Disclaimer: Not mine.
I'm sorry that I haven't updated for ages. I just wasn't sure where I was going with this fic. I hope that you aren't too disappointed with the ending. Please let me know.
My thanks for all the reviews. Particularly to:
SilvaK: I'm glad that you enjoyed the last one!
violetbeetles29: I think I may have found a happy medium here. Please let me know what you think!
beachbabe23: Thank you for the lovely review.
bandbfan24: Yes, A Few Good Men is a terrifc movie! Gotta love Tom Cruise...before he started being slightly odd...
kamriej: I'm glad that you liked my Cuddy. I think that in the show she should be a lot stronger- although she can be...when she wants to...
Saucy-Duck: I hope you're feeling better. I don't know if this chapter is going to make your day though...sorry! It's funny that you were just watching a Few Good Men...
Cameron wasn't alone for long.
She was on her third cigarette when she heard the door open behind her.
Apparently the roof was an obvious place to look for her.
She heard his approach, the thumping of the cane punctuated his footsteps.
"Since when do you smoke?"
It was the kind of opening she expected from him.
Cameron suppressed the urge to retort 'Since I stopped taking Xanax', correctly assuming that a drugs reference would be ill-received. Instead, she replied sarcastically: "I only smoke when I'm celebrating something really special."
"What are you celebrating?"
He was beside her now, leaning against the balustrade and staring down at the lot below.
She took a drag on her cigarette and slowly exhaled the smoke, and as she did tried to breathe out some of her anger: "I'm celebrating getting fired," she said with wry humour in her voice, "Care to join me?" She proffered the packet. It was a peace-offering.
He accepted and lit up.
After a pause, her boss said: "You know, I don't think anybody's getting fired," she turned to look at him then, a question in her eyes, "Except maybe me," he went on, "Cuddy told me she'd fire me if I didn't apologise to you."
There was amusement in her eyes as she responded: "Don't worry, House, I wasn't about to accuse you of doing a good deed all by yourself."
He ignored her gentle barb and instead asked: "You're not leaving, are you?"
She sighed deeply, was that all he'd come up here to find out?
"I can hardly go on working here now, can I?" For her, the question was purely rhetorical.
She just stared at him; was he seriously asking her to stay? Was he actually asking her to forget about everything that had passed between them? Surely he didn't expect her to be able do that?
But he seemed serious. He was watching her closely above the wispy smoke of the cigarette, trying to judge her reaction.
She gave a tiny laugh of disbelief.
"Just go away, House. I'm still too angry to talk to you."
He didn't budge.
"House, I'm serious. I really can't talk to you now," there was an almost pleading note in her voice. She really wasn't up to another scene.
"Why are you so mad anyway?" He asked curiously.
She stared at him. Had he not listened to a word she had said downstairs?
"I can't believe you actually have to ask that question!" she was suddenly angry, "After what you did, everybody's furious!"
"But not like you," he told her almost smugly, "Which begs the question: why are you more angry than everyone else?"
"Maybe I've just finally snapped," she responded, her voice laden with sarcasm.
"No. I don't think it's that," he replied calmly.
She was starting to feel a little uneasy. Angry House she could handle so long as she was angry too, but calm, amused House was something else. He was in control and she felt almost helpless under his analytical gaze.
"Could it be that the young, innocent doctor still has feelings for me? Could that be why she's so mad at being lied to?" he mocked.
Oh no, he hadn't just brought that up- had he? As far as she was concerned, that topic of conversation was off-limits.
Cameron gave a short laugh almost like a bark: "Do you really want to go down that road, House?"
The diagnostician was suddenly nonplussed. What was she talking about? This was her shame- not his.
She turned away from the balustrade, grinding her cigarette into the granite as she did so, and squared-up to him.
"The reason you're so mad at me is that I only kissed you so that I could drug you," she told him in a low, furious tone, "You thought I was serious, so you kissed me back- that's why you're angry."
"Actually, I didn't want you to die without knowing the feeling," he responded sarcastically, "No woman should die without knowing the feeling."
"Oh, please," she replied, disgusted at his answer, "You're not that good."
He just stared at her. Had she not been there in his office earlier?
Allison saw the look on his face and laughed: "Sorry to disappoint you, House, but you're not as good at everything as you think you are," she lied through her teeth, pleased that she had found a way to deliver a blow to his pride, "I realise that may come as a shock to you but-"
She didn't even see it coming. One second he was staring down at her with something approaching shock in his eyes, the next he had flicked away his cigarette and wrapped his arms around her. The words she had been about to utter died as his lips crashed down on hers and then she forgot what she had been going to say anyway as he slid his tongue into her mouth. For about a second, her whole body tensed, then she relaxed and leaned into the kiss. One hand slid around his waist and the other gripped the back of his neck for support.
She didn't know how long they stood there, locked together, but she suddenly came to her senses and pushed him away, holding him off with one hand placed firmly in the middle of his chest. She could feel his quickened heartbeat beneath her palm.
They stared at each other.
"I'm still mad at you," she told him, angry at herself for her weakness.
"I know," he said quietly.
"I still think you're a bastard."
House gave a faint smile: "I wouldn't expect anything less."
She stared into his blue eyes, looking for something that she was sure she wouldn't find.
But it was there alright.
She dropped her hand and turned away from him.
For some reason- she didn't know why- she felt that she could trust him.
"I don't think you realise how difficult it is to lose someone you care about to cancer," she said quietly as she stared out into the darkness, "I was really scared that the same thing was going to happen again."
There was no reply.
She turned to look at House to see him smiling smugly.
"I was right," he told her triumphantly.
"Yeah? Well so was I," she answered him with no small measure of irritation, "And you wouldn't even have had a theory if you hadn't spoken to Wilson."
His jaw dropped slightly.
Allison gave a feline smile: "I know you, House, and I know that you wouldn't have come up with that all by yourself."
They looked at each other for a long moment. Where did they go from here?
Cameron cracked first and broke the silence:
"House, I'm tired," she told him, "I'm gonna go home."
He nodded and then spoke with sudden seriousness and almost an urgency: "It wasn't about getting high. It was for the pain."
He needed her to understand; he needed her to know how sorry he was without actually having to say those words.
And she did understand because she understood him. She pitied him deeply then: it was more difficult to do the wrong thing when you knew that it was wrong. House always knew.
"Goodnight, House," her voice was gentle.
She suddenly leaned up and brushed her lips against his. For a brief instant, he felt her warm body pressed up against him and her lips on his. Then, almost as soon as the kiss had begun, it was over.
Cameron stepped back.
"I'm glad you're not dying," she told him seriously.
Her eyes let him know that she was still mad, but that she would get over it- eventually.
And then she walked off, pushing open the door and re-entering the hospital without so much as a backwards glance.
House waited until Cameron was gone before answering: "Me too."
He ran his fingers lightly over his lips.
He could still feel her soft touch.
It was strange that on a night where he should have been drowning his sorrows and trying to get over yet another failed attempt to eradicate his pain, he felt a whole world of possibilities opening up to him.
It wasn't perhaps the result he had been looking for but nobody gets it right every time.
AN: Yes, yes. I had a perfectly good House/Cam fighting fic and I blew it- tell me something I don't know! But I'm trying to get all of Taking Over written by Tuesday, as well as finishing my other fic Her Reason. So, basically...be kind!! Seriously, let me know what you thought. If you don't like it (and I get a chance) I could change it...