Disclaimer: Don't own House. (And right now I would be slightly ashamed if I did. Stupid season 4…)
A/N: Sorry it's been so long between updates. This is the end of Vienna, and the beginning of a new life in Princeton. It's mostly a bunch of small scenes. Drama is upped again in the next chapter, which won't take three months to write. Hope you all are still reading and enjoying. Let me know what you think.
The rest of the week passed too quickly. It seemed to House and Cameron that they'd discovered every nook and cranny the city had to offer. They'd eaten at all sorts of different restaurants, and discussed the merits of Klimt and Schiele; they'd seen La Traviata (Cameron's favorite), Madama Butterfly, Lohengrin, and Manon.Secretly, they both enjoyed waiting in line for standing room tickets, because it gave them a chance not only to relax, but also to spend some time getting to know each other a little better:
"Okay, next question: Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt?" House asked. He was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall. Cameron laughed at his question, and shook her head.
"Oh yes. Right answer."
"My turn! Okay. Hmm. Virginia Woolf or Jane Austen?" Cameron tapped her chin thoughtfully, desperately avoiding House's gaze.
"Cameron, that is not a question that I will ever answer, no matter how much sex we are having."
"I mean, if the answer is Jane Austen, it's okay. I won't judge you or anything. That Mr. Darcy really is a fox." She turned to look at House, her face alight with mischief.
"No. Stop right there. Do not pass 'Go;' do not collect two-hundred dollars."
Cameron opened her mouth once more and House leaned forward and kissed her. Startled by his impulsive action, he looked around quickly to see if anyone had caught him.
"Virginia Woolf," he admitted.
When Saturday rolled around, Cameron couldn't ignore the impending sense of dread she felt. It had been slowly building all week, but the only outward clue had been the increasing frenzy (and frequency) with which the pair made love. Though House had somewhat tacitly agreed to continuing their relationship back in Princeton, the two would also have to deal with their respective soon-to-be-ex-spouses. Though Cameron was completely over Will, she couldn't help but worry that House wasn't quite over Stacy, even if she had absolutely no evidence to support that particular paranoia. Laughing at her self, Cameron placed a hand over her eyes and shook her head.
As dawn approached on Saturday morning, she sat up in bed, the covers drawn around her body. House was sleeping on his stomach, facing away from her, and she couldn't resist the desire to lightly touch his naked back. He stirred slightly, but did not wake up. Cameron sighed loudly as her thoughts turned to their final day in Vienna.
House had promised Foreman they would show up at the final banquet later that night, and even if he had no intention of honoring that promise, Cameron did. Foreman and Chase had stayed out of Cameron and House's way all week, and Cameron had to admit that she appreciated that. She knew that neither of the boys was dense enough not to realize what had been going on, and the fact that they hadn't pulled the big brother act and tried to beat up House or condescend to her was, in fact, somewhat amazing. That hadn't stopped Foreman, however, from throwing House a few glares here and there whenever they met up for random meals.
What would happen back in Princeton? Would Foreman and Chase stay quiet about the whole thing? Would they let it slip to a nurse, who would let it slip to a lab technician, who would let it slip to, well, everyone else? Would Cuddy have to transfer Cameron to another department? Would House grow tired of her? Would… Cameron shook her head. There was nothing she could do now but enjoy the last day in Vienna. Monday she would deal with any and all possibilities, but right now? Right now all she had to worry about was what she would wear tonight.
But she still couldn't bring herself to lie down and go back to sleep. For some reason, all she could think about was the fact that she still had to find an apartment in Princeton and move the last of her stuff out of her and Will's old place. Her mother's old china set was still hiding in the back of a closet somewhere, and her grandfather's pocket watch was lying in her jewelry box. Even the thought of seeing Will, however, made her stomach turn. All she wanted to do was close that particular chapter of her life.
"Allison?" came House's sleepy voice. "Unclench. Please. I can't sleep with all the clenching." Even now he rarely called her by her first name—usually he did so only during, well, certain activities—but every time he did, she couldn't help but smile.
"Sorry," she whispered, running her hand over his back once more. He grumbled a bit and turned to face her.
"What do you mean, 'What?'"
"You're worried about something, and I'm obviously not going to get any sleep until you stop worrying."
"I was just thinking about…" she trailed off, looking out the window and frowning. House, still sleepy enough not to care about his actions, threw his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. Cameron smiled softly and relaxed enough to lie down. House buried his face into her shoulder and grunted.
"Thinking about what?"
"Well, I was thinking about everything I have to do in Princeton. I still need to find an apartment, and move all of my stuff out of my old place. Lisa is probably going a bit crazy with me in the house."
"Especially now if she wants to get some with Wilson," House agreed, closing his eyes.
"I've just enjoyed this week so much, and I'm not looking forward to dealing with real life once more." When her voice lowered to a mere whisper, House's eyes opened once more, but he only grunted in response. Cameron took that as a cue to continue. "I've enjoyed being myself, and discovering new things." She took a deep breath. "I've enjoyed being with you without all the pressure of…work." House sighed, obviously not relishing the direction of the conversation.
"Cameron, things are going to be different in Princeton."
"No, I know," she interrupted.
"Things are going to be different in Princeton," he repeated, "But that doesn't automatically mean they have to be worse. Got it?"
"Yes," Cameron answered dutifully. "Sorry to wake you. You should go back to sleep."
"But now I'm awake!" House whined.
"So?" she teased, running her fingers through his hair. In response, House hummed and placed a soft kiss on her collarbone.
"I think you'll need to tire me out a bit."
"And, uh, how do you propose I do that?" Cameron's concentration wavered when his hand lightly cupped her bottom.
"Hmm. I have a few ideas," he replied, smirking at her response. His smirk was wiped off his face as Cameron grabbed both of his hands, and, with one clean move, managed to straddle him, holding his hands up by his head.
"I have a few ideas as well."
House was certain that he'd gone crazy. There was absolutely no reason why he should be sitting at a banquet filled with arrogant diagnosticians when he could just as easily be in his hotel room peeling that dress from Cameron's body. In fact, he'd wanted to do just that, but she had playfully smacked his wandering hands and promised he could do whatever he wanted to her later. That thought—or, rather, various thoughts—had settled in his mind and groin, and he just couldn't concentrate on making ridiculous small talk. Cameron, on the other hand, was a natural—she was surrounded by a bevy of men, all of whom were taken in by her looks, but whose eyes occasionally flashed with surprise as she undoubtedly said something intelligent or witty. House watched her from across the room, enjoying the small glimpses of her. He didn't know much about fashion, but he definitely appreciated the way the dark blue satin hugged her small curves. House was grateful that someone out there took the time to make a dress that so perfectly fit a woman like Cameron.
"What are you going to do when you guys get back to Princeton?" Chase asked, setting his drink down on the table, and sitting down beside House.
"Somehow, I don't think that's any of your business," House snapped.
"Well, if you two become really awkward around each other at work, then I think it is in fact my business." Chase was unruffled by House's tone, and picked up his drink.
"So you're going to stay together."
"Did I say that?"
"What are you afraid of?"
"What?" House's tone changed completely as he looked at his subordinate with surprise. Chase's expression was pensive as he watched Cameron and her group of admirers.
"You'd be an idiot not to want to be with her, especially when she's so obviously head over heels for you. Cameron is intelligent, gorgeous," When House shot Chase a jealous glare, Chase had to hide his smile by taking a sip of his drink, "Kind, compassionate, funny, fun. I mean, the list goes on and on. So why not just admit that you're head over heels for her as well, and that when you guys get back to Princeton you'll both be thoroughly professional—well, Cameron will be, anyway—but you two will continue to date. What's so hard about that?" House hesitated for a moment.
"My private life is not for public consumption," he finally replied.
"I'm not the public," Chase reminded him. "Not only am I her friend, but I have to work with both of you."
"Why do you care if I admit it or not?"
"I don't, really," Chase answered, shrugging. "I'm just curious as to why you won't."
"As I said, my private life is not for public consumption," House growled, downing the rest of his scotch.
"Okay then," Chase said, standing up. "I'll see you later, House." House could only watch him go with complete confusion.
Cameron was already sick of the banquet. It'd been two hours of non-stop chatting with men who were more interested in getting into her pants than listening to her opinions on informed consent. When she spotted Chase and Foreman standing at the outskirts of the group surrounding her, she excused herself and went to talk to them.
"Please, guys, save me. Pretend you're talking to me for at least a few minutes." Chase and Foreman grinned at her.
"I think I can do better than that," Chase replied. "I think I can even get you out of here."
"Really?" Cameron smiled. "I had no idea you were in possession of magical powers."
"Oh, I am. I have this magical ability to make House appear out of thin air. You ready?" He made a big show of stretching while Cameron and Foreman watched on with bemusement. "Here we go." Then, delicately, Chase put his arm around Cameron's shoulders, and pulled her close to his body. Cameron looked up at him, eyebrows raised. "You have to look like you're having fun," he whispered, and Cameron, realizing his plan, couldn't help but laugh.
"I don't know if this'll work, Chase."
"I guarantee it."
"Twenty bucks," Foreman said, eyeing the crowd for a glimpse of House.
"Deal," Cameron and Chase replied in unison. The two looked at each other, and began to snigger. They both let out a small gasp of surprise as Cameron was tugged out of Chase's embrace.
"Didn't you say you had packing to do, Cameron? You might as well do mine while you're at it." House's voice had dropped dangerously low, and Cameron had to bite her cheek to keep from laughing at the murderous expression on his face.
"That's a great idea, House," she replied. "Why don't we return to the room?"
"Best idea you've had all night," he grumbled, practically dragging her across the dining hall. When Cameron turned around to say goodbye to Foreman and Chase, Chase winked at her. Cameron winked back.
House actually managed to keep his cool until they'd closed the door to the hotel room. Before Cameron could say a thing, he pushed her up against the door, holding her arms above her head like she'd done to him earlier that morning. The sudden rush of desire left Cameron's legs weak, and she was glad that House's body was pressed roughly against hers, holding her up. House's free hand pulled up the hem of her dress, and he touched the smooth skin of her inner thighs.
Crying out with frustration, Cameron unconsciously clenched her hands, burning with the desire to touch him.
"I've wanted to do this all night," he whispered, punctuating each word with a harsh kiss against her neck. When she groaned, he continued. "I was watching you, you know. I knew what those men wanted to do to you." House hiked up her dress, and spread his fingers over her stomach. Cameron had to admit that she loved this possessive, jealous House, and unconsciously spread her legs just a bit wider.
"B-but only you get to touch me," she whispered, letting her head rest against the door. House froze for a moment.
"Yes," he replied. "Only me."
"I'm yours," she insisted.
"Mine," he echoed, growling as he rubbed his beard against her neck.
"Make me yours, Greg," she urged. Cameron thrust her hips forward, grinding into his, and she groaned loudly when she felt his erection through the layers of clothes. But House grew serious, and he released her hands. Confused by the sudden change in mood, Cameron placed her hands on his cheeks and kissed him softly. "Make me yours. I'm yours, Greg." When she looked into his eyes, however, she saw a vulnerability she'd never seen before.
"Allison," he whispered, placing his forehead against hers. For a moment, Cameron was completely bewildered, unable to understand what she needed from him. But then he kissed her with such tenderness that Cameron's heart constricted. In that moment, she realized he was just as scared as she was about what the future held for both of them. He was just as worried that she would leave him. The thought made Cameron sigh. A week—no matter how amazing—wasn't enough to build up the trust that either of them needed. They could get there, though; she knew that much.
Slowly, Cameron and House made their way to his bedroom, savoring each and every kiss and caress, both desperate for the night to last forever.
But all good things come to an end, and the next evening House, Cameron, Foreman, and Chase were on a plane. By the time they arrived at Newark—after a brief layover in Amsterdam during which House had an endless supply of prostitute and marijuana jokes—the group could barely stay awake. While they were waiting for their luggage, Cameron actually managed to fall asleep standing up with her head on House's chest. When the luggage finally arrived, House stole a quick glance around the room, and then placed a quick kiss on the top of her head to wake her up. Foreman and Chase dutifully pretended they didn't notice.
With all of their luggage recovered, the foursome made their way to the exit, and were all pleasantly surprised to find Wilson waiting for them. He gave them a big smile, and waved somewhat sheepishly.
"What, did you miss me?" House asked, throwing his carry on bag in Wilson's direction. Wilson caught the bag with a groan, but his smile never wavered.
"Of course I did, House. What reason could there possibly be for me to not miss you? I have about sixty extra dollars from this week and I just don't know what to do with it."
"Oh, I have a few ideas." Wilson chose to ignore House, and instead turned to the rest of the group.
"I figured I'd give you guys a ride home."
"Cuddy's busy tonight?" House asked, mock seriously. Wilson shot Cameron an enigmatic glance.
"Yup. Why don't I help you with your bags, Cameron." He reached for the biggest one. "What the Hell is in here?"
"Oh, a few things I picked up here and there," she replied, yawning. As Wilson, Foreman, and Chase started to walk towards the exit, House and Cameron hung back a bit, standing close enough so that their hands brushed. Smiling sadly at each other, they followed the group and stepped outside, breathing in the Jersey air. Cameron made a face and turned to House.
"Welcome back to Jersey."
After Wilson had dropped off Foreman and Chase, he made his way to Cuddy's to drop off Cameron. When they arrived at the house, however, and saw that the lights were on, both House and Wilson insisted, for completely different reasons, on helping Cameron get her luggage inside.
Cuddy met them at the door, carefully watching the interaction between House and Cameron. Within two seconds her suspicions had been confirmed, and surprisingly that wasn't Cameron's fault. She was steadily avoiding eye contact with House, while House couldn't stop sneaking glances at her.
"How was Vienna?" Cuddy called out.
"I had all the strudel I could eat!" House answered.
"Is there anything more to life than that?" Cuddy responded, smiling. House raised his eyebrows suggestively, and she rolled her eyes. Cameron rolled her eyes as she passed Cuddy.
"He was like this the whole time."
"Oh, I'm sure," Cuddy responded, unable to hide her grin.
"Shut up," Cameron replied, drawing a laugh from Cuddy.
"Do you guys want some coffee?" Cuddy asked.
"I think I'm just going to pass out, if that's okay," Cameron replied, already heading up the stairs.
"That's fine," Wilson called out. House looked back and forth between Cuddy and Wilson before saying,
"So you two are bonking each other now? I mean, I'm all for it. In fact, I think it would do everyone a world of good if you got it on tonight."
"What?" Wilson exclaimed, his color rising.
"That's okay, you don't have to be embarrassed. I'll just leave you two alone." With that, House began to follow Cameron up the stairs.
"House, wait," Wilson said. House stopped, but didn't turn to look at him. "Stacy, she…"
"I don't want to hear about it," House growled.
"No, her mother is dying." That got House's attention. "She went down to North Carolina. It's not looking good." Sighing loudly, House nodded.
"I understand." He made his way up the stairs with slightly less enthusiasm, but when he flopped down on Cameron's bed without even taking off his jacket, and pulled her close to him, he felt like he was home. He would deal with everything else later.