Title: No Turning Back
He couldn’t look her in the eye. He didn’t quite understand it, but he just couldn’t do it. He knew what she wanted him to say or do and, if he was honest with himself, he wanted it too. But everyone else lied, so why shouldn’t he keep lying to himself?
After an eternity of standing in silence, not quite looking at each other, she turned and walked away. He finally looked directly at her then and watching her retreating form brought a flood of images to his mind.
The look on Wilson’s face when he was taunting House about making moves on Cameron.
The way she walked right up to him, unafraid, when he confronted her in the lab.
The sadness in her eyes when she told him she was quitting.
“Allison,” her name slipped from his lips before he had a chance to form any semblance of coherent thought.
She stopped dead at the end of his walk, her body stiff, no doubt with the shock of his calling her, and by her given name no less. He couldn’t recall a time that he’d ever called her anything but Cameron.
His heart beat a little faster as he waited to see what she would do. Half of him was terrified that she would ignore his call and just keep walking. The other half of him was hoping she would do just that since he had absolutely no idea what to say to her if she came back.
Very slowly, she turned around to face him. Their eyes met through the darkness and his heart skipped a beat. There was no turning back now. She walked back to the house, deliberately taking her time. She stopped in front of him and didn’t say a word. He knew it had to be his move since he’d called her back.
He closed his eyes, trying to collect his thoughts. When he opened them, he saw the obvious confusion in her eyes. He took a deep breath and plunged right in.
“Allison, I don’t want you to quit.”
“So you’re going to fire Foreman?”
“No, I’m going to make it work so that I either get to keep you all or I fire Chase. I don’t know how, but I’m going to.”
She nodded but still looked confused. He had never been very good at expressing his feelings and he couldn’t conjure the words he needed to explain how he felt about her, he wasn’t even sure if the words even existed.
So he took her hand. She jumped at the physical contact, but didn’t pull away. They stared at their joined hands for a few moments. His hand was so large that it completely enveloped her small one. He was surprised at how soft her hands were; dry hands were almost a given for doctors due to the number of times a day they had to wash them and the constant use of latex gloves.
He forced himself to look up and meet her eyes. She was watching him, wide-eyed, still confused. Her breathing had become slightly erratic which made him smirk because his own heart was racing.
He knew he needed to say something, knew she was waiting for him to explain himself.
“Has Wilson ever put the moves on you?” he blurted out.
“We were talking today and he said something about not being able to spend time with you and not have your niceness rub off and I said something about being surprised that he hadn’t made the moves on you yet and he asked what made me think he hadn’t.”
He could tell that she was trying to figure out exactly what this story had to do with anything. He gave her credit for not accusing him of being completely crazy.
“So what would you do if I told you he had?” she finally asked with a glint of amusement in her eyes.
“I’d kill him,” was his automatic response.
A smile played at the corners of her mouth. “Why?”
“Because…” he faltered, not able to come up with any logical reason except that he wanted her for himself and he wasn’t sure if he was ready to admit that yet. “Because…”
She couldn’t contain her smile any more. “Because you’d be jealous?”
She squeezed his hand, startling him a bit because he’d almost forgotten they were holding hands. He swallowed hard, not sure what to say or do next.
“Well you can relax then,” she said, a teasing note in her voice. “First of all, because Dr. Wilson has never made any moves on me and second, because even if he did, I would have turned him down.”
“Good, it’s never a good idea to get involved with someone you work with,” he responded, without realizing the implication of his words.
“Really?” she asked with a downward glance at their still joined hands.
“Well…” he faltered again. He couldn’t believe how much trouble he was having formulating words.
“What about you and Cuddy?” she asked, her tone changing a little.
“Me and Cuddy?”
“Yeah, didn’t you two have a thing?”
He couldn’t contain his laughter. “Hell no,” he finally managed to get out.
He regained his composure and decided to pose a serious question of his own. “Well, what about you and Chase?”
“Me and Chase?” she shook her head. “Definitely not. I’ve actually always subscribed to the not getting involved with a co-worker theory also.”
He took a deep breath and decided he had nothing to lose. “So why is this different?”
“Why do you think I was going to quit?”
“Well what happens if you don’t?”
She smiled. “Someone taught me that some rules are meant to be broken.”
“Who was that intelligent person?” he asked with a grin.
She glanced at their hands again. “Are you sure you don’t want me to quit? It will save you a lot of aggravation with Vogler. And,” she hesitated, “it would make this,” she squeezed his hand again, “a lot easier.”
“To hell with Vogler,” he said. “And to hell with easy.” He gripped her hand a little tighter and pulled her closer, leaning down to brush his lips against hers.
She gasped at the contact. He started to pull away, afraid that he’d crossed some line, but she didn’t let him pull away. She went up on her tip toes and kissed him, a little more firmly than he’d kissed her.
The kiss deepened and they were both breathless when they finally pulled away. Allison let out a nervous giggle.
“So are we going to stand in your doorway all night?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, come in, have a seat,” he replied, flustered from the kiss. “Do you want anything to drink?”
“No thanks,” she responded, looking around his house as she settled on his sofa. He followed her and sat in the chair opposite. “You have a nice house,” she said.
“I didn’t know you played piano.”
He shrugged. “Old habits die hard. My mother made me take piano lessons three times a week from the age of three until I graduated high school.”
“My mom made me learn how to knit. Every Saturday morning, while all the other kids were watching cartoons or sleeping in, I’d go with her to the nursing home where my gram was and we’d knit.”
“Do you still do it?”
“Sometimes,” she admitted. “It’s a great way to relieve stress.”
“That’s how I feel about the piano. I can just shut out the rest of the world and enjoy the music.”
“Play something for me?” she asked shyly.
He was surprised by her request, but shrugged and walked over to the piano. He glanced through his sheet music and finally found the piece he was looking for. He took a deep breath to steady his nerves and began playing Pachebel’s Canon. As he played, his nerves slid away and he almost forgot she was still in the room. When the song ended, he sat still for a moment.
“That was lovely,” she commented softly, startling him, because at some point during his playing, she’d walked up behind him. He turned around on the piano bench and faced her.
“Allison, why did you come here tonight?”
She regarded him and seemed to be considering her words before speaking. “To prove to myself that I am not crazy,” she finally answered.
He raised his eyebrows.
“In the lab today, you asked me why I liked you. I asked you what you wanted to hear and you walked out without answering me. I got a feeling that you wanted to know because you liked me too.”
“Are we crazy?” he asked softly.
“I don’t think so.”
“So what now?”
“Well, you admitting that you like me is definitely a step in the right direction,” she said with a teasing grin.
He looked pensive. “I don’t actually recall admitting to anything,” he said, his tone matching hers.
“So that kissing thing meant nothing then?” she asked, keeping her tone light, instinctively knowing that it was difficult for him to open up about his feelings.
“It wasn’t really enough to make an informed decision.”
“Well maybe we should try again and see if you can’t make up your mind.”
He pulled her close and sat her on his good leg, one hand moving to the back of her neck as their lips met again. Her arms went around his neck and his other hand rested on her thigh. The kiss grew deeper and lasted for quite some time. He finally broke it and gave her a grin.
“Well, I guess I have to admit that I do like you,” he said.
“I’m very glad to hear that,” she replied with a grin of her own.
“So,” he started. He took a deep breath and continued, “Do you want to stay tonight?”
She seemed surprised by the question and had to consider for a moment before answering. “I think that may be taking things a little too fast for me,” she admitted.
“That’s fine,” he quickly replied. “I didn’t mean…”
“It’s okay,” she cut him off. “It was a legitimate question. But, it’s getting pretty late and some of us do like to be on time for work.”
“There are always sick people around that need to be taken care of,” he responded.
“Do you think this is going to be weird at work?”
“Well, I’m not planning to throw you down on my desk and have my way with you in front of Chase and Foreman, so I’ll go with no. We’re both adults and we’re both professionals. I think we can keep our work relationship separate from our personal relationship.”
“So we definitely have a personal relationship then?”
“I’d say so considering you’re sitting on my lap.”
She leaned in for one last kiss and stood up. “I’ll see you at work tomorrow.”
“Okay,” he responded as he stood up to walk her to the door. “Hey, do you want to have dinner tomorrow when we get off?”
“Sure,” she said. “Can I go home and shower and change first though? I’d rather not have our first date in hospital clothes.”
He sighed. “You women and your clothes,” he said with mock exasperation. “That’s fine. We can make better plans after we see what new and fun things Vogler and Cuddy throw at us tomorrow.”
“Good idea,” she agreed. “Well, good night.”
“Good night, Allison.” He brushed his lips against her cheek. She started to leave. “Oh, Allison?” he called after her again.
“You do know you can call me Greg, right?”
She smiled. “I assumed as much. But I think I’ll stick with Dr. House when we’re at work. Wouldn’t want Chase and Foreman getting any ideas.”
“Good point. Drive safely.”
He watched her walk to her car and waited until she’d pulled away before closing the door and going back into the house. It had been a crazy day and he suspected that this new relationship would be the source of much more craziness in his life.
But there was no turning back now.
He had a smile on his face as he turned off all the lights and made his way to bed. He was anxious to see what tomorrow would bring.