Title: Pieces of the Puzzle

Rating: T (language)

Author: Wyoming

Pairing: House/Cameron

Summary: He didn't know much about her family or her childhood friends, but she never really let him in much when it came to that type of information. Now he found himself wanting to know more and more about her. House/Cam

A/N: No, it's not beta'd, no, I don't care. If you catch a mistake, good for you, tell me in a review and I'll change it. All the collages mentioned are real, mainly because I only live about 40 minutes from where House is set. Rowan is closer to where I live, USP is about 15 minutes from me, and UMDNJ is right across from where I volunteer at Cooper University Hospital. UMDNJ University of Medicine and Dentestry of New Jersey.

There she was, sitting in that same lab chair that she always sat in. He was reminded of the time he caught her crying in this room. The same room that she was in right now. She was crying. Damn.

Why was she crying? He'd invited her to work for him again, she'd accepted. He told her that he'd be nicer and that she would never do his clinic duty again. She'd have a closer parking spot, more money and better benefits. Both of them knew that he would never be nicer. That was just something he'd thrown in there to make it sound better. She didn't want any of the other stuff either. She told herself that she'd done it because she didn't like the ER, that she missed diagnosing the patients. That's what she told herself.

He invited her back because she's a good doctor, well, actually, she's a great doctor. She's pretty, she's smart, she's caring, everything a doctor has to be. Well, not has to be, but at least is a nice quality to have. He enjoyed having her back on the team. He was able to fire 13, and kept the other two men. He didn't like 13 anymore, he just aggravated her to the point where he grew tired of her. I don't need change he had thought.

Every time he saw her in this room, he was reminded of her past, at least what she had told him of it. He didn't know much about her family or her childhood friends, but she never really let him in much when it came to that type of information. Now he found himself wanting to know more and more about her.

"Why are you crying?"

Teary blue-green eyes met cerulean blue ones. She wiped her tears away quickly and turned back to her microscope. "My eyes are tearing from staring into the microscope for so long."

"Sure, that's why you're eyes are red and puffy, like you've been wiping them. I know I don't like the clinic, but I can diagnose the small things too," he said gruffly.

Allison turned around and faced him. "Why do you care? Why can't you just focus on your other puzzles, and not me? Maybe I don't want to be figured out!"

House was a bit surprised at her sudden outburst. He just stared at her and tapped his cane on the floor. Thirty seconds later and still no words said, he popped two vicodin to break the awkwardness. "Want to get something to eat?" he asked. He must have caught her off guard because her jaw hung slightly.

"You mean like, go out to eat?"

"Yeah sure, you eat, I eat, might as well do it together."

God he's an ass, I love him so much. "Okay. Where are we going to go?" she asked.

"Where do you want to go?"

"You're letting me pick?" She was really surprised at his sudden relinquishment of power. When she saw him with Wilson, he always picked the place. He wanted to be somewhere familiar, somewhere he knew, so that in case anything happened, he had an out. She didn't want to give him an out this time.

"Yes, I'm letting you pick."

"My place." This was bold, she knew that, she quite honestly didn't care. If she wanted House to be out of his element, what better place than her own home? She could make them lunch, and she could get close to him, really corner him in.

"Okay, come on." He nodded to the door with his head and then walked out, then turned around outside of the glass door, waiting for her to follow. She was still watching him, trying to make sure that she wasn't dreaming this. Finally, she gathered herself and then got up and left the room, leaving the slide under the microscope where it was.

The ride had been taken on his bike, he had insisted. She didn't mind. She liked her arms being wrapped tightly around him, knowing that if she let go of him, she would die. He liked the sense of being needed. The fact that she would die if she let go was the best feeling in the world. He wanted that feeling emotionally too. He wanted to tell her how he felt, but his hard outer core was too much of an asshole to let her in.

They finally arrived at her apartment, where she fiddled with the keys before finally finding the right one. House had been to her apartment before, but he'd never really taken a look at it. If he hadn't known whose apartment it was when he walked inside, he would have easily been able to guess that it was hers. It looked like her. It was insanely neat and clean, the walls were a neutral color, just like her makeup always was. She had a bookshelf with hundreds of books on it in one corner next to the couch, and in another corner, a treadmill. He imagined her running on it, and had to quickly think of something before his pants reflected what he was thinking about.

Cameron placed her keys on the table and went straight for the kitchen. She washed her hands and then pulled out two rolls. She made something close to the Reuben that he always had for lunch. Obviously she didn't have exactly what was needed to make one, but she did her best to match it. She then made a turkey sandwich for herself, and added some chips to both of their plates. She poured two sodas and then walked back into the living room and placed their meals and drinks on the coffee table in front of the couch, since she didn't have a proper dining table.

House wasn't sitting yet, he had still been looking around her apartment. She sat down and started eating, as if he wasn't even in the room. He looked at her and then sat down, looking at his sandwich, deciding to go through it thoroughly before eating it.

"What are you doing?" she asked him, wondering why he was leafing through his sandwich.

"I'm inspecting it, making sure that you didn't poison it." Cameron just rolled her eyes and kept eating her sandwich.

"Why did you want to eat with me?" she asked him. There had to be ulterior motives to his asking her out to lunch.

"Can't I just say that we're having lunch between co-workers?"

"No, House doesn't just have 'lunch with co-workers'. What piece of my puzzle are you after now?"

"Your childhood." His bluntness had earned him a slack-jawed look from Cameron.

"What do you want to know about my childhood?" she asked, her sandwich abandoned for now. He had just picked his own up and started eating it.

"What it was like, what your parents were like, if you had any siblings, if daddy touched you in your naughty place…" It was such a House remark, and it didn't go unnoticed by Cameron, but she also didn't react in a way that a normal person would. She knew that it was something House used as an escape plan. He didn't want things to get too serious so he had to add something in there to spice it up.

She didn't know why she answered him, she told herself it was just because she didn't want him nagging to her, but she decided that she just wasn't going to acknowledge the fact that she was doing it because she wanted him to know about her.

"I lived with my mom when I was little. She was my best friend. Dad was there, but he worked a lot for a company that made him travel all over the world. He used to bring me all sorts of cool presents from all different countries, but I always told him that I just wanted him there. That's why I went through so many boyfriends, I was searching for a male figure in my life, because my dad wasn't there to give me one. It was my downfall, though. When I was a senior in high school, I was dating a guy that I thought I really liked. About a month and a half into the relationship, he started getting abusive. My mom didn't notice at first, but when I made my first ER visit, she took me out of that high school and moved me into a private school. He went to jail and I never saw him again, but that was just the beginning.

"I got to college, and moved about three hours away from home. I almost went to Princeton, but I ended up going to Rowan instead, my grandmother had gone there, which I didn't even know until she told me that it used to be called "Gloucester College". I was proud of myself. I went to a college that my family was proud of. About three months into my sophomore year, I started dating a guy that I was with until the end of my junior year. I was with him for exactly a year and a half, and that was when he started getting abusive. He was worse, he would get me drunk first, and then he'd hit me around like a rag doll. I went to the ER several times. On my third trip, I met a woman who was in the same position as I was. She was worse than I was. The next day, I saw her sitting up, staring at the wall. She said 'get out while you can'. A half an hour later, I was woken up by her machines, she died that morning. That's when I decided I wanted to go to med school, so I went to the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. I stopped dating. I finished my senior year at USP, and then I went to UMDNJ. I met my husband at my first job. And well….you know that story."

Cameron took a deep breath and then looked up at him. He was finished his sandwich. She felt better, actually. She had wanted to tell someone about that for a long time, but no one would listen. House hadn't interjected, as she thought he would, he'd just listened to her. She was glad.

She looked down at her sandwich, and when she looked back up, he was standing. "Thanks for lunch," he said, and without a word, he left for the hospital, leaving her to ponder what he seemed to want to say.


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