Title: Its Good to Feel Alive
Written for: mcamy
Prompt: shower - Looking for snarky fluff, possible flirting. Don't care whether they're a couple or not, or whether shower appears or is only mentioned. Prefer closer to canon rather than farther away.
Spoilers: Through 3x03 – Informed Consent (this piece immediately follows that episode)
Author's Notes: First of all, MAJOR apologies for the lateness. October was a not-so-great month and my muses weren’t cooperating on this fic at all. Second, major thanks to laekin and storydivagirl for the hand-holding, encouraging and beta-reading.
Cameron has no idea how long she's been standing under the spray of scalding hot water. She knows she can't wash away the memories of what she did, but that isn't stopping her from trying. At least in the shower, she can't tell the difference between the water and the tears on her face. She's doing her best not think, but her mind keeps wandering as she tries to make sense of why she made the decision to help a patient end his life.
She knows she was idealistic when she took this fellowship. But now she realizes how naive she was to think she could maintain those ideals. She thought she could change House, make him a better person, but he ended up changing her into someone she barely recognizes.
The faint sound of someone entering the locker room doesn't even register, she's so lost in thought. She knows she's a better doctor now, but is she a better person? Or has House's bitterness and cynicism become a viral infection that he's infected them all with?
"Cameron, quit crying in the shower," House's voice carries over the water and she flinches, wondering how he knew. When she doesn't respond immediately, he bangs on the shower door with his cane. "Come on, get out of there. We've got places to go and things to do."
She turns the water temperature down and splashes some of the cooler water over her face before responding. "Is there a new case?"
"No," House replies. "I'm taking you out."
"You're doing what?"
"I'm taking you out. But only if you hurry up and get out of there. You've been in there for almost thirty minutes and I know that no woman needs to shower that long, not even Linda the four hundred pound nurse on the maternity floor."
"House, what kind of game are you playing?" Cameron asks.
"No games. Turn off the water and get your cute ass out of the shower," he replies.
She turns off the water and starts to open the shower door before realizing that he's standing there, waiting. "Um, can you wait outside?" she requests.
House makes a big show of rolling his eyes. "You don't have anything I haven't seen before."
"You haven't seen mine," she points out.
"Not for lack of you trying," he retorts.
"House," Cameron replies, exasperation clear in her tone.
"Cameron," House replies. "See, I can play this game."
"What game?" she asks, because she feels like this is some sort of game, except only House knows the rules and she's fairly certain she's losing.
"Oh, I thought we were stating the obvious," he says. "We've established that we know each other's names. We can move on to other fun facts, like I can say 'you're naked' and you can say 'you're using your cane'."
Cameron sighs, but realizes that he’s not going anywhere, so in a fit of boldness, she opens the door and steps out of the shower, reaching for her towel and trying to ignore the feeling of House's eyes raking over her body.
She wraps the towel around her, walks over to her locker and starts pulling out her clothes.
"Have you no decency?" House asks. "You're just going to get dressed in front of me?" It's clear that he's aiming for a flippant tone, but there's a note of something underneath that she can't (or won't) attempt to interpret.
"You're the one in the women's locker room," Cameron says, shrugging one shoulder before she drops the towel and pulls on her coral cotton underwear.
She has her back to him and he doesn't reply, but she can hear his cane tapping against the floor. She puts on her matching bra and turns to face him.
"Why are you here, House?"
"Enjoying the view," he remarks, not bothering to hide the fact that he's checking her out. She feels herself get warm and knows her body is flushed, giving away the fact that she's uncomfortable. She hates that she can't hide it, because she knows it gives him the upper hand. "What exactly is that color, anyway? Peach? Orange?"
"Coral," she replies, pulling her jeans on and reaching for her sweater, realizing that she's grateful she has on nice underwear.
"It suits you," House says.
"When did you become my fashion advisor?" she snipes.
"Well, I have been watching Project Runway."
Cameron pulls her sweater on and sits on the bench to put on socks and shoes so she can get out of the locker room.
"You're not going to pull a runner on me, are you?" House asks, still watching her as intently as he was when she was nearly naked. "Because that wouldn't be nice."
"Since when do you care about being nice?" Cameron retorts. "I always assumed that your bad mood was because of your leg or that your mood swings were caused by your vicodin. But you didn't stop being a bastard even when those things weren't factors. Oh, sure, you played nice with the McNeil family, but that wore off pretty damn fast."
House smirks. "I thought you liked me when I wasn't nice. I thought my bitter, sarcastic nature was all part of my charm."
She rolls her eyes and stands up, reaching for her jacket and purse. "I don't know why you're here, House. But I'm going home now."
He moves entirely too fast for someone who uses a cane and he's blocking the door before she can even take a step in that direction. "Now, now, Cameron. I told you that I'm taking you out. Are you hungry? Or can dinner wait an hour or so?"
She realizes that he’s determined and she knows that means that it's easier to give in to what he wants than to try to fight it. All she wants to do is curl up in her bed with a glass of wine and a good book so she can try to forget what she's done, but it's clear he's not going to allow that. "No, I'm not hungry," she replies.
"Good," he smiles and it unsettles her more than anything else that's happened because it's so unnatural on his face. “There’s a little candy shop on Ninth Street where you can make your own cotton candy,” he informed her. “And since I know how much you like it, I figured we could check it out. And if you don’t gorge yourself on sugar, there’s a nice Italian Café around the corner.”
Cameron smiles back and remembers the night they went to the Monster Truck Rally. “Can I steal your candy again?”
House chuckles. “If you’re lucky. And if I’m lucky, we’ll get sticky and need a shower.”