So I know I promised you new chapters of my other fics, and they will be up soon because school ends next Friday and I will be able to focus more on my writing. But I had an idea, and it just refused to go away. Thanks to MissingCanceledShow for betaing.

Just Coffee

Chapter 1: Coffee

It had been a long day. The ER was been hectic – more hectic then usual. A little boy in a four car pile-up had come in. He had been six years old and she had watched him die.

He reminded her of Jacob. With his big brown eyes and silky soft hair.

When he had first come in he had been awake and talking.

You won't let him get me, right AJ?

You'll take care of me Dr. Allison?

She had promised them both. And she had let them down. Watched them die.

Currently she was sitting in the cafeteria staring into her disgusting cup of cold, muddy coffee and cursing the world.

The work day had ended about five hours ago, as had visiting hours so the place was practically empty.

There were the few people huddled around tables in the cafeteria. Those people either had a loved one in ICU or someone in a very long, emergency surgery. Other then those precious few the place was empty.

Ever sine her break up with Chase, Amber's death, Wilson's demise and House – being House, Cameron had started working more and trying to think less. It was harder to think about your own troubles when you were holding a woman's skull together and shouting orders.

But the last few 'good days' that she had had no longer meant anything. The drinks she had had with Foreman the other night, the shy smile and single daisy Chase had given her – a sign of forgiveness - had disappeared under the little boys smile, his death. Jacob's death.

Someone had been driving and on their cell phone. They had been too busy talking to see the red light and had crashed – causing the four car pile-up.

The little boy and his mother had been on the way to his football practice. She had worked on him for three hours before his little body had given out under the internal bleeding and the loss of blood.

She had showered away the blood, but she was unable to wash away the feeling she had. A six year old boy had just died a senseless death and she had been unable to do anything. There were bags under her eyes and her hair had been pulled back into a simple pony tail.

"You look like shit."

"Like you look any better." She didn't have to turn around to see Wilson standing there.

"I don't. But I probably look better then your right about now."

According to the hospital she and Wilson were in a competition to see who could log in the most hours.

According to her, they were running from ghosts and demons.

From their many late night talks she knew that he couldn't go home because he couldn't bear the reminder of Amber. She couldn't bear being alone and having time to think.

Wilson sat down and reached for her cup of coffee. Chats in the cafeteria at all hours were their specialty.

She didn't stop him. Let him find out for himself how gross it was.

"Allison" he gagged out seconds later "what the hell is this crap?"

"Well, I ordered coffee, so that's what it's supposed to be."

"I think that the cafeteria ladies mixed this up with some samples from the lab." He paused to consider. "Either that or they're planning your murder."

"Probably the latter." She joked. "For all the extra hours they have to stay when I'm here." Allison stood up and offered him an arm. "Coffee?"

Cameron had become a fill in for House. The two friends hadn't talked since Amber's death.

As soon as House was ready to leave the hospital he had taken a vacation and come back with only a word to Cuddy. Wilson was refusing to approach him first, and House seemed to be lost in his own world of depression and shenanigans with Cuddy.

Wilson and Cameron worked well together, though. They both had once loved House in their own way, and had lost the loves of their lives. Grief banded them into comradeship of sorts. There was a special club for the grief-striking pain the two felt.

No rules, only questions.

When was it okay to let go? How could you live without them? What did you do when the grief overtook you? Who could you call at two in the morning when you couldn't silence the sobs your body was making, but had no more tears left for your body to cry? Where could you go so you didn't see their face in everything you did? Why did they have to die?

There were no answers to the questions.

Sure, there were books that you could read, but Allison could have told everyone that they didn't help. Psychiatrist didn't help, neither did the ever so sympathetic friends, who pretended to know how you felt but went home very night thinking thank God it was them and not me.

The only thing that helped was someone who knew your pain as their own, who understood the fact you didn't want to talk about how great your loved one was and how terrible it was that they had died. The grief was yours and yours alone. It was the only thing that was left of Amber. The only thing left of Raymond. Of Jacob.

The person who understood you was the person who didn't push themselves on you, but waited in the background until you were ready for help and friendship. They were the ones who could help you wander through grief and pain when being by yourself became to much.

"Pick your poison." Wilson replied, clasping her hand firmly as he stood.

"Don't worry, I know just the place."

Wilson drove, as was par for them, following Cameron's directions into a little hole in the wall honky-tonk diner.

He had never heard of the place, but Cameron seemed to be familiar with it.

The place was dark, and the tables were forever scarred with graffiti.

There was an old jukebox, some paintings on the walls and beer on tab. The booths looked comfortable and the place gave off a cozy feel. All in all it was a nice place. A place House would never visit.

"New place you found?"

Cameron grinned at him. "Keep a secret?"


"This is -"


An older woman rushed at them, embracing Cameron in a tight hug.

"Hi Alice."

"Let me look at you dearie. You're too thin, need to eat more. I'll fix you and your – friend up with some food."

Allison rolled her eyes and grinned tiredly at the woman.

"Alice, James Wilson. Jimmy, this is Alice Drew." The woman hugged Wilson as well, and Wilson froze a little shell shocked.

"Sit down, sit down! We're not very busy always slow on Wednesdays. How do you take your coffee James?"

"Umm, black Mrs. Drew."

"It's Alice. I'll be back in a jiffy."

She disappeared and Allison chuckled softly.

"Do you get that reaction every time you visit?"

"I haven't been in for awhile. C'mon." She lead him to the back corner booth that had been dubbed 'hers' a long time ago and settled in, curling a foot underneath her body and leaning back with a sigh.

"So what was your secret?"

"Alice – Alice is Jacob's aunt."

Wilson nodded. He knew about Jacob.

"Is that why you don't come here often?"

"Why? Because they're related?" Wilson nodded. "Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it makes me feel better."

"Like after today."

"Yes." Allison nodded grimly and grabbed a few crèmes, making a pyramid with them. "The little boy I treated today could have been his twin twenty years ago and there I was, trying to save him. And I couldn't."

Wilson reached out to clasp her hand and was surprised when two steaming mugs of coffee were placed down on the table as well as a plate stacked with nachos, cheese, beef, olives, jalapeño peppers, guacamole and sour cream.

"Alice…" Cameron groaned out.

"Eat." She took out a deck of cards from her apron pocket and tossed it on the table. From another pocket she pulled out a small jar and handed it to her.

"Play. Tell me if you need to get wasted and I'll help with that too as long as you let me drive you home."

She disappeared and Allison shrugged her shoulders, grabbed a nacho, took a sip of her coffee and spilling the jar – which turned out to be full of spare change on the table.


Wilson nodded. "I'm game if you are."

"Don't worry. I'll kick your ass."

"Good luck."

"I don't need it." Only after she dealt the cards did she meet Jimmy's eyes.

"Loser does the others charts for a week?"

"You're on."

"Talk to him." Cuddy held Houses shoulders as she grinded against him.

"No." His hands on her hips were going to leave bruises - that he knew for sure. Her nails down his back last night made deep gouges that bled briefly.

"Why not?"

"Why should I talk to him, while I could be riding you?"

"Because I could stop the sex so you could get back with your best friend."

"But you won't. You're too desperate. You're one of those women, who realizing that her mommy-clock is ticking and gets desperate. Of course, no one should have you as a mother. So really, I don't know why you're worried."

Cuddy stood up, eyes blazing.

"Screw you House."

"You're doing that well enough on your own."

Cuddy stormed out and House hobbled to get a beer, he wasn't worried. She'd be back, she always was.