Series: Straw Into Gold
Part: 4 of 9
Word Count: 1,371
Summary: Cameron lays it on the line for House.
Tell me you love, tell you see me,
Show me your laughter, feel me.
Tell me you love me, I’m the one you need,
Raise your hand and reach for me.
She opens her eyes slowly and squints when she sees the sunlight streaming through the window. A quick glance at the clock on the bedside table confirms her suspicions.
“Greg, its time to wake up,” she says, nudging the sleeping figure beside her. He mumbles something incoherent.
She rubs her eyes and sits up. “Come on, Greg,” she says a little louder and a little more insistently.
He rolls over and gives her a death glare. “Can’t I sleep until you’re done in the shower?” he whines. She stifles a chuckle at his little boy attitude. She knows that their co-workers would be highly amused to see this side of him.
“No,” she tells him firmly. “You need to get up and put a pot of coffee on while I’m in the shower. And while you’re in the shower, I’ll make breakfast.” She starts to climb out of bed but he grabs her arm.
“How about I join you in the shower and then we grab breakfast at the McDonalds drive-thru on our way to work?” he suggests, eyebrows waggling at her.
She groans and hits him with her pillow as she yanks her arm free from his grasp and heads to the bathroom for her shower. They’ve had nearly identical conversations every morning for the last two months, ever since the night they’d shared that first dinner.
As she slips into the steamy shower and the water cascades over her body, she remembers the first morning she woke up in his bed and in his arms. They’d both been surprised by the fact that they ended up in bed together. But they had been caught up in the moment, in the intensity of their new feelings, and they hadn’t thought any further than right now.
That first morning was awkward for both of them. The ramifications of sleeping with her boss had hit her square in the stomach when she saw him in bed next to her. And the idea that he’d allowed a woman into his home and bed for a night nearly made him run screaming for the hills, infarction be damned.
It hadn’t taken long for them to adjust to the idea though. She can count on one hand the number of nights they’ve spent apart in the last two months. Most often, they stay at his place because it’s larger and a few blocks closer to the hospital. She’s also discovered that she enjoys listening to him play the piano while she cooks dinner after work.
They play at being domestic quite well, she thinks as she finishes her shower and towels dry, sniffing the air for the tell tale scent of coffee. No matter how much he grouses at her in the mornings, he always has the coffee ready when she’s done in the shower. She still doesn’t know exactly what their relationship is but thus far, they’ve managed to keep it quiet at work. Aside from Wilson, whom she is certain knows everything, but is at least enough of a gentleman not to mention it.
She dresses and heads out to the kitchen to fulfill her part of the morning preparation bargain. He brushes his lips against her cheek as he passes her, his cane in one hand and a coffee mug in the other. She hums to herself as she prepares their breakfast. It’s pancake day and yes, she realizes the bizarreness of the fact that they actually have a rotation menu for their meals.
When he returns to the kitchen, dressed and ready to face the day, they share their breakfast in amiable silence, each reading their favorite section of the daily newspaper. She pauses at the wedding announcements in the local section, idly wondering if there will ever be one for them. It takes all of her willpower not to laugh out loud at the absurdity of the thought. It’s only been two months after all, and he still hasn’t said that he loves her. She said it once, right after they’d made love, and he’d feigned sleep, pretending not to hear it. She knows he was faking sleep, but she is prepared to wait as long as it takes for him to accept that this is real, that she does care and that she isn’t going to hurt him.
Cuddy hands them an extremely difficult case that day when they arrive, in separate cars and a few minutes apart, so as not to arouse suspicion. Chase and Foreman arrive soon after and House calls Wilson in for a consult since the patient has been undergoing chemotherapy. The problem is that the cancer diagnosis is now in question because of the new symptoms.
Their professional relationship hasn’t changed at all. He still snipes at her and berates her and questions her judgment and she still calls him on his bullshit when the situation is warranted. It amuses her when he snipes at her in the lab or during a differential diagnosis meeting. Especially when Chase or Foreman offers sympathy. She’s been trying to talk him into sneaking in a quickie in his office some day, but so far, he’s resisted, saying they can’t take the chance of being caught. Wilson wears a perpetually smug grin when he’s around them both and she’s afraid that his attitude is what will get them caught some day.
They both know that they can’t keep their relationship a secret forever, but for now, it works for them.
The five doctors argue and bounce ideas around and run too many tests to count. A few times, Allison catches Greg’s eye and they share a secret smile, but for the most part, they are too busy trying to save a life to think about their personal relationship. The fact that they are such dedicated doctors makes it easy for them to keep things separate.
Unfortunately, even having five of the best doctors on the east coast working non-stop on diagnosis and treatment options doesn’t save this particular patient. Their losses are few and far between but this one hits them all hard for a variety of reasons. Allison knows that Greg will be melancholy tonight, remembering his own mother that passed away from cancer when he was starting med school just as she will be melancholy because the woman was pregnant and she will be thinking of the child she lost so many years ago.
They make it through the rest of their shift without Chase, Foreman or Wilson noticing anything odd. She leaves first, as usual, and drives to his place to start dinner. Within fifteen minutes, she hears his car parking outside. She meets him inside the front door and he drops his cane and puts him arms around her. They cling to each other, neither speaking, for a long time.
She finally lets go when she realizes that their dinner will burn if she doesn’t attend to it immediately. She hands him his cane and he smiles wryly at her and goes to the bar to pour them each a strong drink, scotch on the rocks for him and gin and tonic for her. They eat in silence and retreat to the bedroom as soon as the dishwasher is loaded and running.
They find solace in their love making and she notices a quiet desperation in his eyes that isn’t usually there. As they lie together, enjoying the afterglow, she props herself up on one elbow to meet his eyes.
“What?” he asks.
“I love you, Greg,” she blurts out. She can’t hold back any longer and she doesn’t care if she frightens him anymore. The loss of the patient today has reminded her that life is too short to play games.
His eyes reflect a flicker of surprise at her bold declaration. He licks his lips and closes his eyes, as if needing a moment to process her words. When he opens his eyes again, she sees something in them that she’s never seen before.
“I love you, too, Allison,” he admits, his voice a tiny bit shaky. They share a tentative smile and she rests her head on his chest and is soothed to sleep by the rhythmic beating of his heart.