(Author's Note: This is the last of the pre-written chapters before I began posting. Updates will be slower. Sorry. Next chapter will explore WHY Foreman really quit, and hopefully do it better than the show ever did. )

Chapter 6: Bars, Sisters and Men-Bashing

They were both in Allison's apartment, and after she had sex, and he had made love, he had fallen asleep, still cuddling her. Allison was still awake, and trying to figure out what she was feeling. It wasn't love, but maybe, just maybe, she could fall in love with Robert. He was kind, considerate and he was here. He was here. God, House was annoying. Even when he wasn't here, even when she had walked out, even when she had left him, he was the proverbial skeleton at the feast. Somehow, she was caught like a fly in amber, she couldn't take a step forward without a step back. Twords him. Chase was her attempt to break free, to finally be rid of HIM. The man who haunted her very dreams, the man she couldn't help but compare every other man she had met or known against. And found wanting.

"Allison, I love you." Chase muttered in his sleep, and Cameron froze in...a mixture of emotions too...intense to sort out. She gently pulled away, and as Chase snuggled toward the warm spot left by her body, Allison Cameron silently got off her bed, and walked to her living room. She slipped on her favorite warm, fuzzy robe, and sat down on her couch, hugging her legs to herself, and tried to think.

Robert Chase opened his eyes, and his eyes stung as he blinked back his tears. She didn't love him.

Allison felt like the ceiling was falling in on her, that the very ground was shaking and the world was spinning out of her control. She didn't love Robert, she never had. She loved, she desperately loved a man who didn't love her, a man who she couldn't help loving, even at his most cruel, most hateful. She hated him for making her feel that way, she hated herself for being so weak and pitiful, and she was caught. She was caught. She was caught like an insect in amber. And she couldn't see a way out. Or she didn't want to see a way out. She didn't know anymore. She needed her sister. Cameron sat in her couch until the sun rose, hugging herself. She needed to think...

Robbie had left in the morning, muttering something vague about "Needing some time apart." Allison had immediately realized that last night had probably been a ploy, a trick for Robert to find out what she really thought of him. And as her answer had been unspoken, she saw from his stiff and unbending posture his own decision. It was over. Robert Chase walked out of Cameron's apartment curiously free and relieved. He had known from the very beginning that her love wasn't for him to win. Her love wasn't even for her to give away. She was inevitably, impossibly, locked into House. They had been living a lie for the past few months, and it was time for him to get away. Robert headed for his favorite diner for a cheese omelet. He needed to think...

(Later that day, in Seattle at the Emerald City Bar)

"He's a drug addict, Allison!" began Angela Dashiell Adler. Every year, in June, they'd get together for two weeks. They did sister things, like shop, chat, shop, visit their mother, drink and then shop, talk each other's ears off about how sucky their lives were, shop, complain about men, and shop. Oh, did I mention they'd shop? Binge shopping was not in their nature, even when depressed they were far too sensible, but it was so much fun looking at dresses and shoes.

"I hope so, Angie. God, I hope so."

"You're not making any sense, Allie. Did you completely lose your mind, or something?" For the last three years, Angela had been trying to get Allison Irene Adler...oopse, Allison Irene Cameron, to stop obsessing about her misanthropic jerk of a boss, one Gregory "Manipulative Bastid" House.

People looked at her funny when they found out her middle name. Their parents had been life long mystery buffs, and they had even met in an auction...they had both bid on the same item. It was a faded and ragged copy of the July 1891 issue of "Strand Magazine" containing the first Sherlock Holmes short story to be published, "A Scandal in Bohemia". Because of the badly deteriorated condition, both of their parents had thought they could afford it. They had lost however, to an obnoxious and obviously rich Englishman, who proceeded to carelessly toss the much covetted item to his pregnant "companion". Both Thomas Adler and Elizabeth Lowry had seen that while she wore a wedding ring, he didn't. Their shared commiserations at a coffeehouse at losing the treasure that they had both been willing to spend more than they could afford, and seeing it handled that...that...disrespectfully, had led to dinner, and a year later, marriage. Angela Dashiell Adler had been named after the great American detective novel author, Samuel "Dashiell Hammett", the author of "The Maltese Falcon" and other classics. Allison Irene Adler had obviously been named after "the Woman" for Sherlock Holmes, as chronicled by his historian, Arthur Conan Doyle.

"Do you remember that old, schoolyard taunt, Angie? I may be fat, but you're ugly, and I can always lose weight. If House is a drug addict, he can be treated. You can't cure addiction, but he could stay clean. But if he is really in enough pain, enough suffering to require that much vicodin, that pain, if it can't be cured..." Allison's voice broke off as she tried to conceive of House, of anyone in that much constant pain. To have a daily eight or even higher on the pain scale. Every damned day. Every damned hour of every damned day. Every damned minute of every damned hour of every damned day. Every damned second... Any other person would have long since seriously considered suicide as an option, against the constant, unbearable pain. But this was House, there was no way to predict how he'd deal with it...

"No way, Allie. You told me that he's above all else a rational, logical person. Wouldn't he have done something about it? You keep telling me he's one of the best doctors on the planet, so wouldn't it make sense that he'd have done something, anything? Even amputating his leg, if necessary. If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out." Good old Angela, she always made Allison feel better. She was so sensible, such a counterpoint to the often too emotional and caring Allison. She was right, House would have taken steps...

"By the way, Allie, what ever happened to that boyfriend of yours? Robbie, right?" Classic conversational diversion. This topic was way too emotionally raw for Allison to deal with right now...

"Um...I don't know. I don't think it's going to work out, frankly. I don't think he's the one for me."

"Did you break up with him?"

"No, yes, well, I don't really know."

"Complete cerebral flatulence alert! Allison, your brain is releasing more uncontrolled gas than a Texas Cowboy who only lives on franks and beans!"

"Um...sorry, but it's complicated..."

"It usually is complicated, with men. Gawd, why don't they come with warning labels?" Angela asked.

"Because then the human race would die out." replied Allison. Great, it was time for the ritual men-bashing that they began every year after their second drink at Joe's. Angela worked at Seattle Grace Hospital, as Vice Director (yes, there had been inevitable teasing from Allison) of Human Resources. The Emerald City Bar was the tavern slash restaurant slash hangout that both the doctors and support staff at Seattle Grace frequented. Joe, the owner was popular for his easy going manner, kind heart and the spicy buffalo wings. Both sisters had large platters of the delicious, tangy treats in front of them. This annual "Sisters Day" was a blanket pardon for all diets and calorie counting. Both sisters picked up a wing, and took a large bite.

"There is no way to eat these without getting sauce all over your fingers."

"Part of the fun, Allison."

"Yeah, I guess. But why don't they have those cute little paper handles you can buy at a kitchen supply store for turkey drumsticks? And why are they called buffalo wings anyway? They're chicken wings, not buffalo. Buffalo wings make me think of these huge bison flapping around with these tiny wings, trying to fly. And walking around on two rear hooves."

"Spill."

"What?"

"You only babble when you've got something you need to get off your chest. Come on, Allison, this is your big sis. The one who bought you your first bra, because you got tired of the 'trainers'. Why do they call them 'trainers' anyway? Are they suppose to train your boobs to grow?"

Allison gurgled laughter. Even when growing up, Allison had always been the serious one, the thinker, planner and work-aholic. Allison had always envied her sister's easy manner, humor, and her popularity. (Especially with the boys.) Allison had always been the "Family Hope" for accomplishing something meaningful, the brainy one, and not the ditz and clown like Angie-Dash. Allison had been the serious one, the one who sought meaning, the one who read between the lines, the one who planned for fun. Except when she was with Angela. Angela had always been able to get her to breathe milk through her nose, cheer her up when she got only a "B+" on a midterm, and make her giggle with her comments about the opposite sex. And only Angela got to see the funny Allison, when she dropped her "serious deep-thought face" and tried, pitifully to make a sports metaphor.

"He...told me, actually he muttered in his sleep that he loved me."

"And?"

"I don't love him."

"Allison...are you sure?"

"I've been lying to myself, and lying to him all these months, Angie. I don't love Chase, I'm in love with..." Allison's face crumpled at this point, and Angela gathered her little sister into her arms. Angela couldn't understand how Allison could obsess about someone who was so cruel and mean to her, her ex-boss, one Gregory House. She couldn't understand why Allison didn't want someone kind, cute, funny, handsome and so obviously in love with her little sister, one Robert Chase. Nothing Allison had told her about Gregory House made any sense, especially how he could possibly hurt someone as sweet, gentle and loving as Allison. He was a monster, he was the biggest jerk in the world!

"Allison, why can't you just drop it about House? He's pushed you away, he's been deliberately cruel and sadistic! He doesn't deserve you! Don't you DARE tell me you're still in love with him!" Angela rubbed circles on Allison's back, as she had done so often in their childhood. The Adlers had known their share of heartache and pain in the past, and it had been her sensitive and caring little sister who felt things the most deeply. Starting with their father's suicide...

"I can't help it, Angela! House is..." began Allison, tearing up.

"A JERK!" At this Allison began frantically shaking her head.

"He's...the only truly honest and good man I've ever met."

Angela sat back in complete and utter surprise, her eyes and mouth wide open...was she INSANE?

TBC...