The ER was perfect for Cameron, as it turned out. The turn around of patients didn't leave much time to get too involved with anyone. It was so busy that she didn't even have to do clinic duty, so no picking up any dying waifs or strays from there.
Plus she didn't have to care.
She did, of course, she felt every car crash victim she couldn't save keenly, but while every name and mangled face remained with her, she moved on quickly, moved onto the next person who needed her care and attention. She moved on and in turn had more time to put her emotions into her friends and colleagues, her family. Chase.
That was the idea, and it was like that a lot of the time. She saved a lot of lives, saved people, stabilised them so that the rest of the hospital could care for them. Reassured parents their children would be fine, told people as they were coming back from unconsciousness that they would be alright, that they were okay, then moved onto the next one. She did her paperwork and went home. Sometimes to Chase, sometimes alone.
She didn't miss House.
She was a terrible liar.
There was still the excitement (trying to deal with fourteen car pile ups always got the blood pumping) and the odd mystery (sometimes people with odd items in odd places came straight to ER) but no House.
Unless he was sitting at her Nurses Station, which happened more often than either of them liked to admit.
She reached over him to take another pair of latex gloves from the box, blocking his view of his National Inquirer for a whole second. He grabbed her arm and she hissed in pain, snapping it back.
"What did you do?" he asked, sitting up, his feet dropping heavily to the floor.
"We had a guy in earlier, he was mentally ill, waving a knife around," she said, looking at the blood seeping through the thin material of the pink scrubs, sighing. She'd only changed a few minutes ago, the cut had not long stopped bleeding. "Security knocked him down, the police took him away," she said, "he'll probably be back in psyche tomorrow."
"He was probably jonesing and just wanted drugs," House said, "did you get anyone to look at your arm?"
"It's fine," she said, looking at his face, "I am a doctor you know."
"Let me see." She held her arm out and he rolled up her sleeve slowly, his finger brushing over her goosebumps. "Doesn't look too bad," he said, running the rough pads of his fingertips round the cut. "Let me dress it."
"In case you haven't noticed I have a busy ER to run."
"I had noticed."
"Wanna help out?"
"Nope. I do want to dress this cut though." He was still holding onto her wrist and she huffed out a breath, turning her arm in his warmth until he let go.
They entered her office with enough supplies to reattach a limb piled in her arms, House holding the door open with his cane. He limped over to her sofa and sat down, Cameron following and dropping everything onto the space between them. He rolled his eyes and shuffled closer, pushing band aids, dressings and steri-strips to the floor.
He reached out and took her hand, pushing up the sleeve that had fallen down again, holding her hand tightly for a moment, as he inspected her cut, before letting go. She froze, unsure if she should pull away or let her arm hover in the air, until he made the decision for her, pushing her hand down to rest on his knee.
"Unclench," he said, and she stretched out her fingers then cupped his knee, shifting her body to face the back of the sofa and sit comfortably.
He cleaned up the blood around the cut with one antiseptic wipe, tossing it into the trash can, then cleaned the cut itself with another. She hissed again, her fingers tightening around his knee momentarily.
"Good," he looked up at her, "means the antiseptic is still working."
"You can never be too careful," she said with a small smile. She couldn't remember the last time she saw House be caring like this, if ever, and it was more intimate than any moment she had ever shared with him.
"These wipes could be decades old," he muttered, looking at the cut again, bent over her arm.
"I doubt it, we go through a lot."
"Lots of scraped knees."
"No sarcoidosis or lupus..."
"It's never lupus," she cut in.
"No haemochromatosis or Addison's," he continued, wiping the cut in circular motions, "no..."
"I think it's clean," she said and he paused mid-wipe, looking up at her.
"You can never be too careful," he said with a slight smile. He threw the wipe into the trash can, muttering, "two for two," to himself. "Doesn't need stitches."
"I didn't think so," Cameron said, "being a doctor and all."
"A senior attending no less." He took some steri strips and started pulling the edges of her cut together, pausing every time she hissed in pain. "I never told you how proud I am."
"Of me?" The words were chocked out in a squeak.
"Yeah," he placed another strip on the cut.
"Really?" She was waiting for the insult or the sarcasm.
"ER, that's good, assuming you didn't sleep with Cuddy to get the job."
"Shame, but well done."
"Thank you," she smiled, squeezing his knee lightly. He didn't reply or react, just wrapped her arm in a small bandage and pinned it up.
"There you go," he pulled her sleeve down and looked up at her, to find her smiling at him still, eyes a little watery. He frowned.
"We, should," he paused, hesitating over his words, "I should buy you a drink, to celebrate." She could see he didn't expect her to say yes, his features already steeled for a rejection and the smile remained, her hand still on his knee.
"Okay," the shock was momentary, but there, and her smile widened, "tomorrow maybe, I'm here until midnight tonight."
"I can wait."
"You need to get a life House."
"I'm trying to," he said, pushing himself up with his cane. She stood too, looking at the mass of white medical supplies on her floor. She smiled.
"Come by later," she said, "I'm sure you know a place." He grinned then and she couldn't help laugh. She didn't know what was happening, between them, but dressing her cut had been so intimate, so...beautiful, and she wanted to see what else she would give her.
"I'll pick a nice place," he said, "can't let you be seen in a dirty bar."
"Not on the," she stopped, realising what she had been about to say, "another time maybe."
"And thank you, again, for this," she said, holding her arm up.
"No problem, next time though, just give the guy the drugs," he said, leaving her standing in her office before she could argue with him.