Beta-read by chlorinehamster of LJ.


It's almost eleven when the knock comes on her door.

She hobbles over to answer it, and when the door swings open, she doesn't hide her surprise at the sight of House and a cage with a rat.

"Howdy," he says, walking past her and into her apartment. He sets the rat on her coffee table. She looks from him to the rat and back to him. Her eyes are wide as she takes in the sight of House acting totally at ease—as if it's normal for him to be in her apartment. With a rat, no less.

"What are you doing here?" she asks.

"You seemed so perky at work today; I thought maybe I'd ask you to share."

She stares at him.

He sighs. "Okay, you caught me. I've actually come to seduce you."

Longer stare.

He looks at the coffee table and notices Chase's Ativan, sitting unopened not far from the rat cage. "I'd have thought you'd be popping that stuff like candy," he says.

She crosses her arms and looks down. Her eyes start to do that rapid blinking thing that they've taken to doing.

"I suppose they're sitting on your coffee table instead of slipping down your throat because Dr. Chase gave them to you," he continues. He looks toward the kitchen. "And I suppose that all those beer cans in your garbage are because you haven't eaten and you want to look like you're doing something.

"Why are you here, House?" she cuts in, looking up at him.

He plops himself down on the couch. "It's one thing to come in to work drugged out and still trying to wipe the scent of last night's sex off. It's another thing to come in late." He smirks at her. "Admit it: you're happy."

She rolls her eyes. "I don't even have any left."

And this is the truth. After Chase disappeared, she'd gotten rid of whatever stash she still had—not that that there was much to dispose of. She'd considered using all of it at the time, but whatever good girl was left in her had saved some, for whatever reason.

"Sure," he says.

She sighs and crosses her arms again. It's not that she has a problem with him here. It's just that she wants to know why and she can't puzzle through it right now because her brain is moving too fast to process with any sort of decency.

"Why'd you bring the rat?" She makes a jerky gesture toward the cage. It seems random, even for him.

He pats the cage, and it looks almost loving to her. "Didn't want him to get lonely," he says.

"So…" She locks eyes with him—as well as she can, with her eyes blinking like rapid fire again. "What are we supposed to do?"

-

He's right, of course. About everything.

The pills are sitting on her coffee table because Chase gave them to her. Because every time she reached for the bottle, she thought of the night before, and she thought that Chase wouldn't have given her the pills if the night before hadn't sucked.

The beer cans were a few six-packs that she'd bought on the way home—walking, because she hadn't driven that day and she didn't think that beer was allowed on the bus. At least one of the six-packs is empty and in the trash. She'd alternated between drinking them and scrubbing down every possible surface in the kitchen with a wet sponge, just for something to do. And then she'd gotten tired of that, so she'd had one more and started pacing wildly throughout the apartment, trying to slow her racing thoughts.

And then he showed up.

-

The movie they're watching is Tempted, which she's never heard of and probably won't remember in the morning. He's drinking one of the beers from her fridge. She briefly thought of drinking one with him, but the thought of it made her want to heave, so no. No.

"When do you think she's gonna sleep with him?" she asks.

He glances at her briefly over the edge of his can of beer. "I give it ten minutes."

She snorts. "No way. Did you see the way they looked at each other just now? Five minutes, easy."

He almost smiles at that. "You're certainly optimistic." He takes a swig of beer.

"Would you have slept with me?" she asks, very suddenly and all in a rush.

He turns his head to look at her slowly and gives her an odd look, like he can't quite figure out what she said. "God, you are high."

She says nothing, only taps her fingers lightly against her knee. After a few seconds, she gives him an expectant look. "Well?"

"Please don't tell me I have to decide," he replies, mock-begging.

She lets out an annoyed sigh. "House."

"Why do you want to know?"

"Why do you want to know why I want to know?"

"You're feeling a lack of inhibition. That's why you're asking."

"You're stating the obvious. You don't normally do that."

"And you don't normally talk a mile a minute and ask me about my sex life."

"Would you have slept with Stacy?"

He goes quiet at that one.

She turns back to the television, and her glazed eyes focus on the man on the screen. She doesn't want to hear his answer, if he even has one to give her.

-

The next movie on is Sleeping with the Enemy.

For a minute, she wonders if God is sending her a message, or if he just hates her. Then she remembers that she doesn't believe in God.

She glances over at House, who is on his third beer by this point. She wants the beer and she doesn't want it. She practically craves it, and yet the idea of drinking any makes her want to hurl.

"Can I have a sip of that?" she asks him finally.

He pauses for a moment, then hands it to her. "You're going to make yourself sick."

She shrugs, then gulps down about half the can in one drink. When she moves the can away from her lips, she's breathing heavily.

He exhales slowly as he stands up. "I'll be back."

He limps into the kitchen and comes back with a trash can. He plops it in front of her. She takes one look at all the beer cans still in the bag and feels like throwing up, but manages not to with a deep breath.

"I could be sick already," she says.

"Ah," he replies. "The good girl reveals the reason behind her rebellion."

"Shut up," she mutters.

"Taking a leaf out of Calvin's book? Trying to live a little before you die?"

Her stomach lurches violently. "House—"

Without warning, she leans forward and lets the little sustenance in her system fly, right into the trash can. Her whole body shakes with brutal tremors as she chokes it all out—and it's not much, because aside from the last dying swirls of meth, the alcohol was all she had.

When she finishes, her face is deathly pale and soaked in sweat. She breathes hard for several long seconds.

When she tries to sit up, she realizes that he is holding her hair back, away from her face.

She turns away, burning in shame.

-

The next movie—Blind Obsession—is maybe halfway through when she feels the crash coming on.

He notices almost immediately, of course. "You okay?"

She lolls her head, tries to answer, but all that comes out is a jumbled mess of words.

He reaches for the television remote and hits the Power button. Then he pauses. When he speaks again, she manages to register that maybe—maybe—his voice sounds just a little gentler. "You can have tomorrow off."

"Thank you," she mumbles sleepily. Her eyelids sink, and she tries futilely to keep them open.

He starts to say something else, but she does not hear him. The room spins a little bit, and she sinks forward.

As she slips steadily into the sleep of the dead, she realizes that she's fallen on him.

In her last moments of consciousness, she berates herself for not being able to enjoy it.

-

She wakes up alone, with her mouth tasting of dead beer and her vision blurred through half-open eyes. For a while, she just stares at the ceiling, trying to open her eyes. She feels like maybe she can think normally again.

She wonders how many hours she's been asleep. For a moment she thinks about work. Then she remembers that House gave her the day off.

Oh. Right.

She thinks about last night. She wonders if she was dreaming or hallucinating or just high.

She looks around the room a little. The trash can is gone. The rat cage is gone. He is gone. Of course he's gone. She didn't expect him to hang around while she slept off her high. He had a job. She had a job that she should have been doing.

She sighs. She leans her head back on the couch.

Her eyes slide shut, and she remembers.

-

When she finally sits up, the afghan from her bedroom falls off of her.


I hope I did all right with Druggie!Cameron. She was a little difficult—but she was also more fun, because she could say things to House that she wouldn't normally say.

The three movies—Tempted, Sleeping with the Enemy, and Blind Obsession—are all real. I've never seen any of them—I mostly just used them because they were released before 2005. Ha.