A/N - Okay, first of all, folks, I'd like to apologise to all my readers who are reading Want Need Love. I know it's been forever since I've updated, but I've hit a bit of a brick wall. However, it's on the way and in the meantime, I've been writing this new story. So, many apologies, but don't think I've forgotten about you! I'll be back with an updae soon!
Anyway, a short introduction to this new story. It's probably only going to be 5 or 6 chapters long and I've got a plan all laid out aready, so unlike some of my stories, I know how it's going to end. So, the springboard for this story was S6Ep2 'Epic Fail' where House is trying to find something to relieve his boredom and make him happier. For this story though, he doesn't decide to go back to the hospital straight away. So, as I'm using the episode as a springboard, there may be minor spoliers for season 6.
This could be considered a bit OOC, but as House is trying to have real relationships with people now, maybe not. Anyway, there's going to be romance, slight angst, friendship and some fluff, a little bit of language and some gentle smut towards the end. I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you though in a review :)
Disclaimer: I don't own House MD or any of the characters.
You Make Me Happy
"Morning Honey!" said an overly cheerful House as Wilson padded out of his bedroom and into the kitchen to find House cooking up some new dish.
Wilson rubbed his eyes as they adjusted to the light.
"House, its 5 am. Have you been up all night again?" he asked sleepily as he started preparing coffee.
"Yup, but when you taste this you'll be glad I did," he said as he stuck out a spoon covered in some kind of chocolate sauce.
"House, I will say it again, it's 5am and I really don't want chocolate at this hour,"
House just pushed the spoon closer to his mouth and waited for him to give in a taste it. Which he did, inevitably.
Wilson contemplated the rich sauce for a while. "Wow," he said "That's amazing,"
"Told ya so,"
Wilson watched House cook for a bit as he waited for the coffee.
"So, are you planning on actually doing anything today?" asked Wilson.
"Maybe, maybe not – haven't decided yet,"
Wilson sighed. "House, you've been here 2 weeks, been away from the hospital 3. You can't just coop up here and cook for the rest of your life,"
"Will you leave me alone? I'm enjoying this, so just…leave me be," he said, turning back to his pot.
"Fine," said Wilson, turning to go to the bathroom "Oh, by the way, Cameron said she might drop by and see you today. She said she hasn't seen you since you've been back,"
House let a small smile cross his face as he stopped stirring for a moment. Cameron. It felt like forever since he'd seen her and heard her voice. House wouldn't admit it to anyone, but he had kind of missed Cameron while he was away. Even though he only saw her when he made an excuse to go down to the ER or she brought him a case or bumped into him in the cafeteria, those little moments were special to him. But he'd be damned if anyone ever knew that.
Cameron coming over gave him something to look forward to in his day, as after leaving the hospital, House's days had been filled with cooking, TV and sleeping. At least a bit of company other than Wilson would be nice.
At 5'o'clock in the evening, Wilson sent House a text saying that he was staying on at work as one of his patients was getting worse and he didn't want to leave. That suited House just fine.
Not the fact some guy was dying – just that he'd be alone with Cameron. He was selfish like that.
But she wouldn't be dropping round for at least another hour, so House decided to whip up something to eat.
As he predicted, at 10 to 6, the doorbell rang. Wiping his hands on the dish cloth, House answered the door.
"Is that my favourite immunologist?" he teased as he went to open the door. When he whipped it open, he was greeted by her gorgeous smile.
"House," she breathed, almost like she was sighing in relief that he was alright. Her smile reached her eyes and she seemed genuinely pleased to see him.
That made him feel a bit better.
"You look…good," she said, looking him up and down. "How are you?"
"Well, you seem to have made your mind up that I'm good," he said with a smirk. "I am good, thank you,"
Cameron appeared surprised at his sarcasm free response and House laughed slightly at her expression.
"I would ask how you were, but then you'd definitely think I was still crazy," he said and she smiled, leaning up against the door frame.
"You gonna let me in or what?" she grinned "I brought pastries,"
House stood back with the door and gestured dramatically with his hand, inviting her in.
"What's that smell?" she asked, wrinkling her nose as she took off her coat.
"Oh shit! The casserole!" he said, limping quickly into the kitchen.
He opened the oven door and a giant cloud of black smoke poured into the room, making House cough and splutter.
"Well, that's my dinner ruined," he said, deflated. He took the dish out with his cloth and dumped it on top of the stove.
A quiet giggling came from the doorway and House spun around to see Cameron in the doorway trying not to laugh.
"Ohh, so you think this is funny?" said House, trying to seem annoyed but not managing to keep the smile off his face. He loved it when she giggled like that.
"A little bit,"
Throwing his cloth down, House picked up his cell.
"You hungry?" he asked her.
"Yeah, I guess so. I was going to get something on the way back," she said.
She nodded and watched him as he talked to the guy on the other end of the phone as if he was an old friend.
She'd only been there a few minutes, but she could already see he'd changed. He was more…relaxed and less stressed. He hadn't lost that House charm or his quick sense of humour, but he hadn't bitten her head off yet, or mocked her about…well, anything, so that had to count for something.
Still, she wasn't holding her breath.
As he babbled away on the phone, Cameron went back into the living room and flopped on the couch. It had been a long day for her. A car crash victim, a boy who'd fallen out of a tree and broken his arm, a pregnant woman who'd fainted, two drunks who'd been fighting, seven lots of stitches, and a girl who'd burnt her hand.
If she was honest, she had been looking forward to coming to see House. She'd worried about him the whole of her honeymoon and even once she was back, he'd been on her mind. She'd missed his banter at work – the mocking, the sarcasm. And of course, even though she was married, she missed the slight touches and the looks – the look only he could give her with his piercing blue gaze that she felt so vulnerable and naked under; like he could see all her secrets. She loved the wry smiles and the slight eye-fucks that she knew drove him crazy.
But she was a married woman now. She shouldn't miss them. She shouldn't miss him.
But she did.
Just then, House appeared from the kitchen doorway with two beers and his cane hooked over his arm.
"Will be here in about half hour," he said and handed her a bottle as he sat down next to her. "Thought you could do with one these,"
Cameron sighed gratefully "Oh, thank you," she said and took a big sip, revelling in the feeling of the cool alcohol slip down her throat.
She felt his eyes on her and looked over.
"Long day?" he asked with a grin and she laughed.
"Yeah," she said tiredly and then looked up at him again. "So, how are you really, House? I mean, it's been months since I've seen you. A lot must have changed?"
He smiled and fiddled with the label on his bottle. "Everyone thinks that," he said, looking back up at her "And I never know what to say. I mean, I'm off the Vicodin, so that's good. Took a long while to get there, but I'm there."
Cameron watched him play with the paper label and he talked. She wondered if she'd ever had a real conversation with him before.
"And I'm managing, you know. I hope I'm a little easier to be around, but I can't really answer that," he said with a slight smile as he looked up and met her eyes.
"You seem better, House. You're talking to me; I mean really talking to me." She laughed. "I don't think you've ever done that before,"
House chuckled. "Kind of a habit now, with all the therapy and everything,"
He looked embarrassed. Like having therapy made him weak. She wanted to reassure him; let him know that it didn't make him any less of a man.
"I think it's really great that you're following through with the therapy, House," she said softly "It shows how committed you are to getting better. And you are getting better, which is fantastic,"
He looked up at her and whatever shame or embarrassment he felt suddenly dissolved, just by her words and her look. God, why did he let her marry that wombat?
"How are the sessions going anyway?" she asked.
He sighed and took a sip of his beer before answering. "Okay, I guess. I'm getting used to them. It was weird at first, you know, sitting in front of a guy who's there to listen to your problems and could strip you bare from one comment. You sit there and have no idea what to say. I thought Nolan was a bit of an arrogant bastard, but he's okay, I guess."
Cameron took a swig of her bottle and then slipped off her shoes so she could curl her legs under her on the couch.
"What about the asylum? What was it like in there?" she asked, genuinely interested.
House smiled again. Not many people had asked him that question. He guessed that they all assumed he didn't want to talk about it, but he did like that about her. She wouldn't assume. She knew if he didn't want to talk about something, he wouldn't.
"It was…different - and interesting, very interesting. I fought like mad a first – I just didn't want to be there and I thought it was a load of bullshit – the group sessions, the outdoor time, the art therapy. They wouldn't even let me use the piano."
Then he went a bit quiet and looked down at his bottle again. He inhaled as if he was about to say something and then stopped. Did it again. He wasn't sure how to word what he was about to say, but Cameron gave him all the time he needed. Having him open up so much was a rare occasion that should be treasured and nurtured. The last thing she wanted to do was push him.
"And then…there was this guy and…they broke him down…" He was picking angrily at the label, ripping it slightly. "I just wanted to get his hopes up. Just…just wanted to make him happy again, but…I messed up. Big time,"
She didn't really know what he was talking about, but didn't ask.
"So then…then I knew I needed help – I stopped fighting, I started taking my meds again and I went with it. I guess it kinda worked," He smiled sadly and looked up at her briefly before looking back at his label.
The doorbell rang and broke the intensity of the conversation neither of them were aware of.
"I'll just get that," he said, seemingly snapping out of his serious moment. "Put the TV on if you want,"
She flicked it on and waited for him to return. She'd never had him open up to her that much before. Not ever. It felt like a giant step in the right direction. From what Wilson had told her, House hadn't really talked much about the asylum to him. She felt good – like he had opened up to her when he would nobody else.
"Do you think Wilson will notice $30 is missing?" he asked as he crossed the living room.
"Probably, but I doubt he'll be surprised. I mean, he is living with you," she teased.
"Ouch!" said House, feigning hurt.
He put the cartons down and they both delved in with chopsticks like hungry animals.
They both settled at opposite ends of the couch – their backs against the facing arm rests and their feet meeting in the middle, mirroring each others posture.
"So, I've done a lot of talking about me," said House "What about you? A lot has changed with you in the last few months. Do I need to call you Mrs Wombat now?"
He smirked and she rolled her eyes. She was surprised that he'd lasted as long as he had without making a wombat joke.
"I'll have you know that I'm keeping my name," she said nonchalantly, picking through her rice.
"How very feminist of you,"
"No, nothing feminist about it – I just like my name,"
There was a pause and he looked up at her. "I have to say, Allison Chase just doesn't have the same ring to it,"
Cameron smirked, looked up and met his eyes. They seemed to smile back at her in that teasing way she had missed so much. She never got that with Chase – however much she cared for him, he could never look at her in a way a made her melt.
"What's it like being a wife then?"
She sighed. She'd answered that question before. "Nothing has changed – only that I have a ring on my finger and a piece of paper that says we're married. Other than that, it's exactly the same."
There was silence for a while as they ate. Then she said something she'd wanted to tell him since the wedding.
"I wish you could have been there," she said quietly "I really wanted you there,"
He looked up at her – he hadn't expected her to say that.
"Had some other stuff going on, you know, seeing dead people and all that," he said sarcastically, but he smiled, showing her he was joking.
"I wanted to be there," he said softly and looked her in the eye. Then he smiled and wiped a pretend tear from his eye. "My little duckling is all grown up,"
Cameron laughed, pleased the atmosphere had been lightened again.
They finished the food and House found a film that was on. It provided them with some background noise as they carried on talking and ate the pastries she'd brought, their sock covered feet still touching in the middle of the couch.
He told her about Alvie and they're night time planning and the talent show. She laughed, not able to imagine him rapping on a stage in front of people. She told him about her honeymoon in Dubai. She told him how they'd scuba dived but she got scared and came back up before Chase who had done it before. He laughed when she told him how Chase was bitten by a crab and spent the last few days of the holiday with extremely bad sunburn.
Then she brought up a subject he hoped he wouldn't have to talk about again.
"So, Wilson tells me you got involved with a woman? A patient's friend or something?"
House became embarrassed and his mind wandered back to Lydia. He had really liked her – there had been something different about her. But sitting there on the couch with Cameron with her soft pink socks brushing his feet, House knew that if Lydia came back right at that moment and asked him to come back with her, he would have declined.
"Her name was Lydia," he said quietly "And I got caught up with her. Maybe because I was cooped up in that place or I was…I dunno…whatever – but yeah, she gave me something to…something to feel better about and I liked her company."
He found a stray piece of cotton on his shirt to play with, looking anywhere but Cameron.
"And she just left you? After leading you on like that?"
She sounded quite angry and House chuckled slightly at her annoyance.
"Yeah, she moved away with her family,"
"Oh, House," sighed Cameron sadly "I'm sorry,"
House shrugged off her apology. "It was stupid. I knew nothing would come of it."
Then he got up to stretch his leg and limped out to the kitchen to retrieve two more beers.
Cameron couldn't help but feels sorry for him. He had put his heart on the line for Lydia and she'd broken his heart. He would never admit it, but she could tell.
But he didn't want to talk about Lydia anymore, which was why he'd walked out. She was history to him now and he didn't need Cameron to keep bringing it up.
He returned quickly and sat back in his original position after handing her another beer. She knew she shouldn't keep drinking, but she didn't want to leave yet.
She looked up at him. He was watching the TV screen, whether he was actually watching the movie she didn't know, but there was one question she had yet to ask him.
"Why did you quit?" she asked quietly, looking right at him.
House sighed for what felt like the thousandth time that night. "I don't want to go back to how I was," he replied, so quietly Cameron almost didn't hear him. Then he looked up at her, meeting her gaze. "I can't risk it, Cameron,"
She understood. He didn't want to be miserable again. She knew that.
"It won't be the same," she said with a smile "It'll be quiet and peaceful,"
House chuckled and kicked her playfully with his left foot.
She didn't tell him she'd miss him like crazy. She didn't tell him that even though she didn't work for him, just knowing he was in the same hospital was enough. She just giggled and pretended he'd hurt her.
He laughed and told her to stop being a girl. Then they fell into a comfortable silence, their attention on the movie that was nearly finished.
Secretly, House had enjoyed their talk. They'd talked about everything, from her marriage to Lydia and it felt good to talk properly to someone other than Dr. Nolan.
Out the corner of his eye he watched Cameron. He didn't know how one woman could have such an effect on him. He just felt like he could pour his heart out to her and she would listen and she would understand.
A while later, the front door opened and Wilson walked in tiredly.
"House, I'm back," he said wearily as he dumped his coat and bag.
When he turned around, he was surprised to see Cameron sitting on the edge of the couch.
"Oh, hey Cameron," he said, confusion in his voice "I didn't think you'd still be here,"
"Oh, way to make a lady feel welcome," said House as he rolled his eyes.
"No, I mean…it's half past 11," said Wilson, checking his watch again.
Cameron looked at her watch and gasped. "Oh my gosh! I didn't realise it was that late! I better be getting back, Robert will be worried."
She jumped up and picked up her and House's empty bottles and took them out to the kitchen.
"Leave them Cameron, I'll do it," said House.
"Are you okay to drive?" asked Wilson and Cameron nodded.
"Yeah, I'll be fine,"
"No, look, let me run you back. You've both been drinking and it's not far away. Come on,"
Cameron accepted his offer, apologising for the inconvenience as she gathered her coat and slipped her shoes back on.
House stood up to see her out and at the door, they stood in front of each other, like lovers, unsure of what to do after a first date.
Not that this was a date in any way, shape or form.
"I had fun tonight, House," said Cameron, smiling at him.
"Yeah," he said "Maybe we should do it again. Makes a change to talk to someone other than Wilson or Nolan,"
"Yeah, I'd like that. Take care, okay? I'll swing by and see you in a few days. Maybe then you won't have burnt your dinner and I can try one of these amazing House dishes,"
He smiled and nodded.
Then she took him by surprise by leaning up and wrapping her arms around his shoulders, just like she had on the day of his trial 2 years ago.
Then he took her by surprise by awkwardly placing his hands on her lower back. He hadn't recoiled in fear and had actually hugged her back. Another step in the right direction.
He thought about how great her hair smelt – honey and almond without a doubt. He wanted to close his eyes and breathe her in again, but he caught a glimpse of Wilson's smirk over Cameron's shoulder and began to pull away. She rubbed his shoulders lightly, her palms grazing the soft cotton of his shirt and she looked at him when she pulled back.
"See you soon," she said quietly. She gave him a little wave and then disappeared out of the apartment with Wilson.
God, what was that woman doing to him? She fascinated him and for some reason, that night had opened up Pandora's box again. Everything inside him that he felt for her had been pushed deep down and locked in the box, but now, he was sure they were bubbling up to the surface again.
But he liked them there and this time he didn't think he wanted to push them back again.
tbc soon :)