AN: I'm so sorry this took so long. I tried to post it about 2 weeks ago, but it wouldn't upload, then the home computer died and has only just come out of hospital. It still isn't internet ready, but at least I could get to this to copy it. Needless to say, I haven't written any more yet because I haven't had anything to write on, but please don't give up on me (or House and Cam!). Love Cat –xxx-
By the time House awoke the next morning, Cameron had showered, changed, checked on their patient, brewed coffee and foraged for breakfast. She was working at her laptop when she heard him groan. Curious, she leaned forward over the desk to see what was happening.
House was sitting up, grimacing in pain and rubbing his leg. Cameron saw him looking around and guessed he was looking for his Vicodin.
Cameron was shocked at the pain she'd seen in his expression. She knew he was in pain, but she'd never guessed quite how much. She felt guilty for the times she thought he'd just been whining and trying to score a buzz.
Thirty seconds later she handed him a mug of coffee and passed him his Vicodin from the desk. House mumbled a reply but she could tell he was uncomfortable with her seeing him like this.
House downed two pills with a mouthful of coffee before Cameron whipped the mug away again.
"Hey!" he protested.
"You'll get it back." Cameron put her hands on his shoulders and pressed. "Lay back."
"And think of England?" he said, lying back.
"Angelina Jolie might be more fun."
Cameron began rubbing his thigh.
House began to protest but soon the only sound to issue from him was a sigh, shortly followed by a moan and a few other appreciative noises.
"You're pretty good at that." He told her after a few minutes.
"Thank you," she smiled, concentrating on his leg.
"Where did you learn to do that?"
"I did the football team in high school."
House smiled. "Seriously."
"My brother was in a car accident and badly damaged his quad muscles. Our, uh, he used to do this when it was painful to loosen it up."
House watched her. Her slip hadn't gone unnoticed. "He OK now?"
"It stiffens up when it's cold, but otherwise he's fine." She stopped and smiled up at him, handing him back his coffee mug. "All done."
House rubbed the leg. It did feel better.
Cameron stood up and headed back to her desk. "I picked you up a muffin for breakfast. It's on the table. They didn't exactly have a lot of choice, I'm afraid."
House headed off to shower and dress. When he returned he collected his muffin and saw Cameron typing away again.
"What are you doing?" he asked, opening the plastic wrapped muffin and tucking in.
"Trying to get ahead if myself." She said. "I figure we're going to be here a while so I thought I'd use the time to do what I'd planned over the next few months."
"So I can have some free time for a change."
"That is what his birth certificate says."
"What if things don't work out between you two?"
Cameron sighed and stopped what she was doing. "Then I'll still have some free time." She looked up at him.
"To do what?"
"Have a life, get out, meet new people who aren't either doctors or sick."
"And when things get busy again?"
"I'll deal with that then."
House turned the chair at the end of the table to face Cameron and sat down.
Cameron ignored him and went back to work. She could feel House staring at her though and it unnerved her.
She gave in and looked up. "What?" she asked.
"You've never spoken about your brother before."
"You never asked. Besides, he lives in Seattle, we don't see much if each other."
"You never mention any family."
"So? This is work, not a social club. Besides, you don't exactly advertise family ties."
"But you know a little about my parents, you've even met them. And we know Chase is now an orphan and Foreman's intelligence is clearly a genetic blip. But you, nothing, not even their names."
Cameron shrugged trying to look nonchalant. "Mother, Jennifer Howard, maiden name Jones, worked as a school teacher. Father, Michael Howard, an accountant. Both dead. One sibling, Charles, married to Jane, one kid and works as a computer programmer. Happy?"
"Ecstatic." He said sarcastically, heading back to his own office. He saved his smile until she couldn't see him, though. He didn't want her to know she'd given him enough information for a google search.
Cameron was down in the lobby taking a break from her work and getting some lunch when Chase found her.
"Getting House's lunch too?" he asked, pointing at the two sandwiches, crisps and drinks she had.
Cameron shrugged. "It doesn't me cost anything."
"He can get his own."
Cameron didn't answer.
"So, what's it like up there, just you and House?"
"Don't say it like that. Neither of us like the idea of sharing a room with a dozen strangers, that's all."
"If you say so."
"I do. Besides, I've been working all morning, haven't seen much of him."
"What's he doing?"
"Listening to his iPod and watching TV, I think."
"Any word on our patient?"
"His temperature dropped a degree, hopefully he's turned the corner. Have the CDC said anything more about how long we're going to be here?" she asked.
"Nope, still seven days if there are no other cases and up to 21 days if there are."
Chase was silent a moment. "There's not a lot to do here, do you maybe want to, uh, get together sometime?"
"You mean sleep together." She corrected.
"We've had this conversation, Chase."
"I know. But you and this guy have only had a couple of dates. And do you really think he'll wait three weeks if we're stuck in here?"
"I hope so."
"And it's not like you're exclusive or anything. I'll bet you haven't even slept with him yet. There's nothing stopping us until you two take things to the next level."
Cameron had to admit his points were valid. "I'm sure there are plenty of other women around here who'd be happy to have you, why do you want me?"
"They aren't as pretty as you."
Cameron laughed. "Nice try, Chase. Very smooth."
"Hey, it wasn't a line."
"Sure. Tell you what, I'll let you know if I change my mind. Okay?"
"Sure." He said, dejectedly.
House headed through to the conference room that evening and found Cameron still working. She did her best to ignore him.
"You're not going to get me my dinner?" he asked.
"I'm working through. I want to get this finished." She said, distractedly.
"What about my dinner?"
"You can get it yourself."
House was silent a few moments, but didn't leave.
Finally Cameron sighed and looked over her glasses at him. "What?"
Cameron shrugged and looked back to her laptop.
"What are you working on?"
"An article on Patrick, the savant."
"Why bother, you know I'm not going to read it."
"You don't have to, just sign it."
"What makes you think I'll do that?"
Cameron took her glasses off and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Because I have a strategy. First, I'm going to try and guilt you into it. Then, if that doesn't work, which it probably won't, I'm going to try and bribe you into it. Finally," she looked him in the eye. "If neither of those work, I'm going to annoy the hell out of you until you cave."
House considered a moment. "It might work."
Cameron went back to her typing.
"So… You and Chase starting things up again?"
Cameron looked up, surprised. "How the hell did you know that?"
"I saw you talking to him earlier. Your body language didn't leave much to the imagination."
"So, you won't leave your office for food, refreshment or companionship, but you will leave it to spy on me?"
"Pretty much, yeah."
"It's comforting to know that if I ever get attacked in a dark alley, you'll be there to watch."
"You're avoiding the question."
"Chase wants to, I'm not so sure."
"What's not to be sure about, he has great hair."
"Well, that is what really matters."
"Honestly, where's the harm? No one's going to get hurt, you might as well have a little fun while you're stuck in here."
"You're starting to sound like Chase."
"Ouch, that was low." he said.
"So is prying into other peoples personal business."
"You know what I think?"
"You're going to tell me anyway."
"I think you're going to do it. You like him, he likes you and it's the perfect excuse to both get out of your new relationship and avoid one with me."
Cameron looked up, anger flashing in her eyes. "I don't need to sabotage anything. I am quite capable of stating how I feel and don't need to employ underhanded methods to get what I want. Secondly, I am most certainly able to stay away from you, regardless of how I feel. Some of us have something called self control. You should try it some time. It feels good."
House smiled and headed for the hallway. "That's why you'll never be happy, because you always need to be in control."
"That's not true!"
House turned at the door. "Who asked me out?" he asked. Cameron didn't answer. "And who's idea was you and Chase?"
Cameron still didn't answer.
"See." He left.
Cameron stared after him, too angry and hurt to acknowledge that he was speaking the truth.