Title: What If (Chapter Three) - Unexpected But Kinda Maybe Not Totally UnwelcomeAuthor: amypinkpoisonRating: No particularly explicit warnings for this chapter. Teen.Pairing: House/Cameron, Cameron/OC( Chapter 3 )
Chapter Three – Unexpected But Kinda Maybe Not Totally Unwelcome
It was 2:54am and Cameron was just about to go to bed. Andrew had been asleep since midnight but Elle wouldn't settle and Cameron had stayed up with her for the best part of the evening, finally getting her to fall into a restless sleep at just gone 2:30am. Not the best night she'd ever had.
She and Andrew had made up over lunch and she'd finally got him to agree that maybe a baby so soon after having Elle wasn't such a hot idea. She loved being a mother, yes, but two in quick succession would zap every ounce of energy she had left, which wasn't much as it was.
So they'd gone home, made up properly whilst Elle had a play date with the neighbor's kids, and then went quickly back into their routine. Around dinnertime though, Elle was whining more than usual and wouldn't settle down after her bath like she usually would. She refused to eat and had a rattling cough developing. Dosing her with Tylenol, Cameron sat rocking the little girl late into the night and when she finally drifted off, the exhausted mother wanted to cry with relief.
Glancing at the clock and wincing as she saw how close to 3am it was – knowing she was on-call over the weekend really put a dampener on things – she practically crawled toward her bedroom. But the relief awaiting her in the form of sleep was snatched away when her cell phone started to vibrate on the mantel. Groaning, she reluctantly dragged herself across the living room and snatched the phone off the top.
"House?! Why the hell are you calling me at 3am?! What can you possibly have thought was so damn important you had to call now?"
She was trying to keep her voice down, not daring to run the risk of waking Elle up after the night they'd had, but her temper wasn't quite as controlled as it was at civilized hours.
"You don't sound like you were asleep."
"I've been nursing Elle all night. I repeat: What. Do. You. Want?"
There was a long pause over the line and if it weren't for the sound of drunken singing in the background, Cameron would have thought he'd hung up.
"Will you come pick me up?"
And that was when it took all of her self-control not to start yelling down the line at him for being such a selfish, stupid asshole. Managing to just about calm herself enough to reply in a lowered voice, she measured her words carefully.
"You are calling me at 3am on a Saturday morning to come pick you up from wherever the hell you are and you expect me to just come running?! You've got some nerve, House. Andrew's asleep; I've just managed to get my daughter to sleep, and you have the audacity to call me, after the way you treated me today…and every other day, come to think of it."
House didn't reply and again, the only cue that he was there was the background noise.
"And why can't Wilson come pick you up? He's probably used to these calls at ridiculous o'clock."
Again, a pause.
"House are you gonna-?"
"Wilson's not speaking to me."
Cameron rolled her eyes, dropping down onto the sofa with the phone cradled between her ear and her shoulder. Pulling her knees up to her chest she shivered, the night air that permeated the room chilling her through the thin layer of Andrew's shirt she'd taken to using as nightwear. He loved this shirt on her, partially because it was his and partially because her eyes became a more pronounced green with the blue shirt accentuating them.
"What did you do to piss him off? There's obviously something, because he's practically a saint with what he puts up with from you."
She was getting a little fed up with the pauses after every question. Questions that she had a right to ask when he was asking such unreasonable things from her at 3am.
"He's…pissed because he says I'm self-destructing…"
"And why would that be different tonight than any other night when you're self-destructing? It's kinda one of your personality traits; you'd think he'd have figured that one by now."
"You're way too chatty for this time in a morning."
"And yet, you called me."
Ignoring her quick retort, House sighed.
"I broke up with Stacy. Wilson said I don't know what's good for me and I always try to break things that are perfectly fine the way they are."
Cameron wasn't sure how to reply to that. And she wasn't sure what knocked her off balance more – the fact that he'd broken up with Stacy so suddenly (though if she thought about it, it wasn't really that sudden) or the fact that he was openly telling her this, not bothering to wrap it in sugared sarcasm with a caustic cherry on top.
"Don't be. Would you just…come pick me up?"
Pressing her fingers to her throbbing temple, Cameron heaved a sigh.
"Where are you?"
She'd known she'd end up going. As much as she kicked and fought against it, she always ended up giving into him. She was like his female Wilson. And she hated it. But it was just who she was and she had reluctantly come to accept she probably wouldn't ever change. And neither would House. So they were stuck in this rut.
He clearly wasn't as intoxicated as he had been when he'd decided to call her at 3am and Cameron just rolled her eyes as he clambered awkwardly into the passenger seat of her car. It was now 4:05am. She'd left him to sober up for an hour before setting off; making sure Elle and Andrew both remained asleep. She was still wearing Andrew's blue shirt but had pulled on some Old Navy sweatpants too, her hair loose around her face, which gave away only a tiny fraction of the exhaustion her whole body was buzzing with.
"Yeah well, just be grateful I picked you up at all. Do you know what this could do to my marriage if Andrew wakes up and finds me gone and then finds out I drove all the way across town to pick you and your sorry ass up off the sidewalk?"
"Yeah well, he needs to get over that possessive streak of his."
"He's my husband, House! He has every right to be suspicious if I'm going out at this time in a morning to pick my boss up from some seedy bar!"
With that half-adorable, half-infuriating smirk, House chose not to comment and instead watched her as she pulled into the lane of sparse traffic, heading for apartment 221B.
"That blue actually does wonders for your eyes."
He was slurring slightly but Cameron had a feeling he was putting it on a little. He knew he'd get away with more – tormenting, flirting, sly remarks – if he couldn't be held fully accountable for lack of inhibitions.
"You can't see my eyes, it's dark."
She countered, glancing in her mirror and swinging a left around a rather sharp corner, causing House to lurch forward a little and scowl at her.
"You're lucky you're cuter than Wilson or I'd have some really mean comments for that. I think I'll call you more often to come pick me up – nice having someone easy on the eyes to look at for the journey."
She gave him a falsely saccharine smile, which held a very clear warning that she would not look kindly upon him making this a regular thing and then they lapsed into an undemanding silence. She had to admit that when he wasn't being a complete jerk, she kinda liked spending time with him. They didn't have to speak – and she usually preferred it when they didn't – but there was a comfortable ease they fell into when no one else was around to taint it.
The rest of the ten-minute drive to his place was taken in silence, with the occasional exchange of unintentional glances, when they both quickly looked away. When she finally pulled up outside the large Georgian-style apartment building there was silence of a few prolonged moments before she turned to him, about to pry into what had finally broken his relationship with Stacy.
But she didn't have a chance to say any more than a few words before his mouth was covering hers, his hand cupping her cheek and gently – surprisingly gently – his fingers trailed to her neck, barely touching where her pulse was racing.
She was too shocked to react at first and before she realized what she was doing, she'd kissed him back. She could taste to scotch on his lips and the sharp, almost bitter taste of him stinging her tongue as his swept past her lips. A hand on his chest from the defensive action as he'd lunged for her, she found herself gripping the material of his shirt in a small fist, her heart racing and her mind in overdrive as she tried to process what exactly was happening. His free hand was already under her shift – Andrew's shirt – now and skimming the smooth, flat surface of her stomach, her muscles clenching with his ghost of a touch.
Regaining her senses abruptly, she pulled away from him and tore his hand from under the shirt as if he'd scalded her, pushing him away in a panic. Her lips were well kissed and she was breathless, her eyes wide with a mixture of horror and shock. She opened her mouth to speak, to demand that he get out of her car, but no words would pass her lips. The lips he'd just well and truly ravaged, leaving her both craving more and wishing she'd never gone to pick him up in the first place.
She sat silently in a daze for endless seconds before the sound of the passenger door opening and the slight shift as he climbed out of the car brought her back to reality once more. She watched him go, tears blurring her vision. This was too much to take in. He'd kissed her. And she'd let him.
Her wedding ring was taunting her now, torturing her as she replayed what had just taken place. He'd shut his front door behind him without looking back and the tears were suddenly rolling down her cheeks. She'd never cheat on Andrew; she just wasn't the cheating kind. But what was that? What had she just done? If she'd thought she could explain this little trip out as completely innocent, just helping her boss when he'd asked, she was surely mistaken now. That would have been all true…until about five minutes ago.
There was nothing innocent about that kiss, and all the way home – after nearly crashing twice – she was replaying it in her mind, fighting a fresh onslaught of tears. He'd broken up with Stacy and now he was slowly beginning to destroy her marriage.
Yet there was something in that kiss…a passion and lust that she'd been somehow missing for a long time in her relationship with Andrew. Maybe it was because it was forbidden that it tasted that much sweeter – though it was more bittersweet really – and maybe that was why she'd given in to him like she had…why she'd kissed back.