Disclaimer: Not mine.
My thanks to everyone who review. I hope that you guys like the end.
SilvaK: Hope you like this chapter and thanks for the review!
Limaccia: Don't worry, I won't be using Tritter again!
Saucy-Duck: Hope you like the end.
Sorry it took me so long to update- things have been a little crazy!
Out in parking lot, House was looking for Cameron's car but it was nowhere to be found.
He was suddenly furious.
What the hell was she thinking driving herself home? She might have been cool as a cucumber while facing that gun but he was willing to be that she was coming down from an adrenaline high right about now. If she didn't kill anyone on the way back to her place, it would be a miracle- and House didn't believe in miracles.
There was nothing for it but to check it out.
House stomped to his car, jerked open the door, plonked himself down on the seat and slammed the door behind him. Then he hit the accelerator and tore off out of the parking lot.
When the cops had finished with Cameron, she immediately decided to high-tail it back to her apartment. She didn't want to talk to anybody and she knew she wouldn't be able to bear the staff's curious gazes. So, to rid herself of the over-zealous police officer, she invented a boyfriend who was waiting for her out in the parking lot and made her escape.
When she got back to her apartment she immediately decided to wash off the horrible morning. As she rinsed her hair, she realised that the enormity of what had just happened hadn't really struck her- she hoped it never would. The thought of House being killed was more than she could bear and she shuddered to think of what might have happened had she decided to roll over in bed and bury her head under the sheets that morning. Cameron didn't believe in God but she was sure thanking someone for making her get up, get dressed and drag herself to work.
She dressed herself quickly and then found herself wondering what to do for the rest of the day. What did you do to celebrate saving the life of the man that you love? She wondered idly if Hallmark made cards for such an occasion. If they didn't, they should.
Her musings were interrupted by a knock at her door. It was an impatient knock and it didn't sound like it was being make with a fist.
She debated with herself for a moment as to whether or not she should open the door but as the knocking got louder she felt herself compelled to answer.
"House," she greeted him, trying to inject some surprise into her voice. She hadn't really expected it to be anyone else.
"What are you doing here?" Cameron asked more to find something to say rather than because she wanted to know.
"I came to check if you killed someone on your way home," her boss replied and there was a bite in her voice.
Her response was a faint smile. "I didn't know you cared," she told him with wry humour.
They stood staring at each other for a moment. She was trying to read his eyes and he was taking in her appearance. She was wearing a pair of blue jeans under a loose-fitting purple dress made of chiffony material. The dress was cut in a deep V and ended just above her knee. Bell sleeves hung over her hands giving the dress an almost gothic feel. Her feet were bare. She looked more laid back than he had ever seen her. And, with her damp hair curling around her face, possibly more beautiful too.
She couldn't really tell what he was thinking and realised that she was too tired to try.
Breaking the silence Cameron said: "How about a drink?"
She stepped inside and began to make her way towards the kitchen without checking to see if he was following her.
"No thanks, I'm not staying," he replied somewhat thrown by her unexpected show of hospitality.
"It doesn't matter, I'll get you one anyway," she told him over her shoulder.
"Cameron, I don't want a drink."
The exasperation in his voice made her turn and look at him.
"Ok, House. But I do," Allison said calmly before disappearing into the kitchen for a few moments.
House took the opportunity to glance around her apartment. From what he could see, the entire place was decorated in varying shades of yellow and cream. There were a few pictures on the walls that were too far away for him to see properly and there were bookcases pretty much everywhere. The whole place was very Cameron: sort of serene and optimistic but serious as well.
When she came back out her boss still hadn't moved from his position at her door.
"Are you still here? And have you decided if you're staying or going?" she asked him.
House felt his lips twitch in spite of himself. She had the ability to put him in his place which is exactly the reason that she had turned up at her apartment the last time to beg her to come back and work for him.
"Look, House," she was beginning to feel a little exasperated, "If you're here for something just come in and tell me what it is. If you just want to stand there to annoy me, then I suggest you get lost and leave me alone. I'm a little tired after today," she added as an after-thought.
He limped into the hall then and shut the door behind him.
Allison smiled faintly: "Better. Now what do you want?"
"I wanted to ask you what the hell you thought you were doing driving home after this morning?" his voice was low and angry and she looked at him in surprise.
"How else would I get home?"
"Apparently not with a ride from your fictional-boyfriend."
She laughed: "Yeah, I had to tell the cops that to get them off my back. The way they were looking at me- like I was some delicate flower about to faint or something- was hilarious."
House stared at her for a moment.
"You shouldn't have been driving after this morning," he told her firmly.
"Because you were coming down off an adrenaline high and you could have killed somebody- that's why."
Cameron laughed again and took a leisurely sip of her screwdriver: "No I wasn't- and there's now way I'd ever get behind the wheel of a car if I wasn't sure that I could drive."
Her boss was watching her closely. Apparently he had misjudged the amount of adrenaline that was coursing through her system- it wasn't gone yet.
"And what about this morning?"
"What about this morning?" she echoed not really sure what he was getting at.
"What the HELL were you thinking?" House suddenly yelled, his anger breaking through.
She was taken aback only for a second and then she set down her glass on the coffee table with a snap.
"I'm sorry, House, but for a second I thought you were about to yell at me for saving your life," her voice was silky smooth.
"You could have been killed!" he shouted at her.
"But I wasn't," she told him, "I'm fine."
"It doesn't matter," he was angrily gesturing with his cane, "You deliberately threw yourself in front of someone with a gun."
"But I didn't get shot," she emphasised, "He would have killed you but he wasn't going to hurt me."
"You don't know that," he shot back.
"Yes, I do," she insisted, "He had no reason to hurt me."
"Cameron, you don't know that he wouldn't have," House told her, furious that she was missing his point, "You have no evidence to support your theory."
"House, I know people," she told him, "and if that man had been going to put a bullet in my head, he would have done it as soon as I got in his way."
She watched him speculatively.
"What is this really about, House? Why are you here? You're not here to check up on me- because you don't care about how I am; you're not here to thank me- because that's not your style. So, why did you come?"
He just gave her that look that he did so well: it conveyed something without really saying anything at all. The thought of how many times Cameron had hung around waiting for him to put into words whatever it was he was thinking made her blood boil.
"What's the matter, House? Is it that you can't stand the thought that your life was saved by a woman?"
He spoke then and his voice and expression were strange; quiet but as if there was some deep emotion just underneath the surface: "Is that what you think?"
"Does it matter?" she asked him wearily.
No, it wasn't what she thought- not really- but she was fishing for explanations. And she didn't want him here- not any more. The morning's events were too recent and the realisation that she could have lost him was beginning to hit her.
"It matters," he said quietly, waiting for her answer.
Allison sighed: "No, that's not what I think. I'm sorry, House," there was contrition in her voice; she really hadn't meant to hurt him.
They looked at each other for a long moment.
Suddenly Cameron felt her knees weaken and she sank onto the couch out of sheer exhaustion.
She looked up at her boss: "I'd like you to leave," she told him in the same quiet tone that he had used.
She needed him to go before she said something she'd later regret, before she told him the kind of effect his getting shot would have had on her. He didn't need to hear that she was in love with him and she certainly didn't want to tell him.
He stared down at her, his eyes suddenly tired.
"Cameron, I came to check on you because I was worried," he told her in an undertone, "Contrary to popular belief I do actually care about people- even if I don't always show it."
Allison made a sign that begged him to stop. It was better to think that he didn't care about her at all than to think that he cared about her as a work colleague. She felt as if she were seconds away from the 'it's not you, it's me' speech.
"Fine, I'll go."
House suddenly surprised her by dropping a hand on her shoulder and giving it a little squeeze: "I'm glad you're not dead," he told her.
The he turned and hightailed it to the exit.
What the hell had he been thinking? House wondered to himself as he pulled the door shut behind him. She was clearly quite capable of looking after herself.
He pushed the button for the elevator with the butt of his cane angrily. He couldn't get out of there fast enough. He had come to make sure that she was ok and she had just thrown in back in his face. Was it really so hard to believe that he was worried about her? But she hadn't even considered that it was a possibility.
He entered the elevator and pushed the button for the ground floor.
Seeing Cameron jump in front of him and face that gun had been one of the scariest moments of his life. He just kept thinking: 'what if she gets shot?'. The worst had been the helplessness: there had literally been nothing that he could do to protect her.
Maybe it was just as well that she had asked him to leave because he now realised that he had been perilously close to telling Cameron how he felt about her.
Cameron heard the door click as her boss pulled it shut behind him.
She breathed a sigh of relief. He was gone. At last.
Having him near her was dangerous. She knew that she had been moments away from telling him that she was in love with him.
Being the only thing that stood between him and a man wielding a gun had been terrifying. She had acted only on instinct. A second too late and he would have been bleeding out all over the conference room floor. She gave silent thanks to the higher power that she didn't really believe in for allowing her to prevent that from happening.
House was gone, but something that he had said was bothering her. She just couldn't remember what it was….
Allison was suddenly on her feet.
He'd told her.
He'd said the every thing that she'd been waiting two years to hear and she'd been so set on getting rid of him that she hadn't even noticed.
Before she even realised what she was doing, she was out the door and impatiently pressing the button for the elevator. It wasn't moving fast enough and she realised that if she waited she would never catch him before he left.
She didn't know why but she just knew that she had to catch him now; before he left; before he could retreat into his shell and deny everything.
In desperation, she took the stairs.
Her bare feet made hardly any sound as they landed on each step.
Hurry, hurry, hurry each footfall seemed to tell her.
She had to get to him.
Please let her get to him on time.
House was unlocking his car when he heard someone call his name.
He turned to see Cameron running towards him.
"What is it, Cameron?" he tried to say in his usual bored tone but his heart was thumping.
"I just wanted to check something," she said breathlessly as she reached him.
And, before he knew what was going on, her mouth was on his and her arms were around his neck, pulling him closer. He instinctively closed his eyes and opened his mouth to hers. His hands moved too: his left one dropping his cane so that he could slip his arm around her waist and his right one fisting in her hair. He clung to her like a drowning man and the only thought in his head was 'She's alive. She's alive.' And right then, that was all that mattered.
When they finally came up for air Allison was smiling.
"I was right," she told him almost triumphantly, "You do like me."
"I suppose you're going to be insufferable from now on because you were right one time," he said with a groan.
She laughed: "I'll try not to be…but I might be a little demanding," she warned him as she leaned in for another kiss.
"I could live with that," he told her before covering her mouth with his own and then he drew back as a thought struck him:
"Why are you suddenly so short?" he asked in confusion.
Allison looked faintly sheepish: "I came out without my shoes," she explained.
House glanced at her feet then and started to laugh. She stared at him in amazement: she didn't think that she had ever heard him give a real laugh. It was nice; rich and warm. He should do it more often. She was about to say as much when, after apparently guessing her intention, he decided to shut her up with another kiss.
Much later, when they had finally made it back to Cameron's apartment, House said out of the blue:
"You know, in some cultures when you save a life it belongs to you."
She wasn't exactly sure how to take that.
"And in America?" Allison asked cautiously.
"It gets you a date," he grinned.
"Anywhere in mind?" she inquired as she snuggled closer.
"It's up to you," he said generously.
She thought about it for a moment: "Anywhere but a fancy Italian restaurant," she told him seriously, the memory of their first date clouding her happiness for a moment.
He saw the look on her face.
"My sentiments exactly," he deadpanned.
Then Cameron started to laugh.
"What?" Greggory House asked her curiously.
"I can't believe that I almost stayed in bed this morning," she told him.
He thought about it for a moment the responded: "Yes, that would have been a pity for both of us…"
AN: Ok, maybe it did turn out a little too neat in the end but I just realised that in all my fics House and Cam keep yelling at each other. Where is the love? I hear you ask...well, at the end of this fic! guess:) Please review!