor next to his bed. Gripping her keys tightly, she unlocks her door and slips inside.
"Goodnight, Greg," she whispers through the tiny crack before the door shuts. With a click, she is locked inside and he is left standing outside in the hallway alone. He leans back against the wall, wondering why he is smart enough to figure out a twelve-year-old case tonight but too stupid to follow her inside.
"Goodnight, Allison," he says softly to the closed door before turning to leave.
He goes home, making as much noise as he possibly can coming in. Wilson is already under the covers and snoring on the couch. He sits straight up though, startled awake by the slamming of the front door. Smiling perversely, he asks if he's woken him.
Wilson shakes his head, refusing to rise to his bait. "Where have you been?" he asks instead.
"I went for a ride," he says, deciding not to tell him about Cameron and her kisses. He would only tell him he was an idiot for turning her down – again. He already knows that. It doesn't need said, so he doesn't give Wilson the chance to say it.
He leaves Wilson in the living room and makes his way to bed. But sleep doesn't come easily. When it does finally creep up on him, it is filled with visions of red silk dresses mocking him.
The next morning Cameron comes into work smiling and looking well rested. There is no hint of discomfort in her features as she greets first him and then Foreman and Chase.
"Sleep well last night?" he asks almost viciously. He spent hours staring at the ceiling replaying those few moments her lips touched hers. His only consolation was that she had spent an agonizing night wondering how she would face him the next day after kissing him. But instead, she stands there, fixing her coffee as though nothing happened.
"Yes, thank you," she says, turning around to look at him. He can tell she is surprised by this question regarding her well-being. It is out of character for him.
"I had a very nice dream," she says under her breath as she turns back to her coffee. He almost doesn't catch it over the scrape of her spoon on the ceramic mug as she stirs in the sugar, but the words, though they are as soft as a whisper, hit him with the weight of a brick.
A dream. She dreams of him, of kissing him senseless in the cramped hallway of her apartment building. He wonders if she left him standing outside her door last night, or if his dream self summoned up the courage reality has yet to grant him.
"You okay?" she asks, turning to look at him. She cradles her coffee cup in her hands and looks at him with that doe eyed look of concern, like she would look at a baby or a cute puppy. He hates that look.
"Fine," he snaps. She nods, ignoring his harsh tone. She's used to it by now. He watches as she sits, sips her coffee, and asks Foreman how the rest of his night went. He feels a stab of jealousy that she doesn't ask about his night. But then again maybe she doesn't want to ruin her vision of how his – their – night ended.
"Dr. Cameron, do you mind if we get started?" he asks with scathing sarcasm, but it doesn't faze her one bit. She simply stops talking and nods.
He thought he had her pinned down; he was a charity case to her. But last night she said he made her a better person. She must have meant doctor. It's the only explanation. But he deals everyday with multiple explanations, mostly unthinkable ones. He has made his career out of not accepting the 'only' explanation.
It took him twelve years to figure out Esther's case. He wonders how long it will take him to take figure out Dr. Cameron.