A/N: This is what I would love to see happen next season. This along with some good medical puzzles.
Cameron entered Cuddy's office. Cuddy looked up when she entered and motioned to a chair. Cameron sat down and crossed her legs, waiting. Cuddy finished signing the papers on her desk and stacked them up neatly.
"I want you to take over Diagnostics," Cuddy told her.
"What about Foreman?" Cameron asked, trying to hide her shock.
"I'm not asking Foreman, I'm asking you," Cuddy replied. "Do you want it or not?"
"This is temporary, right? Until House gets back?"
"Maybe, maybe not," Cuddy replied, looking down at her desk.
"House is coming back, isn't he?" Cameron asked.
Cuddy shrugged. "I don't know."
Cameron sat staring at Cuddy. "I'll do it on two conditions," she finally said.
"You tell House and you let him have his department back when he returns."
Cameron stood in the doorway of House's office. She half expected to see him sitting behind his desk, playing with his yo-yo or his oversized ball while he mocked her. She swallowed the lump in her throat that arose when she thought of him. She had thought about going to Mayfield to visit him. She just wasn't sure how he would feel about it; she knew Chase would hate it if she went. She twisted the wedding band encircling her finger.
Slowly, she walked toward his desk and ran her hand along the smooth surface. Technically, it was now her desk; her office. In her mind, though, this would always be House's desk; House's office. She sat in his chair and looked around. His presence permeated the room. He had been gone for nearly a month and yet she could still sense him. She knew she couldn't use this office. There were too many memories. Sighing, she rose and entered the conference room.
Sitting in House's office became a ritual for Cameron. She began each day sitting at his desk soaking in his presence. She pushed the ache his absence caused into a corner of her heart and tried to ignore it. She focused on the patients and keeping Taub and Foreman from killing each other. She had been worried that Foreman would resent her but he was surprisingly supportive. Taub was a different story. He made no secret of his contempt for her. Cameron suspected Taub's attitude caused Foreman to react the way he did. Cameron found herself liking Thirteen. She could understand Foreman's fondness for the young doctor.
Cameron was sitting at House's desk, eyes closed. Thanksgiving was a week away. Chase wanted to go visit her parents, but she didn't see how they could make the trip. She leaned back in House's chair and sighed. She rolled his oversized tennis ball up and down her thigh. She now understood why House played with it. She could think better when she rolled it around.
"The power is intoxicating, isn't it?" a familiar voice drawled.
Cameron sat up abruptly. House stood in the doorway, leaning on his cane. Her breath left her at the sight of him. He was just as beautiful as she remembered. She closed her eyes and shook her head at that treacherous thought.
"House," she breathed.
"Cameron," he said, a hint of mocking in his tone. He smirked at her as he entered the office and sat in one of the chairs facing his desk.
"Cuddy didn't tell me you were back," she told him, trying to regain her composure. He looked different. Maybe it was the close cropped hair. Maybe it was the lack of anguish and pain in his eyes.
He shrugged. "I'm not," he replied. "Not officially."
Cameron nodded. She looked into his clear blue eyes. There were so many things she wanted to ask him; so many things she wanted to tell him. She stood up and indicated his chair. He shook his head.
"It's not mine anymore," he told her. "It's yours."
"I'm just borrowing it," she told him.
He laughed. "I thought you would change things around in here. Make this space more warm and fuzzy. Like you." He looked up at her and his eyes glinted in the early morning sunlight.
She shook her head. "It's not my office."
He looked at her for several long moments. She felt the old attraction surface. There had always been something about the way he looked at her. Something primal that made her heart beat faster and her breath catch in her chest.
"It might be," he said. "Depends how I do."
"What do you mean?"
"Cuddy says I have to prove to the board that I'm fit to return," he informed her. He smirked again. "They want to make sure I'm not crazy anymore." He widened his eyes comically as he said it.
Cameron didn't laugh. She put her hands on her hips. "But you've been released from Mayfield. Your doctor there had to clear you."
"He did," House said, rising. "Still have to prove myself." He began making his way into the conference room. Cameron followed him, a frown of confusion still marring her features.
"How long?" she asked.
House settled in one of the chairs at the table. "Dunno," he shrugged.
"And this doesn't bother you?'
He looked at her again and she shivered. "I don't mind working under you," he said softly. His eyes held hers and she heard the unspoken meaning in his words. Her heart hammered in her chest. He continued to look at her and his head titled slightly, a sensuous smile stretching his lips.
Foreman and Thirteen entered and the moment was shattered. Cameron watched as they greeted House. Taub entered and stared in shock at his former boss. House smiled and stretched out his long legs. He glanced at Cameron.
"Nice to see nothing has changed," he remarked.
Cameron continued to lead the differentials. House sat in a corner, watching, offering the occasional diagnosis. His eyes followed Cameron's every move. She grew more and more agitated. His unwavering gaze was unnerving. She would send him to perform tests just to get him out of the office and away from her. He would stare at her meaningfully before he left.
Valentine's Day was approaching. Cameron knew Chase was planning a romantic dinner and she felt guilty for wanting to avoid it and him. They had a particularly difficult case and she was afraid she would have to cancel. She had canceled so many times, Chase was growing angry.
Her pager trilled and she looked at the display. She sighed. House. She'd sent him down to the lab to run tests. Now he was paging her with the message You know you wanna. She ignored the page. Ten minutes later the pager trilled again. Meet me in the sleep lab. She shook her head in frustration. The tension between them had been building for weeks now. He had begun touching her, teasing her, when no one was looking. Her pager trilled yet again and she groaned. If you don't come to me I'll come to you.
She gripped herpager and closed her eyes. It trilled again. She wouldn't look; she wouldn't. She looked down at the display. Decide.
The sleep lab was deserted. Cameron sighed. House was not here. She shook her head. How typical of him; playing games with her and then hiding. She turned to leave when one of the doors opened.
"I see you decided,' House commented.
"I came down to tell you to stop playing these insane games," she said quietly.
He approached her slowly. She stood her ground and he stopped directly in front of her. The heat from his body enveloped her. His clean, distinctive scent made her dizzy.
"You like the games," he told her huskily. "You missed the games. You want the games."
"No," she whispered. "I'm married now. You can't keep doing this."
His finger lightly traced a path down her cheek and she shivered. "You like it, though. You want it."
"You want me," he whispered, leaning down until his mouth was inches from hers. "You always have."
His breath fanned over her face as he laughed. "Liar."
She closed her eyes and shook her head.
His hand came to rest on her shoulder. His mouth brushed against hers. "My therapist told me I should go after the things I want," he whispered. "I shouldn't deny myself the things I need to make me happy."
She looked in t his eyes. "What are you saying?"
He raised an eyebrow and stroked her shoulder. "My therapist also told me that honesty is healthy."
"House," she breathed.
"I want you."
Her mouth parted and he smiled. His cane clattered on the floor and suddenly she was in his arms and he was kissing her. She knew she should push him away. She pulled him closer. She knew she should feel guilty. She felt like she was finally where she belonged.
His lips moved down her throat, nibbling and tasting. He maneuvered her into one of the rooms and pressed her down onto the bed. He undressed her slowly, stopping to caress her skin or kiss her. Desire surged through her, hot and sharp. She removed his clothes quickly, impatient to feel his naked skin against hers.
She grabbed at him and tried to guide him into her willing body. "Now," she panted. "Now, now!"
He laughed and pushed her hands away. "Be patient," he murmured. "I want to touch you." Which he proceeded to do; he touched her everywhere with his mouth and hands. Her breathless cries echoed off the walls.
Finally when she felt she couldn't take any more, he moved over her. "Spread your legs," he told her.
"Finally," she panted. She spread her legs and grabbed him, guiding him into her. He laughed and pressed a kiss against her shoulder as he slid deeply into her.
"Oh, God, House," she gasped as he began to move. He pulled back and sank into her again. His thrusts were slow and she felt the tension building as he continued to thrust in and out of her gently. Her climax, when it came, was so intense, she nearly blacked out. House pressed his mouth to hers to swallow her screams. She writhed beneath him and whimpered against his mouth. Gradually, she felt the shudders lessen and she relaxed beneath him. She closed her eyes and luxuriated in the feel of him sliding in and out of her, his body rubbing against hers. She had waited so long for this. The she felt him tense and he jerked against her, groaning her name. She welcomed his weight when he collapsed onto her.
"Leave him," he whispered against her hair.
"It's not that simple," she told him.
"Sure it is. I want you and you want me. Simple."
He propped himself up on his elbows and looked down at her. "They now have this nifty thing called a divorce."
"And if I divorce Chase, then what?"
He shrugged. "We can be together."
"Really?" she asked. "For how long? Until you get bored with me and move on?"
He looked into her eyes and the seriousness of his expression startled her. "I won't get bored."
"You say that-"
He grabbed her chin. "I won't get bored," he repeated more forcefully.
"Do you love me?' she asked, afraid of his answer.
He looked at her. "Yes."
He smiled. A soft laugh escaped him. "I love you," he paused and his smile widened. "Alison."
She began to cry and laugh simultaneously. "If you break my heart, I will kill you."
"I won't," he promised.