Title: Defining Love
Rating: PG
Pairing: House/Cameron
Genre: Romance/Angst
Word Count: 1,509
Summary: Set S4. Cameron tells House she's leaving, for good this time, and House ponders many weird and wonderful things including that little thing called love.
Disclaimer: I don't own 'House MD' or any of the characters in this fic.
A/N: Unbeta'd, all mistakes are mine.. Also, I'm trying out a new writing style with this one so feedback on that would be absolutely fantastic. :-) Enjoy!

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"I love you." She says, and for the first time in years, he's speechless. Yes, everyone knows she loves him; even he had an idea that maybe it was more than a silly schoolgirl crush. But it was another thing for her to actually say those three little words; those words that he's sure have been spinning around in her head for four years.

"You're an idiot." He replies with his usual coldness, and he feels a little guilty at the hurt that flashes across her eyes with that statement. It's not even true, but what else is he meant to say? 'I love you too'? Far too cliché and not entirely true either…or is it? He's proud of her, he respects her – as a doctor, that is – but does he love her?

Love is a stupid word anyway, he thinks, it never was properly defined. '(falling in) love: that thing that makes your insides squirm and your heart do funny things, side effects include trouble focusing and doing stupid things that you wouldn't normally do, end result: getting screwed over', that would be his definition.

Tears start forming in her eyes, and he's shocked that he notices, yet alone cares. But he does. They shouldn't be saying goodbye like this; they're friends at least, aren't they?

"Sorry," Did he just say sorry?! "You're not stupid, Cameron".

She's silent for a moment, and he wonders if he said the wrong thing – again.

"I just wanted to tell you the truth, for once, and I was hoping…you might try and do the same. I guess that was too much to ask for." She says with a sad smile.

Her words cut deeper than perhaps they should do, and for a moment he's startled by her bravery. He looks up to see her nervously looking around his apartment, "So you're really going?" he asks.

"Yes House, I'm really going."

"Never coming back?"

"Yes, never coming back, unless…" She trails off, eyes cast down to the floor.

"Unless what?" He asks, before realisation dawned on him. She wanted him to give her a reason to stay; just like the last time she left him. But this was different - she wasn't leaving her job, she was leaving the country.

"Now, you really are an idiot." He says, and this time he means it, "You want me to declare my love for you, beg you to stay, and we can live happily ever after in our house with white picket fencing down by the ocean. Wake up, Cameron, this isn't a fairytale, we're not…we're not even a 'we'."

"That's not what I want! And you know it, so stop making me out to be some naïve little girl, I know there's no such thing as 'happily ever after' but there can be an 'ever after', you just need to have some faith! Get over yourself House, you don't have to be miserable, and I know you don't like being alone as much as you make out to be!" She shakes her head, trying to rid her anger. She calms herself before looking back up at him, her voice much quieter now, "I'm sorry, I didn't come here to argue. I came here to say goodbye, because no matter what you think of me, no matter why you think I like you – I will miss you. And I wanted you to know."

A heavy silence follows, and she searches his eyes for some clue to how he feels, as he searches hers for the truth of why she's doing this. Both of them find their answer but both are afraid to speak it.

"Me too." He says when he can't stand the silence any longer, "We were a good team. And if you go off to the Rainy Land, how will I find interesting new patients?"

"It's called England, and there are other doctors in the ER, you know." She says with feign annoyance, a small contradicting smile shining through at his admittance.

"Dunno why you want to go to England anyway, there's nothing there 'cept for the Queens."He says.

"Plural?" She asks with a raised eyebrow.

"Yeah, you're not forgetting the band, are you?"

She laughs at his joke, and soon tears are streaming down her face at the thought of never hearing him again.

"Oh, hey, don't cry. My joke wasn't that bad, was it?" He says awkwardly.

She sniffles, and he smiles slightly at the cuteness of it, before giving himself a mental slap for thinking such lovey-dovey thoughts. She shuffles closer towards him, and he awkwardly wraps his arms around her. She's warm, he thinks, and then he thinks that it's stupid to think that she's warm because all human beings (unless dead or dying) are "warm"…and what was his definition of love again? She cries into his shoulder, and he doesn't even think too much about how it's his favourite shirt she's ruining, because this is the last time he's going to hold her, and for some reason that makes him sad. His heart does funny things as she tightens her arms around him, and he really thinks he should re-define his definition of love because there's no way he loves his young ex-employee…right?

She reluctantly pulls away, and he hates himself for hating her for pulling away because he hates that he didn't want her to pull away. Damn thoughts and damn emotions, he thinks.

She smiles at him through her tear-stained eyes and he realises that he doesn't want her to go – not ever. She leaves a chaste kiss on his cheek, whispers goodbye, and cautiously steps away. And he thinks his heart might be aching, just a little bit.

"I don't want you to go." He says, and he doesn't care if it sounds cheesy or stupid, because it's the only thing he's sure of at the moment and certainty is his friend.

She looks at him as if he's just sprouted antlers or some other simile/metaphor/thing that's meant to sound clever and portray a sense of shock.

"I can stay here a little longer…?" She asks cautiously, letting her question trail off by biting her lip nervously.

"That's not what I meant." And he's surprised at how confident he sounds; in fact, he's surprised he can even put a sentence together after she did that thing with her lip. And he's staring…crap.

"You mean…?" She tries again.

"I don't know." He replies truthfully, and for some unknown reason, he steps a little closer to her.

"Okay." She whispers, and he's now close enough to feel the warmth of the breath that follows.

It must have been her who started the kiss, he thinks as he feels her beautiful lips moving against his, he doesn't even like the woman…although he does like it when she does that thing with her tongue…dammit. All other thoughts are soon cleared from his mind as he gives himself into the kiss, the warmth that she provides is far more comforting (and arousing) than he'd like to admit, and soon he can't stop his hands from roaming wherever he can reach. He hears her sigh against him and he pulls back slightly to look her in the eyes once more. She really is beautiful.

"You know, England isn't all it's cracked up to be." He says when he's caught his breath, "Who cares about their pavements and Queens and crisps?"

"I think the English might." She giggles, her thumb making lazy circles on his chin.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Good thing Chase isn't here then." He jokes, keeping his arms around her as she laughs again.

A moment of comfortable silence passes between them before she speaks again, "I already have the flight booked."

Her solemn voice brought him back to reality faster than he would've liked and he berates himself a little bit for the frown on his face and the sudden weight in his heart.

"The job isn't that great though…I mean it's in London and it's for the Head of Immunology and…okay, so it's good, but it's not that great. I could call and say I changed my mind. I don't know." She sighs against him.

"Would it make your decision easier if I said I was an idiot too? Hypothetically, that is."

Her forehead crinkles in confusion, and he has to admit she looks adorable. "What?"

"Before I said you were an idiot for loving me. Theoretically, if I said I was an idiot too, would you stay?"

"I…is that your screwed up way of saying you love me?" She asks in shock, a smile on her face.

"Maybe. Just answer the question." He says, and it takes a stupid amount of willpower to stop himself from smiling back at her.

"I think it would give a serious amount of points towards the argument for me staying in New Jersey, yes." She says.

"Good." He smiles before kissing her again, and he thinks that maybe his definition of love doesn't need tweaking after all…well, except for the end result.

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