Summary: Set directly at the end of 2x01 ("Acceptance") and is my attempt at making h/c believable.
Author's Notes: Don't shoot me. Title taken from Cameron's channel five House ads.
House was on his fourth shot when Cameron came to find him.
“Didn’t you drink enough yesterday?” she asked, sort of angrily, sort of incredulously.
“Apparently not.” House shrugged, downing his drink and reaching for the bottle. Cameron whisked it out of his reach. “Hey, no fair.”
“You’re a *doctor*.” She said helplessly, knowing it was a pointless reason.
“And I don’t have a patient right now.” House shrugged again. “Give me back the bottle.” Cameron ignored him.
“Why was drinking with a Death Row *murderer* more important than-”
“We’ve been though this before. I was saving his *life*.”
“For how long?” Cameron protested, stepping a little closer, but not close enough got House to grab the alcohol back.
“Oddly enough, that isn’t my problem.” House smirked. “I just stop him being sick.”
“So, you were wasting your time with someone who was going to die anyway-”
“Weren’t you?” Interrupted House. Cameron ignored him.
“-While some of us were doing our *jobs*.”
“With all due respect,” House began, with a smile that told Cameron *exactly* how much he respected her, “You weren’t doing *your* job.” At the stricken, confused look on her face, he continued. “Your job is to work for *me*, to do what I tell you, to treat *my* patients, not to skip work to play happy families with a dying woman.” He paused, suddenly looking thoughtful. “Did you offer to marry this one too?”
Cameron wanted to reply with a snapped ‘screw you’, but she *couldn’t*. The silence stretched for a moment.
“You traumatised Wilson by the way.” House continued, stumping forwards and removing the bottle from her trembling fingers. “All that ‘I married the guy even though he was dying’ thing. Serves him right for getting that *vile* haircut, but, still…” He smirked. “When things are broken, all you want to do is fix them.”
“I’ve stopped trying to fix you.” Cameron snapped.
“Any particular reason?” House asked blandly, pouring himself a new shot.
“Because you just keep breaking yourself more and more. I think you *like* being broken.”
“Finally.” House said, mock-applauding. “You’ve caught on.” He downed the shot.
“What do you want from me?” Cameron screamed. House shrugged dismissively, contemplating the bottle.
“I don’t *want* anything from you.” He replied casually. “Why do you assume I do?”
Cameron opened her mouth and then closed it again.
“Why did you ask me to come back?” she asked.
“Well, it wasn’t so you could coddle dying cancer patients.” House told her. “That’s Wilson’s job, and he’s much better at it than you.” He wrinkled his nose a little. “Well, slightly better anyway.”
“You’re drunk.” Cameron muttered, trying not to feel as hurt as she did.
“Would *you* like to be?” House offered, pouring a shot and holding it out to her. Cameron looked at him and then accepted the drink.
“Why are you doing this?” she asked, and House just smiled.
“It’s a test.”
“Did I pass?”
“Are you kidding?”
House started drinking straight from the bottle. Cameron downed her shot bitterly. The alcohol burned her mouth.
“You’re a bastard.” She told him. House actually laughed.
“So you won’t want another date?”
“We never had a first date.” Cameron snarled.
“What, I paid for all that dinner and there wasn’t a date?” House looked mock-surprised. “I wish you’d told me at the time.”
“You know what I mean.” Cameron said. “You were cruel, we sat in silence for two hours-”
“-And you had to blackmail me into going. You really think a ‘date’ that starts with that is going to end with us screwing on my piano?”
Cameron snatched the bottle from him and took a mouthful, incapable of replying.
“I hate you.” She mumbled.
“I know. You told me earlier.” House replied, sounding exasperated, snatching the bottle back. “If this conversation is just going to be a rehash of our previous ones, then you can go.”
He made a ‘you first’ gesture towards the door. Cameron stood her ground. There was silence for almost a whole minute.
“You don’t hate me.” House said finally. “None of you do.” He paused, bottle just touching his lower lip. “Well, Foreman might.” He took a long drink.
“Chase hates you.” Cameron tried.
“Chase *wishes* he did.” House returned with a bitter laugh, handing the fast-emptying bottle back to her, a cryptic smile playing about his mouth. Cameron took another mouthful rather than try and unravel what he meant.
“I could leave.” She whispered.
“But you won’t.” House was standing too close to her, taking away her personal space, the red of his t-shirt filling the lines of her vision like blood. The alcohol flowing through her veins made her feel dizzy.
“I could go-”
“Where, exactly?” House snapped. “And if you leave again, I won’t rehire you.”
The ultimatum in those words was clear and cold. Cameron almost shivered but wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.
Because she was probably drunk by now, and she knew he was, Cameron took her life in her hands and stepped close to House. Tilting her head upwards, she kissed him. Kissed him with all the denial and anger and bargaining and depression and acceptance she possessed.
“This is more like it.” House whispered. “But are you sure you want me? I’m not dying…”
Cameron closed her eyes but didn’t pull away. She refused to react, and she thought House might be slightly impressed by that- he certainly started to kiss her more passionately- but the truth was that although she’d got what she wanted all along, the sacrifice might come at too high a cost.