Author's Note: This is established House/Cuddy and Chase/Cameron but I promise it's nothing that will make the Hameron fans gag. If a cheating House and Cameron bother you, turn around now. Other than that, read and review, and I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: I don't own House (not for lack of trying) or anything else. I'm just a lowly writer bowing before the House writing team's awesomeness.

Chapter 1 Painlessness Changes Everything

"I hear you almost died today."

His his helmet froze mid-air above his head.

"That's not why I wrote you that prescription," she added.

"I thought you couldn't see me tonight." He hung his helmet off the handlebar and turned towards her. She walked into the alley where he sat on his bike.

"I couldn't."

He noticed she still had her pink scrubs on underneath her coat. She'd never even bothered to zip it up.

"I told Chase I had to cover someone else's shift." She stepped closer.

"But I couldn't play the good girlfriend after knowing what happened today."

She stepped under the circle of light and whistled.

"So that's who I've been sleeping next to all this time? Jeez, remind me to get drunk next we hop in the sack."

"Been there. Done that. You stole my t-shirt."

She came closer, lifted her hand, and lightly rubbed his naked cheek. His skin was cool and smooth...and it weirded her out just a little to see him so...normal. She felt a tiny prick of sadness at the thought of not feeling his scruff against the back of her neck.

He let her study him without taking offense. He only stared back. Searching. Waiting for the "What the HELL were you THINKING?!" rant.

"You wanna go in for a drink?" Cameron nodded towards the bar they were next to. He shook his head.

"I can't," he said.

She nodded. She was still ashamed that she caved so easily. It seemed like she could never ignore his pleas, no matter how insane.

She dropped her hand and noticed his cane holster was empty.

"Where's your cane?"

"It dumped me...for the dumpster across the street from Louie's. It needed space," he paused. "We wanted different things."

A whisper of a laugh slipped out. His answer wasn't too far from the truth. He did have an attachment to his cane but she wasn't going to bring that up tonight. She just glad to see him here, in this alley and not lying on a bed looking like warm-over death. The need to touch vibrated between them.

This wouldn't last. It couldn't last. Not with him. She shoved the thought away and reached for his hand.

"Leave him," he said quietly. His chest tightened, realizing how easily that slipped out. He slowly drug his thumb across the back of her hand to distract himself. And her. She looked away.

"Leave her," she said to the ground.

"You don't get to change the rules just because you feel like you've changed." she said calmly. "I haven't."

He dropped her hand. "So I'm just some blow-up doll you pull out when Wonder Boy is off pulling late shifts?" he bit out.

"And What am I? Huh? Just a heater for your leg when you've pissed Cuddy off and don't want to pay for a hooker to hold you?" She turned away and grabbed her head in frustration. "No, no, no." She faced him. "This is the best I can do. You just gotta accept that."

"What, I'm 'sposed to whine and whimper for scraps of you?" God, that sounded horrible even to his own ears. He wasn't supposed to be here doing this. This is an argument Wilson would have. An argument her and Chase would have, not him. He didn't do bleeding emotion but he couldn't stop it from coming out.

He squeezed his cane-hand out of habit, aching for the smooth comfort of the wood. To feel some sense of normalcy.

She hugged herself against the chill. It's all I have from you, pushed at her teeth. She walked over to the lightpost and leaned against it.

"What wrong with you an Cuddy?"

"She's not a factor in this," he said shaking his cane arm.

"House, you're sleeping with her."

"I'm sleeping with you too."

"Yeah but we ONLY sleep."

True, they weren't sleeping together, in the biblical sense. He just needed...fuck he didn't know what he needed. She just made things easier. Feeling her pulse under his chin, her hands in his hair; in ways he refused to reflect on, she made it...hurt less somehow. Until it began to hurt more knowing who she was going home to.

"If you're worried about Chase, don't be. He probably already knows anyway."

Her head whipped towards him with hot shame thumping in her ears.

"What do you really want from me?"

You. In my bed and knowing your going to stay there and not dash off every time your phone goes off, he thought. He turned towards the bike and leaned on it heavily. Immediately she went into doctor-mode.

"Are you okay, is it your leg?" she pushed out in a rush.

He laughed bitterly and looked over his shoulder at her. Always worried about him. Always ready to lift him up. Always never his.

"No." He swung his leg back on his bike. "My leg is fine which I know deprives you of florence nightingale impulses."

"House, I-" she began. He cut her off by turning the engine on. She restrained from grabbing him like she wanted. She hated this, when he shut down and she couldn't reach him. Right when she was used to having his attention, he would rip it away again. She turned to walk away when she heard him shout behind her. "She left for a conference today. She'll be gone for a few days." He flipped the visor down and revved the engine.

She turned to tell him she understood but he shot past her in a haze of orange and leather.

It wasn't that she didn't want to leave Chase, she just...she was scared. Somehow she couldn't fix her mind to accept he was really being genuine. With him there was always a landmine she stepped on that blew them apart, and she knew she would suffer more when he got tired of her.

'It's just survivor's high,' she told herself.

She walked to her car to follow him.