Disclaimer: All characters herein remain the property of Fox. And are not mine.

In Need of A Friend

Cameron, Foreman and Chase sit in the cafeteria, pushing yesterday's Macaroni around their plates and waiting for that elusive "beep" that will get them all moving again.

Time drags on.

"I hate this." Cameron sighs, not sure if she's referring to the lunch special or the lack of patients.

"It's the middle of summer," Foreman reasons and then as if to illustrate the point, he takes off his tie and undoes the top button of his shirt. "I guess Doctor Death has taken a holiday."

"You know what's happened." Chase says mysteriously and then leans in to the middle of the table and lowers his voice. "House did something major this time and so Cuddy's not letting him have any patients."

"Yeah, because she's that petty," Cameron rolls her eyes and takes a mouthful of food. She tries to eat without gagging. Tries to cover her tracks. Hopes she's not giving away any tell tale signs that she knows what's really going on.

"What would drive House more crazy than having no patients?" Chase reasons.

Foreman raises his eyebrow. "You could be right. Maybe I'll phone the diagnostics at Jefferson this afternoon and see if they've had a sudden influx of patients."

Cameron drops her fork and slides off her chair.

"Where are you going?" Chase says.

"Get some air."

She leaves them both and heads out into the cooler corridor.

She's never been comfortable with the heat. Always preferred winter or autumn.

Maybe it's because the job is so intense anyway. There's no room for the slugishness that summer brings. Or maybe it's because of him. He can raise her temperature with just a look and when it's already veering towards the nineties, this makes working around him very uncomfortable indeed.

She heads to the shower room and opens her locker searching for something cooler to change into.

House enters the room and removes his shirt revealing a faded grey t-shirt beneath.

She peeps from behind her locker door. This is something she's had to deal with before. She's even showered in the next cubicle to him and managed to control her deepest darkest urges. But now her fingers leave marks on the metal of the locker and her palms are clammy.

"We have a patient?" She asks. Her legs trembling. Not daring to make eye contact with him.

"Yes. Didn't you get the magical silent page?" He snaps.

She retrieves a white towel and slams her locker shut.

Now she's not sure what to do.

If she makes for the shower and he does at the same time, what then? If she hangs back and waits it might look like she's ogling his body. Which she is definitely not.

"Do you have a spare towel?" He asks as he pulls off his t-shirt to reveal a smooth lightly tanned torso.

"I-" She begins but then discovers that she's now incapable of stringing a sentence together.

He smoothes his hair down.

"You missed a bit." She wants to say to him and confidently step into the space between them to touch the top of his head.

He notices her glazed expression. "I only want a towel, not one of your kidneys."

She tries to move her foot. To close the space. It doesn't work. It won't happen.

"I don't know," she tries to regain some power. "Will I get it back?"

"Yes. Wet with the glistening sweat of my body."

She sees an amused flicker in his eyes.

"I meant freshly laundered and smelling of wild flowers."

He raises his eyebrows: "Come on. It's a towel. I thought you were the sharing caring kind."

"I am." She says, adding under her breath. "To my friends."

"Aren't we friends?" He asks her mockingly reaching out for her locker door.

She reaches out and catches his wrist. She can't believe she's done it. But now her grip is hard on his skin and she knows that he feels something.

"I don't know." She breaths unevenly, "Are we?"

He moves his arm away from her grip slowly and carefully and looks at her neck.

"No. Never."

She turns away and opens her locker searching for another towel.

"So, is it true?"

"Is what true?" He sits down, shirtless, on the bench and kicks off his sneakers.

"You're in trouble with Cuddy so we don't get a patient?"

"Right." He says. "Cos that would explain everything so easily."

She finds the towel and is about to hand it to him but she holds back. "Tell me."

"Fine." He says looking up at her and rubbing a bead of sweat from his top lip. "We had a patient. A kid with an aneurysm and unusual blood clotting. But my reputation goes before me and his parents decided to check out before he checked out, so to speak."

Cameron raises her eyebrows. "Then maybe you should be worried."

"Maybe we should be worried," he corrects her. "My reputation is your reputation while you're on my team."

She bites her lip as a bead of sweat trickles down the indent of his chest.

Get a grip Allison, concentrate.

She's not sure if she thought it or he actually said it but she hands him the towel and he stands.

"I know." She says quietly. "I spoke to the father."

"Great." House says, turning and closing his own locker. "So you warned him away? Which example did you give, Cameron? The one where I saved that kid from death or…gee…I don't know, the one where I saved those two kids from death?"

"It wasn't like that." She tries to sound sincere as she talks to the light freckles on his back. She traces the muscles in his shoulders with her eyes. He's so tense. There's so much going on inside him.

"What was it like then?" He says. Turning suddenly his chest lightly pressed against her lap coat.

She knows he does this on purpose. He must know.

She tries to take a step back but bumps her legs on the bench.

Regaining her composure she focuses on the tiled ceiling: "I actually tried to persuade him to stay. I told him how brilliant you are. I don't know why I did, but I did."

House's face softens a little and he eyes her cautiously. "We both know why you did. But you didn't need to. We're not friends. Remember."

He leans forward and moves a sticky strand of her hair from her ear. He whispers into the skin beneath it. "I do not have friendly feelings for you."

She immediately pulls away. Shocked.

Those eyes. Her face flushes. Her shirt beneath her lap coat sticks to her back.

"I'm heading into the shower." He says turning and beginning to walk away. She watches his shoulders tense again. "You?"

"I –" she begins.

Images: steam, skin, freckles, water coming down hard, bodies pressed up against the glass, palms grasping at hair, the warmth of his touch, the friction of his body covering her own, her nipples erect as his hot tongue lashes against them, gripping her ass, pounding into her, holding her to him, sweat and water mingling, feeling all his bumps and ridges deep inside her, gasping and clamouring to get further into him, and then the release. Something she can't even imagine with him.

"I-" She calls after him. I want you to fuck me. Hard. In the steam and the water and the sweat. "I'm just going to change."

Reluctantly, she opens her locker once again and strips down to her underwear. Her breasts, still swollen, brush against the metal and she lets them stay there for a second, the coldness felt through her bra making her want to touch herself but she resists for fear of him reappearing.

Instead she puts on her lap coat over just her bra and skirt and slams the locker. Hard.

"You still there?" House asks over the pounding water.

She wonders if his voice sounds strangely higher pitched. Slightly strangled. She wonders if he's running his fingers across his thighs or gripping his cock and thinking of her.

She wonders what he would do if she…