-1Chapter 10

House had been avoiding her for a week, and Cameron was at the end of her rope - she'd tried calling his cell phone, left four messages. He didn't answer his work line. Whenever she went to look for him in his office, he wasn't there. When she tried to catch him at home, he wasn't there either. Seven days went by, and she hadn't seen or heard from him.

Cameron was finished playing games.

She burst into Wilson's office on the seventh day. He was on his couch, on top of someone. Cameron let out a shocked squeak, and Wilson shot up off the couch, revealing his companion. Cameron's mouth dropped open in shock. It was Cuddy.

Wilson cleared his throat nervously as Cuddy rearranged her clothing so she was decent again. Then she stood, and looked at her shocked employee, "Is it too much to ask that you keep this to yourself?"

Cameron blinked, and then shook her head, "No - I won't tell anyone."

"Including House? Because if you tell him, you may as well tell the whole hospital. Or the tri-state area." Cuddy sighed.

Cameron looked at her feet, and then back up at her boss, "I won't say a thing. But...the two of you should tell him. If he figures it out on his own, there'll be hell to pay."

Cuddy sighed again, and then shot Wilson a smile. Then she left the office, her stilettos clicking on the shining hospital floors. Cameron looked back at Wilson, who was bright red.

He cleared his throat again, "Is there a reason you never knock?"

Cameron had the grace to look embarrassed, "I'm sorry. I...I usually only come here when I'm really upset..."

"You can come when you're not incredibly upset. You know. To chat, do a crossword..."

Cameron blushed, and then shook her head with a woeful smile, "House and I both use you, don't we? I'm sorry for that too."

"Don't be. Apparently I like being needed. I'm assuming you're here because House is avoiding you?"

She nodded.

Wilson gave her his famous sympathetic smile, "I know just what to do."

House opened his front door wearing a wrinkled t-shirt and jeans, and seven days of beard growth. He had dark circles under his eyes and looked worn down. Wilson entered, and then motioned to Cameron, who had been hiding behind him, to follow.

"House." Cameron's voice rang out in the apartment like a bell. House stopped, and turned his head.

Then he glared at Wilson, "Nice move, Judas."

Wilson rolled his eyes, "I think 'Et tu, Brute?' is more appropriate. You're nothing like Jesus." He left quickly, and shut the door behind him.

Cameron hesitated by the door. House's bright blue eyes took in every detail, greedy for the sight of her. She was wearing a white peasant blouse and black slacks, and her hair was down, waving around the sharp angles of her face. Her skin was pale, and she looked tired, shaky, unsure of herself. Delicate, and breakable.

She broke his examination, "You've been avoiding me." A fact, not an accusation.

House tapped his cane on the floor nervously, and looked away, "I didn't know what to say anymore."

"Why are you punishing me? This isn't my fault!" She demanded, and stalked towards him. House backed up a step, then two.

"No, Its your choice."

Before he could back away any more, Cameron slipped her arms through his, wrapping her thin arms around his waist. He grunted, but didn't push her away. Cameron was disgusted with herself - even though she was furious at him, even though he'd been an ass for avoiding her all week, she still felt like swooning. She craved him like a drug, and the smell of him made her head spin with giddy delight. But he was stiff in her arms, and he didn't return her embrace.

She pulled back a bit, and looked up into his eyes. "I can't do it. I love you...but I just can't do it."

"And I can't do this." He said, and tried to push her away. Cameron held tight, refusing to let him go.

"Just give me tonight? Please? Just one last night, that's all I ask."

House looked down at her face, so full of pain for someone so young, and felt like the lowest form of life on the planet. But he could see that she was telling the truth - in the morning, she would give up. She would admit defeat, and leave.

So he would grant this one last request.

He bent forward, his lips opening slowly, and fit his mouth against hers. It always amazed him, how they came together like puzzle pieces, locking together in perfect harmony. Her lips trembled beneath his, and he deepened the kiss to keep her from crying.

They made their way to his bedroom, and fell on the bed together, one last time. It was sad, and slow, and nothing like their usual frantic post-fight make up sex. Cameron felt his hands everywhere, his mouth all over her aching body, and then did the same to him. She memorized every inch of his skin, every breath, every gasp of pleasure, every kiss.

Sometime around the point when he slid inside her, she began to cry. Silent tears, she couldn't hold them back any longer. This was the most painful goodbye of her life, even more than when her husband had died. That time, she had known there was nothing she could do, and she'd had six months to accept him leaving her. This time, she was the one letting go. She was choosing one life over another, when she wanted desperately to keep them both.

House didn't cry, but she could tell he was in pain. He kissed away her salty tears, and when their eyes locked, she saw that he wanted to change for her, but couldn't. They came together, again and again, and both imagined they heard the tiny heartbeat echoing between them.

When he pulled away, Cameron felt her heart crumble.

At 3:30 in the morning, Cameron woke with her heart racing. A sense of dread came over her, and she broke out into a sweat. Her back hurt like hell, but she couldn't remember what she'd done to hurt it. She was also still wet between her thighs - probably his semen leaving her too. She slid a hand between her legs, and pulled it back out, staring at her fingers in the moonlight.

The liquid was dark. Cameron felt her heart suddenly stop, and her breath expelled in a painful wheeze. When it started again she gasped, and fumbled for the light on the bedside table. The light hurt her eyes, blinding her momentarily. Then she saw it. Bright red blood, covering her hand.

"No!" She yelled, and sat up, tearing the covers away. Blood - everywhere - underneath her, all over her thighs, soaking the sheets. House sat up, startled awake. He looked over at her, saw the blood, and launched into action.

"Jesus fucking Christ!" He yelled, and rolled out of bed. He hobbled around to her side as she gripped herself, trying to keep the blood and baby inside.

House pulled her from the bed, and helped her to the toilet. Cameron fought him the whole way, and refused to sit down. Blood seeped down her legs, forming puddles around her tiny feet.

"You're getting blood everywhere, just sit down." House ordered, and Cameron punched him ineffectually.

"No! I don't care! I don't want this, not like this, not like this!" She shrieked, and then pushed him away. She backed up towards the shower, and then stood there, bleeding.

"I can't stop it! There's nothing I can do to stop it!" He yelled at her, and she looked away. It hurt him, that he was a doctor, a fucking genius - but even he couldn't stop a miscarriage.

Cameron trembled violently, and then turned, ripping the shower curtain open. She stumbled into the tub, turned the water on hot, and sat down, then wrapped her arms around her legs.

House ran his hands through his hair, and walked out into the bedroom. He stared at the blood on Cameron's side of the bed. There was so much of it. And he realized that he didn't feel the relief he expected himself to feel. He hadn't wanted it to end like this. In his mind, an abortion was a medical procedure, a reduction, a cure. But this...this was a violent, bloody loss.

Spurred into action, he peeled the sheets from the bed - everything was soaked - he'd just throw it all out. He stuffed the linens into trash bags, and dragged them to the front door to take out in the morning. He put towels on the bed to soak up what remained on the mattress.

Then he walked back into the bathroom and cleaned the blood off the floor. When that was done, he pulled back the shower curtain. Cameron looked up at him, her eyes accusing, "Are you happy now?"

"No!" He shook his head.

"This is what you wanted isn't it? Isn't it?" And then she let out an agonized cry. The cramps were the worst she'd ever experienced. She rocked back and forth, and couldn't swallow the pain, just had to scream and cry it out. Blood and more seeped from between her legs, and swirled down the drain, "Why couldn't it stay? I just wanted it to stay."

House stepped into the shower and sat behind her; pulled her into his arms. She was too weak to protest, too tired to fight him. He wrapped himself around her, hoping the water and his body heat would keep her warm. She shivered in his arms anyway.

"I didn't want it to happen like this." He confessed.

She plunged her hands into her hair, cradling her head, "What did I do wrong?"

"Nothing. Bad things happen. But…someday, you'll be with a guy who can do this with you. You'll be pregnant again, and that one will stay."

Cameron sobbed, broken, "But I wanted this one."

He held her tighter, and they stayed until the hot water ran out.

The bleeding had slowed, but the miscarriage would continue for the next few days. House made up the couch with plastic, more towels, and old blankets. Cameron put on a pad, a pair of House's pajamas, and then laid down on the couch.

She motioned for him to do the same. House squeezed in behind her, and pulled a few blankets over them to keep her warm.

Neither of them slept. As the sun came up, Cameron turned in his arms to face him, and their eyes met. Though he was exhausted, he saw the burning question in her gaze.

He brushed an errant strand of hair behind her ear and answered it, "I'm not going anywhere. You still have me, for what its worth."

She nodded, relieved, and buried her face in his chest.

A life just beginning ends; and a relationship just ending, begins again.