A/N: There is an 'M' rated version of this story if you're interested in that sort of thing.

… And So It Ends

Chapter 25

June 29th, 2007 …

It's Friday … the last day of my fellowship … is it my last day with House? … He's not going to ask me to stay …if he was, he would have said something by now …Can I stay here and not be with him? …if I don't go now, I'll never be able to get over him … I have to put this behind me…

It's Friday …I'll be glad when this day's over … at least I hope I will … What am I worrying about anyway … She's going to stay … I'm sure of it … she wouldn't really leave me… if she were leaving, she would have said something by now and made me talk about my "feelings" the way girls like to do …Yeah, she's definitely staying … right?

"There you go Brenda, that's it for me today." Cameron said, as she dropped her last patient file at the nurse's station in the clinic.

She checked her watch. It was two o'clock.

She reached into her lab coat pocket and fingered the envelope inside.

Cameron exited Cuddy's office a short while later and headed to the elevator exhaling loudly as the cool steel doors closed in front of her.

She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.

She needed to get herself under control before she went upstairs to pack.

Her life at PPTH was drawing its sad, inevitable conclusion today, only to be packed away with

all her hopes, dreams and possessions in a nondescript cardboard box.

As she packed the last item, a sky blue coffee mug, Cameron felt a presence.

Despite the fact that she'd been preparing for this very moment for weeks, now that it was upon her she wasn't sure she could go through with it.

She turned slowly from her desk in the corner of the conference room and there he was, just on the other side of the glass.

The slight glare from the fluorescent lights in the hallway made it impossible to read any expression in his eyes. They regarded each other for a long moment, neither one moving.

Ask me to stay, whispered a desperate voice in Cameron's mind.

Tell me you can't go, a similar voice in House's mind echoed, before he dropped his gaze to the floor.

Cameron turned back to face the windows, her hands gripping the edges of the box tightly, her eyes bright with unshed tears.

As she watched the slowly darkening sky outside, she chastised herself for being so naïve, so foolish.

House, his mouth twisted in a pensive scowl, limped into his office and stood in front of his desk. He had seen the box on the desk behind Cameron; she had packed her things. Of course, she'd have done that even if she'd accepted Cuddy's offer.

He wanted to know.

He needed to know.

He pressed his fisted right hand against the desk top.

She knew he wouldn't ask her to stay, but some deluded part of her mind just wouldn't give up hope. That same deluded part of her mind now rebelled and took control of her feet, walking her to his office doorway.

He tapped his fist against the wood a few times and puffed air in his cheeks, all the while telling himself he was not going to ask her. He turned around to limp into the conference room but stopped when he saw her.

House stared at Cameron intently, studying her body language for a clue, a hint, anything that could give him his answer without asking the question.

Cameron stood in the doorway, her right shoulder leaning against the frame, arms crossed over her chest. Her pose was casual, confident, but her posture couldn't quite pull it off. The tendons in her neck strained as she gritted her teeth; the toe of her right shoe tapped the carpet in a quick rhythm.

"So," House said.

"So," Cameron echoed. Her arms dropped to her sides, her spine now ramrod straight with tension.

"All packed up?" House asked. He shifted his eyes to the box on the desk and then back to Cameron.

"All packed up," she confirmed. Her voice was low and quiet, tightly controlled.

She's trying not to cry … I don't believe it … she's leaving me.

"All change isn't bad," he said.

"You don't believe that," Cameron replied.

If you did, you wouldn't be so afraid to give us a try …

"No," he agreed.

She's stalling … she's waiting for me to say something … what should I say …

I give up … I don't know what to do …

"What do you expect me to do?" he asked sadly.

Cameron closed her eyes.

That hadn't been what she'd wanted to hear.

"Nothing," she said, and couldn't help but let a bitter note into her voice as she opened her eyes to look at him for the last time.

"I expect you to do what you always do, make a joke and move on. I expect you to be fine."

She took a deep breath and stepped forward; they were now just inches apart.

She laid her left hand on his forearm and squeezed.

"I will miss you."

House felt his pulse begin to race when she stepped closer.

She's leaving?

She was leaving.

Her hand squeezed his arm, firmly but gently.

It was final.

He couldn't look at her.

Cameron let go and turned to walk away.

Away from House, away from the only man she'd cared about since her husband passed away. The skin on her fingers tingled where she'd touched him.

"I don't want to be just fine."

Those words stopped her cold.

What does he mean?

Cameron's mind raced. His voice was so flat, it told her nothing.

Does he mean that he'll miss me? Does he want me to stay?

She clenched and unclenched and clenched again before she finally turned around.

"What do you mean?"

"I'm tired of being just fine," House said. He was talking to her, but looking at the floor.

"Fine is boring."

"What do you want?"

Cameron could see him struggle. He looked everywhere but at her; the floor, then the ceiling, out the windows until he finally just closed his eyes. His cane tapped on the carpet steadily.

"House," she said more quietly. "Please tell me … what do you want?"

He picked his head up from his chest and looked at her.

Their eyes met and Cameron could swear she saw tears glistening there.

Until the moment his eyes met hers, he didn't think he could do it.

He didn't think he could make the words come out of his mouth.

Until that moment, he wasn't sure he meant them.

"I want … not boring," House said, walking slowly toward her. "I want this … "

"I want us."

House grabbed her arms and pulled her to him, crushing his lips against hers to tell her all the things he couldn't make himself say.

Cameron responded instantly.

Her hands ran up his arms and laced behind his neck as she moved her mouth against his.

They broke their kiss, breathing heavily and leaning their foreheads against each other.

"Definitely not boring," he said, brushing the tears away from her glistening eyes.

"Definitely not." she agreed.

They stood there, locked in each others arms, neither one wanting to move or speak.

"Cameron" House said, gently unwrapping himself, "we've got an audience in the hallway."

"You care about what other people think?" Cameron asked, hurt and confused, tears running down her cheeks anew. One kiss and he already wanted to hide their relationship?

House glared at the onlookers as he limped across the room and closed the blinds. "I don't care, but if I'm ever going to star in a porno, it's not going to be free." Cameron laughed through her tears. She should have expected nothing less. "Lock the door," House said. Cameron stepped the rest of the way into his office and locked the door behind her.

"Come sit with me ..." he said, settling into his favourite yellow chair and patting his lap.

"Won't I hurt your thigh?" Cameron asked, sitting down gingerly.

"No," House looked at Cameron quickly, afraid to see pity. He was pleased to find none evident in her concerned glance. "Here, now you can lean on my shoulder," House leaned back and closed his eyes. "It's perfect."

But as Cameron basked in the warmth of his embrace, she couldn't help but worry.

What does this mean … should I change my mind … should I stay … does he really want me …?

"House …" she said softly.

"I can feel you clenching," House said without opening his eyes. "It's distracting, and not in the fun way."

"House, we have to talk … please, it's important." Cameron gently shook his arm.

He looked at her; his blue eyes penetrated to the depth of her soul.

"Okay," House said very slowly. "You are staying, aren't you?" he said, his face etched with worry.

"I want to, but I need to be sure …" she said, meeting his gaze, as she stroked his cheek.

"About …" he questioned.

"Us … my decision … how you really feel. I have to know." she replied.

House took a deep breath before he spoke.

He could already feel himself retreating from her, from exposing his feelings, from hurt. He closed his eyes and called up the wrenching in his gut when she said she would miss him. Please don't let me screw this up … not now … I can't lose her …

"That's all I've been thinking about, ever since our talk on Monday and I still don't have all the answers … maybe I never will … but there's one thing I know.

I want you and I want us.

I don't know if this relationship will have the fairytale ending that you've been dreaming of …

I'm no Prince Charming, that's for sure.

But I can promise you this … I'll try with all my heart to make your dreams come true."

Cameron's eyes welled with tears as he tenderly caressed her face.

"I'm still afraid of love … but I'm more afraid of losing you.

Stay Cameron. This hospital needs you and I … I need you."

That was all she needed to hear.

She would follow her heart.

She would stay.

"Cameron …"

House closed his eyes, hoping his prayers would be answered.

"I need you too ..."

"You're staying?' he asked again, afraid to believe what he had just heard.

"Yes, I'm staying…" Cameron confirmed, overcome with emotion.

They collapsed into each others arms once more …their laughter and cries of joy filled the room

as they rocked back and forth, clasped in their embrace.

House's eyes glistened. He brushed back the hair from Cameron's face, his eyes searching her face, taking in her joy, her beauty.

"I love you ..." he said softly.

"I love you too …" she whispered.

Their lips touched.

They kissed.

The two became one as their bodies melted together.

They devoured each other, hungrily tasting the mouths they had wanted for so long.

Their hands roamed frantically, slipping beneath cloth barriers to caress each other's flesh.

Her breasts.

His chest.

Her thighs.

His arousal.

They kissed once more, then pulled apart.

"Cameron …" he panted.

"House …" she gasped.

"Let's get the hell out of here …" growled House.

The look in his eyes spoke volumes ….

As she began to untangle herself from House's embrace, Cameron caught sight of the clock and sat up sharply.

"House, is that the right time … ten to four?" she asked in a panic.

House nonchalantly looked at his watch and nodded.

"House, I've got to go … I have to get to Cuddy's office before her offer expires … hurry!"

They grabbed their belongings and rushed to the door.

"My box …" Cameron started to head to her desk.

"Leave it … I'll help you move on Monday …" House shut off the lights and they rushed to the elevator hand in hand; his vice-like grip on her fingers was confident and reassuring.

"But only as far as your new office …"

"NO … YOU CAN'T LET HER DO THIS LISA!" Wilson yelled, as he threw Cameron's letter on Cuddy's desk.

"Don't yell at me James …" Cuddy warned, as her own voice increased in volume, "Short of shackling Cameron to a desk in the Immunology Department, I can't make her stay if she wants to leave … you know that."

"Well … try harder!" Wilson shouted with exasperation, as he paced back and forth in front of Cuddy's desk.

"I've tried everything I can think of James … I took her out to dinner on Wednesday, I've made her a very good offer … hell, I even threw an extra $ 25,000 into the pot."

"$ 25,000.00?"

Cuddy nodded.

"You have to realize that as far as Cameron's concerned, this decision isn't about money or her career … it's about House."

"She said that?" questioned Wilson.

"Yes and she admitted that she doesn't want to leave, but unless there's a future with House, she won't be staying. The ball's in his court, I'm afraid." Cuddy said sadly.

"Well if it is, then we're in serious trouble. He'll screw this up for sure and our lives will be a living hell after Cameron goes …"

Wilson leaned on the desk and stared into Cuddy's eyes.




As House and Cameron exited the elevator and neared Cuddy's office, they could hear the heated exchange between Cuddy and Wilson.

It didn't take a genius to figure out what they were arguing about.

"This should be good …c'mon …" House grinned.

He bolted for Cuddy's door with a startled Cameron in tow.

Wilson and Cuddy froze in mid-glare when House's cane announced his arrival.

"House … how many times have I told you not to come barging into my office …"

Cuddy's anger turned to shock when Cameron stepped out from behind House,

her hand held tightly by his.

House smirked at his friends, loving the stunned expressions on their faces.

Cameron glanced at the clock. It was 4 pm.

"Uh, Dr. Cuddy, about that letter I gave you earlier…" Cameron began.

She let go of House's hand and drew an envelope from the messenger bag slung across her shoulders.

"Could I, uh, take it back?" she said, offering it's replacement to Cuddy.

"Of course."

Cuddy handed Cameron the letter on her desk, then took the new envelope from her hands.

She read its contents while Wilson, House and Cameron watched with bated breath.

Cuddy smiled and took a large manila envelope from her desk drawer and stood as she handed it to the new Assistant Head of Immunology.

"Welcome back, Dr. Cameron." Cuddy said as she shook Cameron's hand.

"Thank you, Dr. Cuddy … it's good to be back." she replied, beaming from ear-to-ear.

House turned his back for a moment; Wilson could have sworn he brushed a tear from his eye.

"Now that that's settled," House said. "May I?"

He turned to Cameron and took her rejection letter from her hand.

All four watched as the shredded paper fluttered to a soft landing in Cuddy's wastebasket.

House offered his hand to Cameron and grinned a wicked, gorgeous grin.

"Let's go have sex. Lots of sex. Insane amounts of sex."

Wilson cringed, Cuddy rolled her eyes and Cameron just smiled.

The pair linked hands again and exited Cuddy's office together.

"Should we worry?" Cuddy asked Wilson, still amazed by the turn of events.

"No," Wilson said, shaking his head.

"He'll screw it up," Cuddy warned.

Wilson smiled contently as he watched his friends walk away, then turned to Cuddy.

"You know what … I've got a feeling he'll get it right this time …

They wove their way through the crowded lobby; Cameron nestled against House, his arm wrapped protectively around her shoulder, oblivious to the attention they were attracting from the hospital staff.

"House, just a sec …" Cameron stopped to put Cuddy's envelope in her messenger bag.

"I don't want to lose this contract …" she said, as she zipped up her bag, "there, all done."

"What about Cedar's Sinai?" House asked, "They'll be waiting to hear from you …"

"I'll call them as soon as I get home tonight." she replied.

"Better call them now," House said, drawing his cell phone from his pocket and handing it to Cameron. She looked at him questioningly. "Once we're out of here, you'll be far, far too busy to call," House grinned slowly, almost lecherously and gloried in the little shiver Cameron gave in response.

"Hmmm … I do like the sound of that …" Cameron said, smiling lovingly at House.

"I came too close to losing you Cameron … it's never going to happen again."

House gathered Cameron into his arms and kissed her gently.

"We should go. We've got years of missed opportunities to make up for … let's not waste any more time."


... Written by JellyBean30 and Daisyb10