A/N: I have often wondered what happened when House hired Cameron. So I wrote this. It takes place before The Pilot. It will probably be 6 chapters when it is finished. Each additional chapter for each season so far. It's a total AU fic; just things I imagine go on when we can't see the characters. House and Cameron share too many knowing glances. And Chase did think Cameron slept with House (remember that episode from Season 4?).
Chapter 1: Introduction
Doctor Alison Cameron sat in the chair facing Dr. House's desk. She checked her watch. Her interview was scheduled for ten and it was now ten thirty. She wondered if she should go back down to the reception desk. She waited another fifteen minutes and then gathered up her CV and purse.
"Going somewhere?" a voice behind her inquired.
She dropped her purse and turned to face the person who spoke. Her eyes widened and her heart rate increased. He was tall and leaned on a cane. He wore jeans, a dress shirt over a graphic t-shirt and a suit jacket. She noticed that he had a slightly rumpled just rolled out of bed look about him. Desire stabbed through her, hot and sharp, at the thought of him in bed. She lowered her eyes and sat back down.
He limped around his desk and carefully lowered himself into the chair. Supporting his right leg, he swung his feet up onto his desk. She focused on the treads of his tennis shoes.
He reached out and flipped through the stack of papers on his desk, pulling one free and squinting at it.
"So," he looked at the paper, "Cameron. Why do you want to work for me?"
Cameron drew in a deep breath and looked at him. She opened her mouth but no sound issued forth. He had the most beautiful clear blue eyes she'd ever seen. Those eyes bored into hers. She felt a blush creep up her neck and flood across her cheeks. He sat waiting for her to answer, a look of mocking amusement in his eyes. He seemed to be enjoying her discomfort.
She cleared her throat and looked down at her hands. "You're one of the best diagnosticians in the country," she told him quietly.
"And?' he prompted.
She looked at him in confusion.
He sighed and tossed the paper on his desk. "You telling me that doesn't answer my question. Why do you want to work for me?"
"I think you can teach me a lot and I want to learn from you." The words left her in a breathless rush.
He nodded. "Good. You can start learning tomorrow at nine. Bring bagels and coffee. I like mine black."
Cameron arrived the next morning at eight-forty-five carrying a bag of bagels and a large black coffee. Dr. House's office and the adjoining conference room were dark. She pushed open the door to the conference room and put the bag and coffee on the table. She hung her computer case and jacket on the coat rack by the door. Crossing the room, she opened the blinds and bright sunlight flooded in. She moved to the sink and opened cabinet doors looking for plates. She found red coffee cups, coffee stirrers and a box of animal crackers.
"Hey," a friendly Australian voice called out. "You must be Dr. Cameron."
Cameron turned and saw a handsome young man smiling at her. He had soft blonde hair, gentle green eyes and a wide smile. He wore a white lab coat like hers and carried a briefcase which he hung below hers on the coat rack.
"You brought bagels?" he said, nodding toward the bag on the table. "Nice. I'm guessing the coffee is for House?"
Cameron nodded. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize there was anyone else…" she let the sentence trail off.
He stepped forward and held out his hand. "No worries," he assured her. "I'm Robert Chase."
She shook his outstretched hand. "Alison Cameron."
"Nice to meet you, Cameron," he smiled.
The door swung open and House entered. Cameron stared at him. He was wearing jeans again. She saw they were molded to his muscled thighs. She had a brief image of those thighs nestled between hers. She flushed and shook her head. He looked at them and nodded. She watched as he headed for his office. When he returned, she saw he'd shed his suit jacket and his briefcase. He wore a red graphic t-shirt that strained across his broad chest and revealed tanned muscled arms. She tore her eyes away from him and focused on the bag of bagels sitting on the table. His long fingered hands grabbed the bag and opened it. He extracted a bagel and bit into it. She watched as he picked up the coffee and drank.
"Nice," he told her, sitting in the chair at the head of the table. "I saw Cuddy. She told me I can hire another person."
Chase sat down and pulled the bag of bagels toward him. He pulled a bagel out and looked in the bag again. He grabbed a container of cream cheese and a packet of cutlery.
Cameron sat in the chair next to House. He lounged back in his chair and watched her from beneath lowered brows. She watched his even white teeth bite into the bagel. His tongue darted out and licked at some crumbs on his lower lip. She swallowed and looked away.
"When do we see patients?" she asked.
Chase snorted and continued to smear cream cheese on his bagel. "We don't," he told her. "Dr. House only sees one patient at a time."
"And then only when I'm forced to," House drawled. He drank from his coffee cup again, still watching her. She watched his Adam's apple move as he swallowed. Desire curled through her again, hot and strong. What was wrong with her? She'd never reacted this way to a man before; not even her husband had affected her the way this man did. She crossed her legs and folded her arms across her chest.
"So, when do we get a patient?" she asked.
"Dunno," House told her with a sly glint in his eye. "I'll be in my office. Porn awaits."
He pushed himself up and limped into his office. Cameron turned to look at Chase in surprise. He smiled at her, a sympathetic look in his eyes.
"You'll get used to him," he assured her. "Dr. House always says what he thinks and he likes to shock people." He stood and smiled at her. "I'm going to get some coffee. Want anything?"
She shook her head. Once he was gone, she rose and walked slowly to House's office. He sat at his computer. She saw that he was playing Sudoku. Quietly, she came to stand behind him.
"Help you?" he asked without taking his eyes from the screen. She saw that he was playing an advanced version of the game, more complicated than any she'd tried.
"Thought you were going to look at porn?" The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them. She pressed her lips together and closed her eyes.
"Wrist is a little sore," he explained. "Decided to rest it. Unless you're volunteering." He turned to look at her, those incredible blue eyes shining with amusement.
"What am I supposed to do?" she asked him, aggravation edging her voice.
"Well," he drawled. "First, you can sit on my lap—"
"I mean since we don't have a patient," she interrupted quickly, color staining her cheeks again,
"Like I said, first you can sit on my lap," he stopped and snapped his fingers. "Oh, right, I got you!" He grinned at her and she folded her arms, refusing to be baited. He turned back to his game. "You could go through my mail."
Cameron looked at the stack of mail on his desk and sighed. She gathered up the envelopes and returned to the conference room.
The next three days followed the same pattern. Cameron arrived early and opened the office. She made coffee and dealt with House's correspondence. Chase entertained himself with crossword puzzles and his computer. House spent the majority of his time at his computer or down the hall in the office of Dr. Wilson, the head of Oncology.
On the fourth day, Dr. Cuddy strode into House's office and tossed a file on his desk. Cameron stood beside House's desk waiting for him to finish signing the letters she'd typed up. They both looked up when Cuddy walked in.
"Good morning, Dr. Cameron," Cuddy greeted her kindly.
"Good morning, Dr. Cuddy," Cameron responded with a smile.
"Good morning, Dr. House," Cuddy continued. "You have a patient."
"Good morning, Dr. Cuddy," House said, leaning back in his chair. "Nice cleavage."
Cuddy's hand rose to her collar and flicked the edges. Cameron looked at him in surprise.
"And I don't have a patient. I am currently patient free," he continued.
Cuddy leaned forward and pushed the file toward him. "Not anymore," she informed him. She smiled at him and pivoted on her heel. House tilted his head and watched her walk out. He picked up the file and handed it to Cameron. She took it from him and opened it. Skimming the information, she flipped through the pages. She jumped slightly when House's leg brushed against hers as he turned in his chair. She looked at him with wide eyes, noting the knowing smile that spread across his face.
"The patient had a stroke," she said. "No clots, no sign of trauma. She's sixteen."
House smiled and raised an eyebrow. "Good. We have a patient."
The next week was a blur of activity for Cameron. Tests, lab work and conversations with the patient and her mother filled her days. She learned from Chase that House avoided patients. Yet she found it interesting that House knew the patient's status at all times. It was a Friday afternoon when she learned the reason House avoided patients.
He stood, staring at the white board with its list of symptoms. "Everybody lies," he mused. He turned to face them. "Go find out what she's lying about."
Chase rose from the table and grabbed his jacket. Cameron looked at House in surprise.
"I've talked to Regan and her mother. They've told us everything," she informed him.
House came to stand over her. "Everybody lies," he repeated. "Go check their house."
Cameron sighed and rose. House didn't move and her breasts brushed against his chest when she stood up. She looked up at him and saw the same hooded glance and half smile. She narrowed her eyes and slid past him, dragging her breasts across his chest. She heard the whisper of a laugh from him and glared back at him.
"I'll go get a key," she told him.
"Don't bother," he replied. "Chase is an idiot but he can break in without much difficulty."
"That's illegal," she protested.
"Only if you get caught," he smirked. "Maybe I should hire someone with a criminal record."
Their search of the house turned up nothing of use. House mocked them and ordered more tests. Cameron spent several more days with the patient and in the lab. Each day, her attraction to House grew. He was mocking and occasionally cruel but she wanted him more than she'd ever wanted another man. Finally, when she thought they would never find the answer and Regan would die, House put all the pieces together and solved the puzzle. The tumor that had been hiding from them was revealed and removed. Regan went home and House went back to his online puzzles and treks to Wilson's office. Cameron went back to answering his mail and Chase did his crossword puzzles.
A week passed and Cameron was working late finishing up some charts she'd found. House was in his office working on something; she wasn't sure what. He had books spread across his desk and a medical website up on his computer. She carried the files into his office and dropped them on his desk. The halls were deserted and it was eerily quiet.
He looked up at her and leaned back in his chair. "Why are you still here?" he asked.
"I'm working," she replied. "Why are you still here?"
He smiled slightly. "I'm working." She heard the mocking tone and sighed.
"You need to sign those," she told him, indicating the files. She folded her arms.
"You don't approve of me," he laughed softly. "Not that I care but I find it interesting."
She continued to stare down at him. "Are you going to sign those?"
He smiled at her and pulled the first file toward him. He flipped it open and signed it with a flourish.
She leaned over him and closed the file, placing the next one in front of him. She felt his breath on her arm as he signed the form. The scent of him made her dizzy. Her hands shook slightly as she flipped the file closed and opened the next one.
"Your hands are shaking," he commented with a quiet laugh.
"Too much coffee," she lied. She grabbed another file and smacked it down in front of him. His soft laughter caused red dots of anger to dance before her eyes. She felt the blood heat her skin as she blushed. She turned to glare at him and was startled by his proximity. His mouth was inches from hers. His eyes even bluer up close. Time hung suspended between them. Later she would wonder who initiated the kiss. It may have been him, she wasn't entirely sure. All she knew was that one moment he was smiling lazily at her and the next his mouth was on hers, tongue brushing against her lips, coaxing them apart. Then somehow she was straddling his hips and his hands were fumbling with the buttons of her blouse. Her own hands were under his t-shirt stroking his warm skin. The next thing she knew, they were on the floor behind his desk, hands and mouths seeking and touching. She strained against him, trying to pull him closer. His hands and mouth seemed to be everywhere at once, wringing soft cries of pleasure from her. Then he was inside her, thrusting and moaning, his lips against her sweat slicked skin, licking and tasting. She held on to his shoulders, writhing beneath him, panting with the effort of holding on to him. Then pleasure was ripping through her, making her arch against him and cry out. Finally, she lay boneless and spent beneath him as he jerked against her, panting and gasping.
When he rolled to lie beside her, she pulled the edges of her blouse together and sat up. She smoothed her skirt and looked around for her panties. She saw them beneath his desk and reached to pick them up. She pushed them into her pocket and fastened her bra. Her hands shook slightly as she buttoned her blouse.
Behind her, she could hear House's ragged breathing as he zipped up his jeans.
"This can't happen again," he told her.
Slowly she rose and looked down at him. "I know," she replied quietly. She watched as he pulled himself to his feet. The lazy smile was gone, replaced by a scowl.
After that, there was always an underlying tension. The knowledge of what happened in his office was always there between them. Sometimes she would catch him looking at her and she would remember the feel of his mouth on her skin and she would have to turn away. No one else ever found out what occurred between them and she was glad. It was a secret they shared.