Author's note: Sorry for the short-ish update. The next one will be longer. It just seemed to be a good stopping point. I have the next chapter half written, and the rest of the story mostly written. I tend to jump around as I write, so there is a lot you haven't seen yet, but this story will be finished. I thank you all for sticking with me. Your reviews keep me going, and I am truly amazed and humbled by the number of people this little tale has touched. Thank you so much for reading. I love your feedback, positive or not. I didn't have a chance to get this chapter beta'd, so if you catch any errors, please let me know using the message feature, and I'll fix them ASAP. -KM-
House sat on Allison's couch flipping channels on the television. He'd given her a ride home and as usual, she'd offered to feed him. After dinner, she had disappeared upstairs and was apparently doing something with the computer and the stupidly cute mouse. He wondered how the ears and whiskers didn't get in the way of using the dratted thing. He took a swig of his beer, the third one of the night if he counted the two he'd had with dinner, and guessed he wasn't driving anywhere that evening. It's not like Allison would mind if he crashed in her guestroom again anyway.
"House?" He heard her call from the stairs. "Can you help me with something?"
He pulled himself off the couch and grabbed his cane, figuring if it was something he could help her with downstairs she would have brought it to him instead of summoning him. Making his way to the top of the staircase, he saw her standing behind her computer chair. "Can you read this for me?"
"Allison, I thought that in some point prior to entering medical school you would have learned to read for yourself?" He snarked.
She rolled her eyes. "I meant proofread. I read it. I wrote it. I just want to make sure it doesn't sound stupid." She paused for a moment. "It's the letter to my parents. To tell them…"
He sat down and started to read.
"Dear Mom and Dad,
"I'm not sure how to say this or really what to say at all, but first I'm sorry it's taken so long. I just couldn't find the words and kept hoping it would all go away and I would wake up thinking this was just a really, really bad dream. So far, that hasn't happened, so I guess here goes:
"Three months ago, I was raped. You may have seen the case on the news. They're calling him the "shoe rapist", and he was arrested a few weeks ago. The trial will be soon. He raped me, stole my shoes, and left me for dead in a parking lot. My friend, Greg House, found me, and I spent a long time in the hospital recovering from a concussion, broken ribs, and everything else. Greg saved my life. Eight weeks ago, I found out that I'm pregnant. I'm keeping the baby, and I'm going to do the best I can. The baby is healthy, and I'm doing as well as can be expected.
"I'm not really sure what else to say, so I'm just going to end with I love you.
He sat there reading the letter over and over. She felt that he had saved her. He didn't feel like a savior. He felt like it was a lucky accident that he found her before she froze to death.
"House?" She touched his shoulder softly. "It's not that long of a letter."
He blinked. "Yeah, sorry. Zoned out for a minute."
"Well? Is it okay?" She asked quietly.
"Most of it… I mean, I didn't really save your life, but the rest of it is fine." He muttered.
She pushed on his shoulder, spinning his chair around to face her. "Yes, you did. If you hadn't come by, I might not have been found until morning. By then, I would have frozen. I don't know if it was fate or just dumb luck, but you did save my life." He opened his mouth to contradict her, but she placed her finger across his lips. "Not another word, Gregory House!" Her hands went to her hips and she stood over him, glowering. "That is what happened, and I won't have you belittling your role in it! You didn't have to stop walking. You didn't have to look again when you saw something in the snow! But you did, and you saved me, so don't go trying to say you didn't!"
He wondered if she knew he could see straight down her v-necked shirt when she leaned over him like that, and wasn't sure whether to be disappointed or grateful that she was wearing a bra. He started to chuckle, and she made a sound that sounded like she was trying not to growl at him. "Greg House, what is so funny?!"
He tugged her down to sit on his good leg. "Nothing. You're just cute when you're pissed. Consider the subject dropped. The letter is fine."
She nodded firmly. "Good. I'll mail it tomorrow."
As she turned to the computer to print it out, he suddenly realized just what he had said to her. Telling her she was cute, even cute when she was pissed, was probably not his brightest move. It must've been the beer talking. Sure, that must be it. Because even if she was cute, and well, she was, that didn't mean he should go around saying it. Might make her uncomfortable, and the last thing he wanted to do was make Allison uncomfortable. She'd just fed him dinner, after all. Maybe he should say something else? Or maybe that might just make it worse? But he knew women tended to stew about things they didn't like hearing sometimes, so maybe he should bring it up? His brain started whirling and his mouth got ahead of his thoughts. "Allison? Um, maybe I shouldn't have said…"
"Shut up, House."
He shut up.