Title: Out out?
Word Count: 900-ish
Summary: It's just another day at the hospital until House decides to take a leap of faith. Set a few days after the events of Love Hurts.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'House', just playing in the sandpit.
"It could be lupus." Foreman suggests for what must be the hundredth time, staring at the list of symptoms on the whiteboard.
The team sits in a contemplative silence; Cameron looking over the patient's file, Foreman still looking at the whiteboard and Chase tapping his pen on the table absentmindedly. House, however, stands alone by his desk; eyes glued to his watch like Angelina Jolie had just appeared naked on one of the ticking hands. He watches with interest as it ticks closer and closer to the end of the day.
"Right, then, I'm off." House announces, making Cameron jump slightly from the sudden interruption.
"What? You can't leave now! We haven't worked out what's wrong with the kid yet!" Chase argues, putting down his mug of coffee in favour of glaring at his boss.
"Yeah, have fun with that." House says nonchalantly, picking up his cane and making his way to the door. "It's five'o'clock, I'm off. Friday evening - got better things to be doing." He says with a wink.
"Better things to do than save a ten-year-old's life?" Cameron asks, standing up to face her boss.
"Well, yeah, that's great and all, but I think I prefer a nice scotch on the rocks. Grab your coat Cameron, you're coming with." House says with his back to his 'minions', trying his hardest not to let his nervousness show through. He think he can hear Chase gawp from the other side of the room but swallows his pride and turns back to look at Cameron. "Come on, or you'll miss the stripper."
She hides her giggle with a smile, and shakes her head, trying to make herself believe that this is actually happening. Not trusting herself to say anything, she nods her head in agreement before grabbing her coat and following him out of the door, leaving the rest of the team standing there in shock.
House ponders what to say as they walk towards the elevator. Asking her to come with him was a spur of the moment thing, what if this turned out to be as awkward as their last date? Mind you, he hadn't actually said the word 'date', this could be a drink between colleagues for all she knew.
"So…are we going out out?" Cameron asks, faking nonchalance, as the elevator doors close.
Damn. Now's the time to think of something witty and sarcastic to say. "Nope, in out."
"In out?" She questions with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah. In out. Like going out but to an inside place." House replies in a tone he usually reserves for Chase and the stupidest of patients.
"Right." Cameron mutters.
They walk in silence for a couple of minutes until they are standing outside the hospital. House starts heading towards his car before he notices she isn't following, and turns to see her rooted to the spot.
"Why do you always do that?" Cameron asks with sudden confidence.
"Do what? Walk towards my car? I find cars are handy to go from A to B. Plus, chicks dig cars. Or they did in high school." House muses, slowly making his way back to his colleague.
She shakes her head, "No. That. You knew exactly what I meant a couple of minutes ago when I asked if we were going out, but you just brushed me off with your usual dry humour and sarcasm. Why?"
"You think my humour's dry? Oh, Cameron, this is never going to work out." House says with a dramatic sigh.
"See. You're just doing it again. Are you incapable of talking about yourself, or your feelings or about us?" She asks with increasing frustration, stepping closer to him.
"I told you how I felt about us exactly eight days ago. I'm damaged. You want to fix me. You like me. I…I'm me. We've been over this."
"Eight days ago since our date…you kept count?" Cameron says quietly in bewilderment.
If House had heard her, he didn't acknowledge it, and a small silence passed over the couple. "Okay, you want me to admit it? I don't like talking about feelings and all that girly stuff. And if you want us to be 'more than friends'-" he says, making air quotes "-then you're going to have to accept that I'm not going to be as open as you'd like me to be. Deal with it."
Cameron allows House's speech to settle in before nodding her head in a silent agreement. "Okay", she says.
"Okay?" He asks.
"Yeah. Let's go get that drink." She says with a smile, cautiously taking his hand in hers. Cameron's surprised when he doesn't resist, and even more surprised when he gently squeezes her hand in encouragement.
"I was serious about the stripper by the way." House jokes, as they walk towards his car.
"We are not going to see Cindy down at Heaven's Gate." She jokes back.
"Wait a minute…how did you know about Cindy?" He asks, feigning shock.
Cameron giggles, giving House a playful slap on the arm, only for him to mutter something about beating up cripples.
Their banter continued until well into the night, and House began to realise that maybe letting his walls down to Cameron once in a while wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.
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