Cameron tiptoes and fishes for the spare key she knows is on top of the door frame. She smiles a little when her fingers hit cool metal, because it's as if she knows something private about him, and he lets her. The task for official House caller had been placed upon her when Foreman couldn't contact his cellphone again, and Chase said he would rather hop along with kangaroos than wake House up in person in the middle of the night.

She had rolled her eyes when they both looked at her, squashing that little thrill of being the one they thought House wouldn't kill if she broke in. She had done it before, after all.

She inserts the key in the lock and twists. The door opens and she goes in, shutting it quietly behind her. She wonders why he's so dead asleep this time. Chase said something about anti-depressants the last time, although Wilson probably isn't sneaking them in his coffee anymore.

When her eyes adjust to the dark living room, she sees an empty glass on the piano, and an empty bottle of scotch beside it. At once, she feels a flash of dread splice through her--what if she comes across the same state House was in during Christmas? What if he is lying somewhere, unconscious?

She turns around to head to his bedroom, and spies a handbag on the couch. This is her first clue, she later realizes, although her head is still full of images of taking care of House or bandaging his wounds to think about that now. Then she nearly trips on something on the floor. A black skirt and blue jeans.

A hooker? She frowns. She gingerly steps away from the discarded clothing and follows the trail down the hall. She passes by House's sky blue shirt with a heavier, different feeling of dread. She doesn't know why her hands start getting clammy when she sees a wisp of a black thong carelessly discarded beside the bookshelf. She goes nearer to the slightly ajar bedroom door and she feels as if she's just ghosting through, because her mind is screaming at her to turn back but her feet are walking of their own accord.

Her final clue, as if she doesn't already know, is the familiar red blouse with the plunging neckline she remembers admiring only a few hours ago. A black lace bra is hanging on the door knob.

She pushes the door (avoiding the door knob like a plague) and decides that she's either a masochist or a really hopeful optimist. They are sleeping in a mess of blankets and sheets, pillows thrown all over the floor. She can see a creamy leg exposed, with House's uninjured one curled on top.

Cameron never really figures House to be cuddly after sex, but then again, she thinks bitterly, what does she know?

As she goes over to his side of the bed, a part of her clinically detached from all this wonders if this is a regular thing, since no one is sneaking out in the middle of the night. She reaches House's side of the bed, and has the biggest urge to run away and call him from outside instead.

Even if he's dead asleep from the energetic sex.

Shut up, she tells herself. She kneels down and reaches out to shake him awake, but hesitates because his face is buried in her shoulder and from her vantage point, sees that his arms are snaked tightly around her waist. She wants to get away from here as fast as she can.

She shakes his shoulder. "House. House, wake up." No response. She does it more impatiently, and a little violently, because why the hell is this affecting her if she's over him?

House lets out a muffled groan and turns to her, opening a bleary eye.

"House," She says louder than she intended. "The patient is in a coma, we don't know what happened. Chase gave him all the--"

He covers her mouth. "Christ, shut up," He hisses. He extricates himself from the woman beside him and lifts his hand. He starts to stand up and she averts her eyes and goes outside.

She stays rooted to a single spot. She shifts her weight from one foot to the other uncomfortably. This is certainly not what she expected. She looks all around her except at the slightly open door, and when she does, she sees him bent toward Cuddy's neck to murmur something like, "I'm off to save your hospital from idiots."

She looks away as he lumbers past her to the living room.

"Sorry," He says unapologetically, "about the mess." With a smirk, he picks up the black thong with his cane and tosses it to the side.

Then he starts whistling softly. She stares at him. House post-coital is equivalent to House downing a tub of Prozac.

"Our patient is dying," she snaps at him.

He stops and flashes her a savage grin instead. "Yup, I know." He grabs his coat from the rack and opens the door. "Oh, and Cameron--"

She looks at him coldly (and eternally hopeful).

"Leave Cuddy's key where you found it."