She'd been caught kissing House, by Chase, once, three months ago. In his office, hands in her hair, lips mashed together with no real finesse but she still hadn't pulled away at first, she'd gotten caught up in it, because she knew from experience House was a good kisser.
She hadn't told Chase that part of course, and he'd believed her when she'd told him, he'd kissed her, forgiven her, and they'd moved on. He hadn't asked why House had kissed her, and she wasn't entirely sure why he had himself. They had been arguing, over Cole, and then he was kissing her.
She and Chase had made up, she put her arms around him, kissed him and they went back to their lives.
There was no going back this time.
She hadn't even done anything this time, they had been talking, calmly, about the latest culling, the last cull, Amber, and he had kissed her, mumbling something about how attractive she was and pulling her close. His hands were in her hair again, his lips soft but his stubble harsh, his body pressed up against hers. Her hands had gone to his face, feeling his skin, she was always surprised at how soft it was. She was kissing back, pressing her body back against his and as his tongue pushed into her mouth, she moaned at the feeling, the heat rising up in her cheeks and over her chest.
She started shifting her hips against his, she wanted more, and he groaned into her mouth, hands leaving her hair to rest on her shoulders. He gripped her hard, pulling her chest to his as if they could get any closer. She needed to breathe but daren't break the moment. Once she broke the kiss, separated their lips, he might never kiss her again and she might regain her common sense.
Although, when his hands shifted down to her ass, smoothing over her back, she stopped worrying about that, he started thrusting his hips back into hers, his lips leaving hers to kiss over her jaw and down to her neck. Instead she felt exposed, in the darkened diagnostics office, with the blinds open and shift about to change, she didn't want to stop, but didn't want to get caught.
"House," she whispered, "we need."
"To keep going," he cut in, back her up a couple of steps towards his recliner.
"No." She pulled out of his embrace, trying not to pant. "Not here," she said. She felt the guilt prickle up but it faded when he cupped her cheek, rubbing a rough thumb over her skin.
"My place?" he said.
"I'll meet you there."
She didn't give him a chance to stop her leaving the office, to talk her into driving back to his apartment with him, to continue whatever they were doing in his office.
She needed to think, to clear her head of him a little.
She was driving to his place anyway though, gripping the steering wheel too tight, trying to concentrate through a haze of arousal and confusion. Her whole body was humming and she loved the feeling of it, but wanted to cry because of it. She shifted in her seat, turning into his street and pulling up behind his bike. Another reason to drive separately. She loved riding his bike.
She couldn't do this. She thought about Chase, concentrating hard on him, his smile and kiss, as she walked up to House's apartment. She knocked the door, determined to keep her resolve at the sight of him. House had always been her weakness. She was stronger now, more so than most people still realised, but both House and Chase saw it. But the older man was still her weakness, still had her slipping and tripping up now and again.
She banged on his door again, harder, jumping back when it swung open moments later.
"Sorry, I..." she hesitated when he held the door open to let her in. "I can't do this," she said.
He reached out for her, one hand gripping the door, and pulled her to him so he could kiss her.
"House," she mumbled, their lips millimetres apart, almost a weak protest before kissing him first. She hadn't caved, she just wanted one last feel of this before going back to Chase, with his charming smile and adoration.
"You're cracking," he muttered against her lips, taking a breath.
"Stop trying to break me House," she said, still kissing him, her hands in his hair this time.
"If you don't break," he breathed, one hand on her hip, squeezing tight, "then you go back to Chase and I lose to his again."
"You flit between the two of us, giving him everything physically, giving me everything emotionally," he said, eyes on hers for brief seconds at a time, then looking away again, "I want both."
"Okay," she said, taking a breath and letting him pull her inside.
She woke to the sound of House's cell phone, muffled by his clothes, and the pull of the bed clothes as he searched for it. They'd already woken once, earlier, had sex again, before falling back to sleep. Thank heavens for rota days off, all she had been planning to do was to sleep and run. This was much better. House was much better.
"Cuddy! What a surprise!" he said, answering the phone with a sarcastic cheer only he could manage. He smirked at Cameron and she laughed, settling into the covers now he'd stopped shuffling about, closing her eyes again.
"I decided to take a personal day," he told Cuddy, making Cameron jolt a little when one large hand came to rest high on her leg. "Very personal, naked and sweaty kind of personal," he continued to explain, his fingers dancing higher. "Don't know what you're talking about, I've been behaving. Mostly. The pressure was brief but firm and she couldn't help but cry out his name, clamping his hand over her mouth as soon as the slip escaped. "That? Oh, that was a hooker, I pay them part in orgasms." More pressure, and she stifled a moan against her hand, "Wilson stopped loaning me money."
She wanted to laugh, cry out, and sob, but didn't, just held her breath and listened to House talk to Cuddy.
When the conversation was over, she laughed and cried and he kissed her, tossing his phone back onto his pile of clothes.
She promised to come back for dinner, and the word promise seemed to placate him enough to let her go without much of a fight. She could tell he was worried about her though, worried she might now come back from talking to Chase, but it had to be done.
Having left House's apartment, and with every block she drove, the guilt had started to weigh down on her mind, in her stomach. By time she reached Chase's door, she wanted to cry, because she was about to hurt him. And she didn't want to hurt him, she just wanted...she wanted everyone to be okay. Happy. House, Chase and herself. It was pathetic, unrealistic, she couldn't and wouldn't share herself out, she'd been doing something like that anyway, without realising it, and she hadn't been happy. No one had really been happy.
She knocked on the door and waited, her keys were in her locker, she hadn't gotten any of her things before heading to House's the night before, and it hurt to be reminded of her betrayal like this, but knocking in her boyfriends door.
"Chase," she called, knocking harder. "Chase are you there?"
Of course he was there, where else would he be. She was supposed to be with him.
She started banging harder, and paranoia crept into her. Was he ignoring her? Did he know?
"Chase let me in!" she yelled, panicked now.
Oh God, her answer, he knew, knew she'd slept with House, knew everything. Oh God. She took a breath.
"Robert we need to talk!" she cried. That was weak, they needed to talk, Cameron needed to explain, apologise.
She needed to cry but she was trying not to, holding back and concentrating on getting Chase to open his door.
She banged again, three hard raps in quick succession that hurt her.
"Go away Allison," she heard him say through the door.
"Robert please," she pleaded.
"No Allison," he said, voice quieter this time and she imagined him walking away, into his kitchen maybe. She kept knocking, kept banging her fist against his door until she realised his neighbour, Mrs Patrelli, would probably come out first and she'd bruise her hand.
She pulled up outside of House's place, having gone home, cried, showered, changed and gathered herself back up. Sitting out his apartment though, made the guilt fight the love again, made the tears push for freedom.
So she let them come, cried again, sitting in the darkness of her little blue car, under a broken street lamp, sobbing into her arms as she leaned on her steering wheel. Guilt, she'd never done well with guilt, she'd always been the good one, even with the few tricks she played, the white lies she told.
The life she'd taken and now the man she'd cheated on.
There was a light tap-tap on her window, startling her. She stared through the glass at the House, his cane resting against the door. She wiped the tears away, facing away from him, then opened the window.
"Why haven't you come inside?" he asked. There was little hitch to his voice, and she sniffed.
"I didn't want you to see me crying," she said, voice croaked.
"Idiot," he said, straightening up and opened her car door.
"He already knew," she said, getting out of her seat, and standing up. He hadn't moved away from her car much, and she was almost pressed up against him, and felt like she was under his protection, his body towering over hers. She felt better for it. "He wouldn't even let me into his apartment."
"Come inside," he said, pulling her away from her car so he could close the door, "I'll order pizza."
"Chinese pizza?" she laughed, and he gave her a little smirk, "I'm serious, I know a place that does a Chinese pizza."
They walked up to his building, and the guilt, the shame faded a little.
Cuddy almost knocked her over as she waited in the entrance to the hospital. Seeing as the other woman hadn't stopped to apologise, Cameron assumed she hadn't seen her, and was too preoccupied to notice. Already pissed off, and it wasn't even eight, but she knew it wasn't House's fault he'd been with her. Misbehaving with her. The thought made her smile, which then made her feel guilty again. It had been building up all morning, since she'd woken up, wrapped around House again, and it came to a crescendo when she saw Chase walking towards her, face pale aside from two dark rings under his eyes.
"Robert we need to talk."
He didn't say anymore, he just turned around and started to walk away from the hospital, and she followed, right on his heels, waiting until he'd decided they were far enough away to talk.
"Did you sleep with him?" he asked.
"Robert, I'm sorry, I..." she started, trying to keep pace with him.
"Did you sleep with him?" he repeated, "yes or no?"
"Do you love him?"
"Glad we talked."
He spun around and walked back towards the hospital, and she was stunned still for a second. She watched him go, then chased after him, trying to get him to stop but failing. She ended up walking backwards in front of him so she could talk to him.
"Robbie, please, I'm sorry."
"You probably are Allison," he said, "doesn't change anything."
He cut her off again.
"I thought I was being paranoid," he said, stopping, "you've accused me of it often enough anyway, but I always knew."
She stared at him, felt the guilt build again, turn over in her stomach and felt the tears burning, hot and painful. He knew everything and she'd never be able to make it right.
"I have to get to work, I have surgery at ten."
She let him pass, wiping away the tears, unable to watch him go.
She worked. Hard. Not that she was left with much choice in the ER, and she was glad for the distraction of home improvement accidents and drug overdoses. Other people's problems distracted her from her own, from the pain and guilt she felt eating away at her.
She never wanted to hurt Chase, and things were fine, until House stepped up, finally deciding he wanted her.
She'd given him opportunity, over the past few years, to have her, take her and now, now he makes his move?
When he appeared in her ER, a little later, she nearly hit him, stopping the slap by balling her hands into fist by her side.
"You talk?" he asked.
"I hate you," she hissed, looking around, then back at him.
"You don't mean that," he said with a smirk, "you love me, told me so several times already."
"Right now, I hate you."
He grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the ER, into the quiet corridor connecting it to other parts of the hospital.
"He's hurting, and you hate yourself," he said, still holding onto her, looking down at her. He was angry too.
"Why now?" she spat, yanking her arm away.
"I like you now," he said, understanding the question immediately, and completely. "You've reached your potential, and everything is different now."
"You love me now?" she asked, annoyed at the hitch in her own voice.
"Always did," he said, casually, with another half turn grin. "Everything is different now. You, me, Wilson, the hospital. The world even."
"Global economical instability turns you on?" she asked, still angry, but smiling.
"Maybe, if we discussed it in the nude."
She laughed for a moment; he was right, she loved him and hated herself. She sighed, body relaxing a little, and he kissed her.
"Three months," he said, "give it three months, give me three months."
"That how long it takes you to start feeling better after you've hurt someone? Cheated on someone?"
"Takes me three minutes, figured you'd need much more time."
He was right again, she cared where he didn't, despite what he said, not everything had changed. It would take time, she hoped she felt better.
"I need to get back to work," she said.
"You'll be over later?" he asked. She nodded, grinning, kissing him before going back to her ER.