Author's Note: Well, this is it. The epilogue to "Safety." Thank you all so much for reading. I feel like this is a good place to stop, but I see a possible sequel in the future! Thanks again for all the kind comments, helpful pointers, and words of encouragement. Hope you enjoy!
He never asked, not officially. It just happened. She started leaving her belongings at his place. At first, it was just a few necessities—shampoo, a toothbrush, clean underwear. A month passed, and then another, and the collection of Cameron's stuff started to grow. In addition to the essentials, there was a stack of CDs and books, a couple of outfits for work, and her nearly new coffee maker. The stretches of time she spent as his place grew longer and longer, and finally she simply packed up the rest of her apartment and gave notice to her landlord. Somewhere, in the merging of kitchen appliances and clearing of closet space, she became Allison, and he became Greg.
He never asked, not officially. They were sitting on the sofa with a gigantic bowl of popcorn between them, watching a movie. They dipped their hands into the bowl absently, bringing handfuls of the buttery, salty snack to their mouths and laughing at the ridiculous comedy on the screen. He happened to glance over at her, her hair in a messy ponytail, her body soft and warm in girly pajamas, and Greg felt that this was as close to heaven as he was ever going to get.
He reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a small box. He casually tossed it to her, and she jumped in surprise as it hit her lap. Her eyes welled with tears as she opened it, and he was half-afraid, half-excited as he waited for her next move. She slid the diamond onto her slim finger and kissed him, their mouths slippery with melted butter.
"Love you, Allison," he said gruffly, his eyes on the screen as he picked up the remote to rewind the part of the movie they had just missed.
"Love you too, Greg," she whispered and snuggled against him, admiring the gleam of her engagement ring out of the corner of her eye.
She never asked, not officially. They were in the bathroom together, fighting for space around the sink as they got ready for work. She popped a birth control pill into her mouth and swallowed, surveying the empty pack.
"That's my last pill," she commented casually, tossing the foil sheet into the wastebasket. House nodded at her through a mouthful of toothpaste, brushing his teeth vigorously.
"I haven't called in a refill yet," she continued, keeping an eye on him to gauge his response. He took a sip of water straight from the tap, swishing and spitting out a mouthful of toothpaste.
"So call it in today,' he said, wiping his mouth. "I can pick it up from the pharmacy on my way home."
"Actually," she began timidly, "I was thinking I…wouldn't get it refilled." She fixed her gaze upon him, wondering if he understood what she was getting at. His eyes widened, his expression slightly stunned.
"Would that…be okay? If I went off the pill?" she asked softly, turning to face him. He looked a bit dazed, but managed to nod.
"Yeah," he said slowly. "Yeah…I think that would be okay." Did Allison detect the briefest glimmer of excitement passing through his blue eyes? She didn't push it, just gave him a kiss on the cheek and left him alone with his thoughts as he finished getting ready for work.
Three months later, he was crunching a bowl of cereal at the kitchen table when she approached him, a huge smile on her face and a positive pregnancy test in her hand. A million emotions raced through him at once, but sheer happiness was the one that won out. He jumped up to hug her, his movement knocking his bowl and sending a river of milk cascading over the side of the table and onto the floor.
So much for safety. Had Greg House sat down and carefully mapped out his future, he was certain that a romance with a young colleague, a wife, and a baby would not have been in his plans. Best to accept life as it comes hurtling at you, he deduced, and dropped a kiss onto Allison's stomach.