A/N: This is a sort of continuation of a previous one-shot, The Experiment. If you haven't read that, I'd encourage you to do so because this one won't make much sense. Reviews are appreciated, just be gentle, please, I'm a very high strung little lap-dog!

Oh, and I don't own House or any of the other characters, woe is me!

The Research

House entered the conference room, hoping to find Cameron alone. Unfortunately, Foreman and Chase were sitting at the conference table, charting the progress of the patient they had discharged that morning. Thinking quickly, House decided it was better that they be here.

"Dr. Cameron," House said, interrupting her from the pile of mail she was answering. She looked up at him and he was surprised to feel uncomfortable meeting her gaze. He walked to the coffee pot and began to pour himself a cup, although he wasn't thirsty. His back now to her, he began again. "You remember the experiment you helped me with last week?"

"Of course," Cameron answered quickly. Very quickly, House noticed. Either she was embarrassed or excited.

"I'm not sure I'm happy with my results," House said, and then regretted his choice of words as he realized the double meaning.

"You seemed satisfied when you, I mean, when it was completed," Cameron replied, and if her voice revealed any hurt it was only House who heard it. He glanced quickly at the boys to see if they'd sensed anything amiss in the conversation, but both still had their heads buried in their files.

"I was," House answered her. "I'm just not sure that I've been as thorough as I should." He paused, hoping to get a positive reaction.

"Well, what did you have in mind?" Cameron asked him. The hurt was gone from her voice, replaced with just a hint of anticipation.

"It needs some further research," House said, more confidently now that he knew Cameron's answer would be yes. "We'll have to repeat the experiment a few more times. There may be some variations on the original, just to make sure we've exhausted all angles."

"How often do you suppose we'll need to be working on this?" Cameron asked, desperately trying to keep the excitement out of her voice.

"At least once a week," House replied, now stirring a packet of sugar into his coffee. "Maybe more, once we've gotten a little deeper into it."

"I'm happy to help," Cameron said, turning back to her mail so that neither Foreman nor Chase would see the blush that had spread over her features.

"Good. This afternoon, I'm done in the clinic at 2," House said, picking up his coffee and limping toward his office. Cameron nodded at him, not trusting her voice at the moment. Once he had entered his office, Cameron excused herself from the conference room, telling the boys she needed to check some tests in the lab since she wouldn't have time that afternoon.

"Now what do you suppose that was about?" Foreman asked Chase.

"What?" Chase asked back.

"That," Foreman said, waving his arm in the general direction of House's office. "You don't really think they're working on some experiment, do you?"

"Why not? You know how bored House can get. Besides, what do you think they're doing, having hot sex in House's office in the middle of the day?" Chase asked. Foreman gave him a look that clearly said, Yeah, that's exactly what I think. "Cameron? House, maybe, but no way Cameron does that at work. Trust me."

Foreman thought that over for a minute. It did seem a little out there for her. "I wonder why he asked her then?"

"Probably figured you steal his idea," Chase muttered under his breath.


Later that afternoon, Cuddy entered the conference room, having found House's office door locked.

"I'm assuming House is in there?" she asked Foreman and Chase without preamble.

Chase didn't reply, as he was busily scribbling in his crossword puzzle, and Foreman merely nodded over the journal he was reading.

"Where's Cameron?" Cuddy asked now, and Foreman nodded again in the direction of House's office. Cuddy furrowed her brow. "House and Cameron are locked in his office with the blinds drawn, and you boys don't find anything suspicious about that?"

"Why should they?" Wilson's voice asked from the doorway. He had a pretty good idea of what House and Cameron were doing, and he certainly didn't want Cuddy finding out.

"She's helping him with some experiment House is doing," Chase answered, looking up from his puzzle. "You think something sinister is going on?"

"It's House, I always think something sinister is going on," Cuddy replied. "How long have they been in there?"

Chase checked his watch. "About half an hour."

"You don't really think Cameron would do something like what you're thinking, do you?" Foreman asked, now unsure again.

"I think you've all underestimated House's powers of corruption. The Virgin Mary would lock herself in there with House if he gave her the eyes," Cuddy said contemptuously. "I can't believe none of you are concerned about this."

"You're over-reacting," Wilson said. Cuddy walked off mumbling to herself, but returned a few minutes later with a master key she'd obtained from the janitor. She unlocked the door to House's office and entered. The lights were off, and while she fumbled for the light switch she heard some scuffling noises.

Her fingers finally finding the switch, she flicked it on to find House sitting behind the desk, rubbing his face with his hand. She paused as she examined his expression. The impression he gave off at first glance was that of someone just caught taking a nap, but there was something not quite right about it.

"Dr. Cuddy, what can I do for you?" House asked, his voice sounding strained.

"Just checking in," Cuddy said slowly, examining the look on his face. He looked almost in pain. "You okay?"

"Fine," he answered shortly. He attempted a smile, but then jumped in his seat and grabbed at something underneath the desk. Cuddy gave him an odd look. "Leg hurts."

"Where's Cameron? I thought you were working on an experiment," Cuddy said, now looking around the office, although Cameron was obviously not in sight.

"Ladies room. She needed a pee break," House answered, again that strange almost pained expression crossing his face.

"Leg must be really acting up today," Cuddy commented.

"Something's acting up," House muttered, once again jabbing beneath the desk. "Is there anything else?"

"No," Cuddy said, although her suspicions weren't abated. She gave him one last, lingering look and left the office.

"Is she gone?" Cameron's voice whispered from beneath the desk.

"Do you care?" House asked, not really annoyed. That was probably the most fun he'd ever had talking to Cuddy. "Are you trying to get us caught?"

Cameron smiled at the 'us'. "No, just doing a little experiment of my own. I wanted to see just how good of a liar you are. Remind me never to play poker with you."

House grinned down at her head as it poked out from under the desk. As she tried to stand he grabbed her by the arm. The expression on his face was priceless, and Cameron simply couldn't leave him like that. Smirking at him, she lowered herself back to the floor to finish what she'd started.