A/N: So not much House/Cameron in this chapter, but it's coming, I promise. Sorry for any OOCness, but hey, they're drunk! I get a little OOC when I'm drunk too!
Disclaimer: I own a tiny corner of House; the bank owns the rest. No wait, that's not House, that's my house.
Allies, Chapter 1
"Yeah, yeah, everybody lies, yadda yadda yadda…it didn't matter! Her lying had nothing at all to do with her condition," Lisa Cuddy exclaims. She gestures widely with her drink hand and in the process gives Wilson a scotch shower.
"Okay, so maybe I need some new material. That doesn't change the fact that I was right, right, right and you," House points at her, "were wrong, wrong, wrong."
"Wrong! I was not wrong! I said from the start that you were getting off track and you were! You were going in completely the wrong direction!"
"Ah, but I still cured her, did I not?" he declares smugly, picking up his glass and leaning back against the booth.
Wilson is content to sit out this good-natured argument. Chuckling at his friends' antics, he instead busies himself with wiping up the spilled alcohol from his arm and the table with his cocktail napkin. The three old friends are unwinding over drinks at a pub near the hospital after a long day of clinic duty, bizarre cases, and administrative headaches. The bantering continues, the scotch flows, and before too long House and Cuddy are smashed. Wilson is not too far behind but still has enough of his wits about him to remember that he has to work in the morning. "Well, that's it for me," he announces. Grabbing his coat and standing up, he throws a few bills on the table. "I don't think my morning appointments would be at all impressed with a hung-over oncologist. Night, guys. And hey, split a cab home will ya? Neither of you needs to be anywhere near car keys tonight."
"Yes, Dad," they chant in unison.
As soon as Wilson is out of sight, House grabs the cash he left on the table and stuffs it in his pocket. "Hey, what are you doing?" Cuddy demands. "If you think I'm paying the entire tab, you can think again!"
"Relax, I lifted his MasterCard. Dumbass left it in his coat pocket, which he left on the seat between us."
"House, that's awful," she giggles. "Smart, but awful."
As often happens with old friends, the conversation turns to their shared past. A round of "whatever happened to…" ensues. "What about…" House looks up as if expecting to find the name he can't recall written on the ceiling tiles. Not finding it, he gives up. "…whatshername that you roomed with in college?"
"Oh, Jeannie? The redhead?" He nods. "I still talk to her every now and then. She's married, has a bunch of kids. Got really fat."
"Shame, that. She was hot." He heaves a sigh at the memory of the once sexy redhead.
"Hey, you were supposed to be looking at me, not my roommate!"
"I looked at you too. And as I recall, I did more than look." He smirks.
"Yes, you certainly did." She looks a little pensive. "Have you ever wondered…about you and me? What might have happened if we had tried just a little harder back then?"
"No, never. Yuck!" Noticing the hurt look on her face, he relents. "Sure, sometimes."
"Have you ever wondered about what could happen now, if we tried it again?" She blushes and claps a hand over her mouth. "Never mind, I'm obviously too drunk to be allowed to speak. Forget I said that, please."
They are quiet for a moment before he throws caution to the wind and answers anyway. "Lisa, of course I've thought about it. You're still every bit as hot now as you were when you were nineteen. I'd have to be a blind idiot not to have thought about it." They stare at each other for a moment, lost in the past. Impulsively Cuddy leans over and kisses him. After a moment of surprise-induced hesitation, he slides a hand into her dark hair and kisses her back. When they break apart, she looks up at him, her mouth twitching. He looks down at her, his blue eyes sparkling. "We just can't pull that off, can we?" he says. They both burst out laughing.
"Nope, not even close," she concurs. "I may as well have been kissing my brother. I guess there's just too much water under that particular bridge."
"Not to mention," he adds, "with two alphas like us… We'd probably kill each other within a week."
She shrugs. "At least it would give me some leverage to get you to do your clinic hours."
She mulls this over. "Nah…I have enough fun verbally harassing you. No need to add sexually. I need another drink. Be right back." She hauls herself out of her seat.
"Get me one too. Here, take Wilson's credit card."
She walks up to the bar, slowly, as her stiletto heels are giving her trouble for some reason, and orders another round. She turns around to watch him as she waits. He really is something, she thinks. He deserves someone special, even if that someone isn't me.
He slouches in the booth, one eye on the table, one eye on the bar watching for her to come back. She really is something, he thinks. She deserves someone worthy of her, even if that someone isn't me.
Cuddy returns to their table and sets House's scotch on the table in front of him. Taking a big swallow from her own drink, she says, "You know Dr. Cameron and Dr. Chase have called it quits…" She trails off.
"Yeah, heard that rumor. And?"
"You've never looked at me the way you look at her. Not even way back when."
"Don't start," he warns.
"I'm serious, House. You know she has a thing for you. She's not your employee anymore. Why don't you do something about it?"
"Had, Cuddy. She had a thing for me. She's over it. Doesn't even miss me."
"Now where on earth would you get an idea like that?"
"She told me."
"She told you?"
"And you believed her?"
"Um, everybody lies? Sound familiar?"
"Cameron's not part of everybody?"
"Cameron's not part of everybody?" he mimics in his best Cuddy voice. "Fine, she lies. But she's not this time. Jesus, Cuddy, would you miss me? I treated her like shit. She'd have to be a masochistic moron to want anything more to do with me!"
"Ha! You do have feelings for her! Otherwise you wouldn't care if she missed you!"
"I don't have feelings for her!" he answers, petulantly. "She may have become slightly more interesting over the past year but I'm positive it's just a case of wanting what I can't have." He downs his drink. "That has to be it" he adds, half to himself.
"Well, there's only one way to find out. Ask her out!"
"I am not asking her out. I'd look like an idiot and she'd most likely think I'd lost my marbles, asking her out of nowhere."
"Well it doesn't have to be out of nowhere, just put yourself in a situation where it would be a logical thing to do. It doesn't have to be any different than the three of us going out after work."
"It is different though. We were working together all day. Most days I don't even see Cameron. Unless…you think you could send her up to do my paperwork again?"
"Actually…surprisingly…your paperwork is up-to-date."
"Yeah, I finally got Kutner conned into doing it, but she doesn't have to know that, does she?" House says, winking.
"Well, I don't know. It would be rather unprofessional of me to use my position like that."
"Never stopped you before."
"Hey!" She swats at him and he ducks. "Don't insult the person you're trying to get a favor from. Okay, I'll consider it, but you have to do something for me too."
She hesitates. "Well, it's kind of along the same lines."
"You want me to set you up? With who? I don't have any friends, except for Wilson." His jaw drops. "Oh God, it's Wilson, isn't it?"
She nods, suddenly too embarrassed to speak.
He rolls his eyes. "Fine, I'll see what I can do. But first, you get Cameron back in my office for a day and find something to occupy the other four."
Cuddy, already starting to regret this conversation, nods again and suggests that perhaps it's time to go home. House agrees. They gather their belongings and start for the door. "Come on gorgeous," he says, slinging an arm over her shoulders. "Let's go find that cab. We can conquer the world tomorrow." She slips her arm around his waist and they continue to the door holding each other up, just like they always have. Just like they always will.