House fan fic: the Exception

DISCLAIMER: I don't own House MD.

AN. Ok I've had a lot of reviews referring to the fact that many of my stories end with Cameron and House having a daughter. Yeah, that's true, although I didn't realise it was that many. However, you will be pleased to hear that two stories I'm working on now both involve Hameron having a son (and I planned it like that, it's not like I've gone around changing everything to make people happy.) Also, there are some stories where I made them have a daughter on purpose, but for specific reasons.

In meet before you die, it was mostly just for me, but even though Abby asked for a little sister, I had a sequel planned where she gets a brother, just to see her reaction- but I don't think I'm going to write it now. I had her ask for a sister, because I think most little girls want a little sister.

In Semper Fi, there were technically 3 kids, and I wanted the first one to be a girl so they called call her Kate.

In slaughter, she had a girl because I knew she was going to die, so Chase and House had a piece of her around, btw I am still planning a sequel for that if anyone's interested.

Surrogate was a boy and a girl, but they weren't technically her kids.

In the face you see, they had a boy!

In amazing grace, they had a girl so they could use Kelly in the name. Because I really like Gibbs.

In beauty and the beast, I made them have a girl because she'd already had a boy. I could've switched it, but I wanted her to have Harry's son, even if he was going to die.

In luck of the Irish, I wanted Cameron to have a girl because Brent was such a jerk. But one of the stories I'm working on now is 40 weeks, the sequel, and like I said, I always planned for them to have a son.

Consequences and one night were just... I saw them having a girl. Sorry.

Lastly, how it all began, last chance you don't actually know what they had. Ghosts of the past, and I hope you dance don't have babies.

So, the exception... yes, another happy ending. But there's another story I'm still planning which is different from everything else, a bit angst. It sorta deals with just how the death of Cameron's husband changed her. May be eventual Hameron.

Chapter One

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Cameron moaned and rolled over, her eyes still closed as she slammed her hand down on the snooze button. She lay there for a moment, allowing the silence of her apartment sink in, until small noises caught her awareness. The chirping of the birds outside, the distant traffic, her downstairs neighbour vacuuming.

Opening her eyes slightly, she saw that it was only eight-thirty and stared up at the roof of her bedroom, mentally running through what she had to do that day. She took a moment to inwardly cheer the fact that she was neither working nor on call that weekend, and her mind unconsciously relaxed.

Cameron then remembered she did, in fact, have plans for the day, so she was robbed of the opportunity to spend her morning in bed. For a week now, since she had discovered this rare period of leisure time in her schedule, she had arranged a infrequent girl's day out with her closest girlfriends. They were going to have an Italian brunch at Piccolo Trattoria, see a movie in the afternoon and then have dinner and drinks at her favourite Chinese place. It was her favourite Chinese restaurant for one simple reason, it's distance from Princeton- Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where she worked.

Motivated now, Cameron pulled herself out of bed and into a hot shower, then she made herself a cup of tea whilst she examined her closet to decide what to wear. She eventually decided upon a rose-coloured knee-length fitted dress. Then she swept her long dark hair into a ponytail that hung simply down her back, and threw on a pair of black wedge sandals.

Finally ready, she left her apartment and headed downstairs, stopping at a door one floor down and two doors across from her own apartment, where she knocked casually on the door. There was a pause, then the door was flung open by a man with a toddler on his hip.

"Hey, Allison," he greeted her, suspiciously bright for nine o'clock on a summer Saturday morning.

Cameron smiled knowingly as she stepped inside. "Hey, Adam. What time did Maddie get you up this morning?" she asked, motioning to the little girl he was carrying.

Adam chuckled. "Five-thirty. I'm actually looking forward to the years I have to fight her to get her out of bed, instead of to stay in bed. Emma'll be ready in a minute. Do you want some coffee?"

Cameron shook her head. "No thanks, I'm good. Hand Maddie over," she ordered and he obediently did so.

"Hey, Maddie," she said to the little girl, who beamed up at her.

Emma and Adam had become Cameron's closest friends in New Jersey since she had moved here three years ago for her fellowship. Emma was the one she called late at night for hearts-to-hearts, or when her patients at work were overwhelming her; and Adam was the one who was in charge of removing any spiders, cockroaches or insects that found their way into her apartment, at any time. She had been named godmother to little Madison following her birth fifteen months ago, and Cameron doted on the little girl.

Emma now hurried into the room, and grabbed her shoulder bag from the couch. "Hi! Ok, I'm ready now. See you later, hon!" she called over her shoulder to her husband as she pulled Cameron to the door, barely giving her friend time to hand Maddie to Adam.

"Em, we have plenty of time, slow down!" Cameron laughed as she followed her friend outside to her car.

Emma sheepishly slowed her pace and chuckled. "Sorry, I'm just really looking forward to today. And I'm really hungry."

"Well, you could've eaten something," Cameron said reasonably.

Emma shook her head. "No, then I wouldn't be able to eat anything at the restaurant, and I love Piccolo's bread. How was your week?"

Cameron filled her friend in on anything newsworthy that had occurred that week as she drove to the restaurant, and when they entered the eatery, found they weren't the first of their party to arrive.

Cameron had first met Kate when she entered the unfortunate habit of doing her grocery shopping at ten o'clock at night, about a year ago. Three weeks later, and Kate had finally struck up a conversation when they were lining up at the registers to ask why Cameron preferred to do her shopping so late at night. Cameron had laughingly explained it was not by choice, but due to her work schedule and how her brain relaxed; and Kate had agreed, describing her eccentric work hours as a producer on the evening news.

They had become firm friends, and Cameron had introduced her to Emma, with whom Kate had bonded with over their children. Kate and her long-term partner, Jeff had three year old twins, Anne and Diana, and was six months pregnant with their third child.

"Hey, Kate!" Emma greeted her as they sat down next to her. "How are you feeling?"

Kate grimaced. "Don't ask. Pregnancy is so much easier when you don't have other children, I've discovered."

Cameron laughed. "Are the girls excited about getting a little brother or sister yet?"

"Depends on the day. Anne wants a brother; and Di thinks a puppy would be better," she chuckled.

Emma impatiently grabbed the menu from the table. "I'm starved. Do you reckon Zoe would mind if we ordered some bread while we wait for her?"

Kate giggled. "Em, are you sure you're not pregnant?" she teased.

Cameron checked her watch. "We can probably get some bread. Zoe said last night she had a patient she was hoping would make it through the night."

"Due today?" Emma asked.

"Try last Wednesday," Cameron corrected.

Zoe was an OB/GYN at Princeton General, and had gone to med school with Cameron, where they had become best friends. She had moved to Princeton a year and a half ago, and had in fact delivered Maddie. She was currently in the midst of begging with Kate to be allowed to deliver her child. She was infamous in the group for her endless string of boyfriends, and her happily single lifestyle. Zoe lived by the 'Search for Mr. Right, but have fun with Mr. Right Now' philosophy, but often got her heart broken, even if she was the one ending the relationship.

At Emma's request, the girl's went ahead and ordered some freshly baked bread and coffee, and it arrived just moments before Zoe, who seemed rather subdued.

"Hey, are you okay?" Emma asked her in concern, as she greeted them and sat down.

Zoe nodded faintly and sighed. "Yeah. I broke up with Owen last night."

"Why? I thought you really liked him?" Cameron said, worriedly.

Zoe smiled. "I did. He was really sweet. But it's just... he never called. We'd go out, and he'd be all like 'oh yeah, I'll call you tomorrow.' Anywhere from two to three days later, I'd get a phone call. I felt like I was doing all the work, so I ended it."

Kate groaned at her friend. "OK, Zoe, I know you swear by He's Just Not That into You, but seriously, hon, you have to realise guys will not do everything Greg and Liz tell you about. Owen is the third guy you've broken up with because they break one of Greg's rules."

"Yeah, Zoe. I mean, if we lived by that book, Allie would have given up on House ages ago!" Emma chimed in, and Cameron's jaw dropped.

"Hey!" she protested, slightly hurt. "I am over House! It was just a crush, and two years ago!"

Kate smiled. "Al, you can't say you're over House until you've actually had another relationship."

Zoe, who knew the last relationship Cameron had been in was with Will, her husband, came to her friend's rescue.

"Well, Greg and Liz say there's exceptions to every rule, and we have to think of ourselves as the rule, right? So, can't it be the same with guys? Can't there be a guy who genuinely doesn't believe in marriage, or who is an ass, and still have a healthy relationship?"

"No," Emma and Kate chimed in unison. As their waitress came over, Cameron and Zoe exchanged looks that clearly read, 'What do they know, they're married?' The topic continued through brunch, and Cameron had given up on convincing her friends that she was over House. All four girls had read the self-help book, and each had strong opinions on the subject.

"Greg says that if a man really likes you, even if he's afraid of commitment or relationships, or whatever, he will find a way to tell you," Kate said matter-of-factly. "All House has ever done is crush you, Allie."

Cameron sighed softly. "Kate, his last girlfriend ended up crippling him for life. Can you blame him for being a little wary?"

Zoe rolled her eyes, House's treatment of her best friend had always been a sore point with her, which is why Cameron had never allowed her best friend to meet her boss.

"And you watched your husband die at twenty-one. I think you're allowed to be wary, but you had no problems admitting your feelings."

Emma, the romantic in the group, protested. "Allie, didn't you say that even though House is an ass, he has human moments?"

"True," Cameron admitted. "But that doesn't mean he's capable of a relationship."

Her cell phone began to ring from her bag, and Cameron dug it out, grimacing at the caller ID.

"Speak of the devil," she sighed, reluctantly answering it as her friends quietened to listen in.

"House?"

"I need you to come in," the gruff voice of her boss came over the line.

Cameron frowned. "Is it a case?"

"No."

"Then why do I need to come in?" she demanded.

House stood in his office, looking around the room like a lost puppy, no more happy to be at work on a weekend than Cameron.

"Cuddy wants me to update all my charts and notes and stuff, but you're the only one who knows where all our patient files are," he said and Cameron grinned knowingly.

"And how much clinic duty do you get if you don't do it?"

House paused. "A lot," he admitted. "So, are you coming?"

Cameron snorted. "No, it's the weekend. All the files are-"

"I'm no good with directions," House interrupted. "You need to come find them."

"So, because you're at work on a Saturday, you're going to drag me in too?" she demanded.

House cocked his head thoughtfully, pretending to think it over. "Yeah," he agreed, twirling his cane in his hands.

Cameron rolled her eyes, but her face was soft. "Fine," she said reluctantly and promptly hung up the phone.

"I have to go to work," she told her friends miserably, and Kate couldn't resist.

"So let me get this straight. You don't still have feelings for him, but you're going to go into work on a Saturday because he asked you to?"

Cameron made a face. "Shut up. He's my boss! I won't be there long, and I'll just meet you guys at the cinema."

Zoe jumped at the chance to finally meet the infamous House. "Ooh, can I come with, Al?"

"No," Cameron said flatly.

"Why not?"

"Well, for one thing, what about your car? And secondly, I don't know what you'd say to him, and that scares me."

Emma decided to help Zoe out. "Zoe, I can drive your car, and you can go with Allie."

"Great!" Zoe cried and Cameron glared at Emma.

"Why are you helping her?"

"Because, when you come back, Zoe will actually tell us what he's like," Emma grinned. "You guys go, Kate and I will meet you at the cinema in an hour and a half. Ok?"

Cameron agreed reluctantly, and she and Zoe left the restaurant and drove to PPTH.

"Be nice," Cameron begged of her in a whisper as they headed down the floor to Diagnostic's.

Zoe gestured innocently as Cameron led the way into House's office, where her boss was playing with his oversized tennis ball, throwing it into the air and then catching it.

"House?"

House glanced at her fleetingly and then froze, missing the ball, which fell onto his lap. He almost didn't recognise her. She was relaxed, and casual, yet still elegant. It was times like these he was suddenly reminded that she was in fact, utterly gorgeous. He tore his gaze away from her bare legs, and sat up straighter in his chair.

"You took your time."

"I have a life," she said dryly. "Let's just get this over with."

"I love your enthusiasm," House told her sarcastically, and she rolled her eyes.

He stood up, and noticed the other woman in the doorway. "I didn't realise today was bring a friend to work day."

"You only have one friend, and he already works here," Cameron smirked. "House, this is my best friend, Zoe. Zoe, House."

Zoe regarded him coolly as she gave him the once over. "It's nice to finally meet you," she said finally. "I've heard a lot about you."

House shrugged in false modesty. "Well, I guess I'm just a people-person."

Cameron suppressed a smile as she dumped her bag on House's chair, and moved behind his desk.

"All your files are in these cupboards, organized by dates," she told him and squatted down to retrieve the boxes of files.

House couldn't help but discreetly study her, as her dress and angle gave him a good view of her bottom.

"You know if you just did them as they came up, you wouldn't be in this situation, and stop staring at my ass," she said casually yet firmly, not even turning around.

House raised an eyebrow slightly, but didn't deny it as she handed him boxes of files.

"You're gonna help, right?" he asked as she stood up and straightened her dress.

She raised one eyebrow at him pointedly. "You know, I'm pretty sure when Cuddy said for you to do the charts, she actually meant for you to do the charts."

"Can I help it if you're so much more organised than I am?" House asked, smiling charmingly at her.

Cameron knew what he was doing, and refused to give in. "House, it's the weekend. I have plans that are a lot more fun than doing a month worth of paperwork."

"Come on, Allie. The movie doesn't start for an hour, you can at least help a little" Zoe said reasonably and House looked at Cameron expectantly.

She sighed in irritation. "Fine. I'll help. But only for an hour," she said firmly, and House agreed.

"And you have to actually help. If I'm doing all the work, I'm leaving," she continued.

"Fine. Is coffee included?" he asked hopefully.

Cameron grinned. "I'll make a pot."

She headed into the conference room to start the coffee and House turned to Zoe in interest.

"So, how long have you known 'Allie'?" he asked, clearly mocking her nickname.

Zoe didn't pick up on this however, and answered easily. "We've been best friends since med school."

House's eyes lit up, hoping for goss on Cameron's past; but this Zoe didn't miss.

"You ask me one question about Will and I'll tell you exactly what I've been dying to say to you for the past three years, and believe me, none of its nice," she glowered.

House didn't doubt that, but noticed she had given him at least one bit of information, Cameron's husband's name. So he merely nodded and pulled the box open, grimacing at all the files inside.